Archive for the General Category

Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has had its Nobel moment, but take it with a pinch of salt

Behavioural economics has received the ultimate accolade. Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago Business School has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in this area. Economics over the past 20 to 30 years has become far more empirical. Leading academic journals do

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Why can’t we confront climate change? Behavioural economics explains

Why can't we confront climate change? Behavioural economics explains

The devastating storms in America have kept the issue of climate change firmly in the public mind. But so far, it has proved very difficult for politicians to persuade electorates to change consumption patterns in ways which many scientists would like to see. More expensive air travel,

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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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Instilling competitive gender quotas could end the Crisis of the Mediocre Men

Instilling competitive gender quotas could end the Crisis of the Mediocre Men

Gender issues in the workplace are currently a hot topic. First, we had the furore about male and female pay at the BBC. Next, the notorious memo from a Google employee which alleged that women are less biologically suited to be software engineers than men. A paper

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Come and work with us!

The application process for this role is now closed.  Volterra Partners is a niche economic consultancy who provide creative, industry leading analysis to our clients. Our primary areas of business are the economic impacts of Development & Transport schemes. We are proud to be one of London’s

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Money talks in football, but all incumbents are displaced eventually

Money talks in football, but all incumbents are displaced eventually

The Premier League season opens on Friday against a background of stratospheric transfer deals, with Paris Saint Germain capturing the Barcelona striker Neymar for a world record €222m. With the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009, all the top 10

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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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Was Michael Gove right? Have we had enough of experts?

Was Michael Gove right? Have we had enough of experts?

Experts are finding it harder to be heard. But is that because of how they communicate? And how solid is their much-vaunted evidence base anyway? Using evidence to assess the outcomes of policies is a vital part of good governance. Whether it is examining how a Budget

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Paul Buchanan discusses ‘Pricing for Prosperity’

It is over 200 years since road pricing was first suggested but there are only three significant schemes in operation: London, Singapore & Stockholm. All are ongoing and popular, even though they cover only a small % of the city and levy a simple, and relatively ineffective,

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