Archive for the General Category

Puzzled over Australia’s shock election result? Economics can help explain

Puzzled over Australia’s shock election result? Economics can help explain

The surprise of the week was the re-election of the centre-right Coalition government in the Australian General Election. The Labor opposition had led every major opinion poll for the past two years. But Scott Morrison of the Coalition is still Prime Minister – and it is his

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Hyperbolic discounting explains why the French are revolting over Macron’s fuel tax

Hyperbolic discounting explains why the French are revolting over Macron’s fuel tax

Economists have long argued that an effective way of reducing carbon emissions is by increasing taxes on energy consumption.

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Britain’s stagnant regions are stuck in a monetary union trap

Britain’s stagnant regions are stuck in a monetary union trap

The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence created a bit of a stir at the end of last week with its estimates of growth in the regions of the UK. Since the recovery from the financial crisis began during 2009, London’s economy has grown by 26 per cent.

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From Venezuela to East Berlin, people will always choose capitalism over socialism

From Venezuela to East Berlin, people will always choose capitalism over socialism

How many people across the world in the history of humanity have fled from a capitalist country to a socialist one? There was much amusement at the height of the long miners’ strike of 1984/85. A National Union of Mineworkers official from Yorkshire, a crony of Marxist

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The economics of tourist overload

The economics of tourist overload

I am in Edinburgh for a few days at the Festival, where even Jeremy Corbyn has appeared. Disappointingly, he was not playing the role of Carmela Soprano, the mafia don’s wife who is always present but never involved. Previously, I had been on Skye. Last month, I

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The intellectual imperialism of economics

The intellectual imperialism of economics

At this time of year, most people are focused on leisure. The holiday you have just had, the one you are on now, or the one you are just about to go on. With exquisite timing, the 1 August issue of the top Journal of Economic Perspectives

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Meet the engineers of economic theory: Market design has become a full-time job

Meet the engineers of economic theory: Market design has become a full-time job

What does someone with the job title of “chief economist” actually do? The most well-known in the UK is probably Andy Haldane at the Bank of England, but his role is not typical. So what do the others do? Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth’s paper in the latest

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Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

Brussels elites who fiddled while Rome burned may soon get their comeuppance

The new Italian government looks set to cause shock waves across Europe. The two parties promise mass deportations of immigrants and huge increases in public spending. Both the social and the economic policies of the Italian coalition clash directly with those of the European Commission, and Germany

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No decent economist will be surprised to see renewables push up electricity prices

No decent economist will be surprised to see renewables push up electricity prices

British Gas is putting up the price of its dual fuel tariff by an average of 5.5 per cent at the end of this month. EDF, whose standard tariff is already one of the most expensive, will raise it by a further 1.4 per cent next month.

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Cyber society needs monopoly-busting competition, not misguided regulation

Cyber society needs monopoly-busting competition, not misguided regulation

The hostility towards the virtual monopolies enjoyed by tech giants such as Google and Facebook reveals some strange bedfellows. The European Commission is well known for its enthusiasm for regulation. No surprise, then, that last year the Commission fined Google €2.4bn – billion! – for giving its own

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