Archive for the Education Category

The misguided sugar tax is an ineffectual way to price the externalities of obesity

The misguided sugar tax is an ineffectual way to price the externalities of obesity

One of George Osborne’s last acts as chancellor in 2016 was to announce the so-called sugar tax. This came into force last week, in line with the original timetable. Drinks manufacturers are taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import. The tax increases

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The university pensions strike is a selfish bid to hold future generations to ransom

The university pensions strike is a selfish bid to hold future generations to ransom

University lecturers began a strike over their pensions last week. The dispute may even run on and jeopardise the summer exams. The main issue is that the universities’ pension scheme seems to be in substantial deficit. To solve the problem, a move from defined benefits to defined

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Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Old-fashioned educational values offer the UK’s most deprived children a future

Economics is the gloomy science, but we can end the year on a cheery note. Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College is in one of the most deprived and ethnically mixed areas of the country, with high numbers of immigrants. Yet the example set by Mouhssin Ismail, the

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Anti-capitalists in UK universities need a refresher course in the perils of socialism

Anti-capitalists in UK universities need a refresher course in the perils of socialism

The great Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, writing in the 1940s, predicted the eventual demise of capitalism. He did not want this to happen. But he envisaged that the “intellectual class” would eventually develop values which were hostile to free markets and private property. Schumpeter’s definition of “intellectuals”

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Incentivise predatory universities with a proportional grade-linked fee structure

Incentivise predatory universities with a proportional grade-linked fee structure

The A-level results have come and gone yet again. Underneath all the hype and excitement, we can see the reliable old friend of economists at work. Namely, the impact of incentives. Michael Gove, in his previous Cabinet incarnation as education secretary, decided to restore the meaning of

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Embarrassing academic reversals show expert opinions are often built on sand

Embarrassing academic reversals show expert opinions are often built on sand

Last week we saw yet another major reversal of opinion by experts. For years we have all been lectured severely on the need to finish every single course of prescription drugs. But the latest wisdom is that this is not necessary. The announcement that petrol and diesel

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Paul Ormerod in discussion with Prospect magazine

Paul Ormerod, Alison Wolf,  and Adam Tooze join Prospect Editor Tom Clark to discuss whether it’s a good thing that so many people go to university; why trust in experts has fallen so low; and how, 10 years on from the banking crisis, a new system of regulation has been

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Believe it or not, Britain is getting happier

Believe it or not, Britain is getting happier

The dominant economic narrative in the UK is a pretty gloomy one just now. True, employment is at a record high. But, counter the whingers and whiners, zero hours contracts and low pay proliferate. The political discourse is full of the struggles of the JAMs – the

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Volterra’s Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne present at Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting

Volterra’s Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne present at Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting

  Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne were recently invited to speak at the 15th Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting (TPM) in Nottingham. TPM is the annual meeting place for all transport planners, highway engineers and urban transport designers. Practitioners, policy makers and academics are invited to present topical papers over

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Volterra: industry partners at UCL’s hands-on training event

Paul Buchanan and Kieran Arter were recent ‘industry partners’ at UCL’s How to Change the World hands-on training programme (HtCtW, 30 May – 9 June 2017). Students were challenged to come up with ways to improve the Strategic Road Network. Paul and Kieran were on hand to answer

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