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Should London be an Independent City State?

Forget Scottish independence – in his blog for  the Guardian this week Larry Elliot suggests that it is London that should devolve – a move he says that would bring an economic boost to the rest of the UK. He quotes some findings from our own Paul

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Alibaba: not just the Forty Thieves. China at the Cutting Edge

In the whole of the 20th century, only a few countries managed to transform themselves and join the club of rich economies. Japan is the most prominent example. The key question for the first half of the 21st century is whether or not China will manage to do the

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Is the ‘rent-seeker’ dying out?

The concept of the “rent seeker” is one of the most valuable in the whole of economics. The activity of rent-seeking involves obtaining money by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activity takes place, instead of getting paid for creating new wealth. It is

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Can England win the World Cup?

Autumn is fast approaching. The focus of the nation’s sporting interest is switching. No sooner have our boys humiliated the Australians, than a new challenge emerges in the shape of two important qualifying games for the soccer World Cup. The comedian Bob Doolally articulated the views of many

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Our economic recovery is real, but what we can still learn from the US?

Some people are never satisfied. The evidence is mounting that the UK economy is now on the path to recovery. But to those who denied the possibility of any economic revival at all under the policies of “austerity”, this is simply not good enough. It is the

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The Political Economy of Risk Taking – and how HS2 is Misunderstood

High Speed Rail has no shortage of enemies.  It is challenged for having rising costs, too few benefits and for being the plaything of vested interests, such as local authorities and rail companies.  These are often cheap shots, based on what sometimes appears to be a wilful

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How sticky is unemployment? Will it take three years to fall?

The views expressed by the new Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, on interest rates and unemployment remain a hot topic. Interest rates will not be raised until unemployment falls below 7 per cent, a process he thinks will take three years. The perception which many people have

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No interest rate changes for three years? Zero hours contracts for the Monetary Policy Committee!

The new Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said last week that interest rates will not be raised until unemployment falls below 7 per cent, a process he thinks will take three years. The battle of Austerlitz in 1805 was one of Napoleon’s greatest victories,

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More powerful than the most powerful earthquake: the Don Bradman phenomenon

The holiday season is in full swing, and many people are more focused on cricket than on the state of the economy. Like in all team sports, a favourite pastime of fans is to argue over their choices of the greatest ever team. But there is one

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Recovery and summer are in the air, but doom mongers still lurk

The GDP growth figures announced last week for the second quarter of this year have sent most people away on their holidays in a cheerier mood than last year. The recent weather has certainly helped. But gloomy clouds may hover over the exclusive settings of Tuscan villas and beach

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