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The Market for Speeding Points

What is it worth to take someone else’s speeding points? The Huhne-Pryce case has brought this into sharp focus. Setting aside the moral issues, the question raises interesting topics in economics. It turns out that there is a market in these points. The Daily Telegraph discovered that

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Hip Hop and Why Some Things Succeed

Just over a month ago, a group of young men from a fairly yokel part of Australia posted a video on YouTube. Nothing remarkable about that. Except that the video now has over 21 million viewings. More than 170,000 variants of the original theme have been posted

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How expert are experts? Time to end the independence of the Bank

The Bank of England has held short-term interest rates very close to zero for several years, with devastating consequences for the incomes of millions of frugal people.  The Bank’s latest wheeze suggests that savers pay the banks for the privilege of holding their money.  The Bank has

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What would Keynes have said? Ouija board active!

The loss of triple A status on UK government bonds has intensified the demands for a Plan B. So-called Keynesians demand an increase in both public spending and the public sector deficit. What might Keynes himself have said about the current situation? Lacking a Ouija board, I

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Networks, the North and Prosperity

What can be done about the North? The gap between London and the South East grows and grows. The response of many in the political class in the North is the dispiriting whinge of entitlement. The Leader of Newcastle Council has recently attracted national publicity for his

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Entrepreneurship and the filthy rich

Peter Mandelson famously said that he was ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’. As was the case with many aspects of New Labour, he was working firmly in the Leninist intellectual tradition. Some 20 years earlier, the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping,

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Today Singapore and Japan, Tomorrow China

It has suddenly become fashionable to be concerned about China’s growth rate slowing down. This is not a matter of a short-run cyclical downturn, with normal service being resumed shortly as the economy roars ahead once more. It is a worry that there will be a permanent

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Nick Bosanquet in the Financial Times: projections for 2013

Each New Year the Financial Times surveys a select group of policymakers, academics and commentators to gauge views on some important questions for the economy for the coming year. Volterra associate Nick Bosanquet took part in the survey in 2013. Read the full artticle published in the

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Airports, Commercial Value and how to Split Hairs

In the not too distant past, major UK airports were public assets. In many parts of the world, they still are. But here, for some good and some not so good economic reasons, we privatised ours. So now we need to ask whether private investors want to own

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Springtime for America

Is America heading for a boom? Real GDP has risen for 13 successive quarters and now stands 3 per cent above its peak level. A net total of 4.8 million jobs has been created over the past three years, with a fall of half a million in the

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