Archive for the General Category

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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Our automated future is brighter than Karl Marx or Mark Carney would ever suggest

Our automated future is brighter than Karl Marx or Mark Carney would ever suggest

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, hit the headlines at the weekend, claiming that Marxism could once again become a prominent political force in the west. Automation, it seems, may not just destroy millions of jobs. For all except a privileged minority of high-tech

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Should AVs be held to higher standards?

Should AVs be held to higher standards?

In the three weeks since the first fatal crash involving an AV and a pedestrian, plenty of questions have been raised about the safety of self-driving cars. A question to think about soon will be: ‘how safe should AVs be expected to be before they will be

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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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Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Companies that bow to the social media mob are operating in the wrong century

Pizza Hut is the latest addition to the list of companies grovelling to criticism on social media. The restaurant chain tweeted an apology for running a promotion in the Sun newspaper. A few weeks ago, Paperchase said that it would not place any more marketing campaigns with

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Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Catalonia tries to avoid repeating history, but Spain has economic reality on its side

Karl Marx famously wrote: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. The phrase might well have been coined with Catalonia in mind. Generalissimo Franco began a military coup against the elected Spanish government in the Canary Islands in 1936. The battle spread across Spain, and

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