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We all love something for nothing – but what is the real cost?

We all love something for nothing – but what is the real cost?

There is a childlike excitement that comes from being offered something for free. Often regardless of whether you want or need something, if you are offered it at no cost, you take it. ‘Free’ is not just cheaper than say 1 or 2p, it has added value:

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What England’s greatest ever batsman tells us about how to use statistics

What England's greatest ever batsman tells us about how to use statistics

Cricket fans will be delighted that Joe Root is establishing himself this summer as a truly great batsman. His Test match batting average of 55.49 is bettered by only 16 players from across the world since Test cricket began in 1877. Root currently sits seventh in the

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Why the economic picture tends to be rosier than initial estimates suggest

Why the economic picture tends to be rosier than initial estimates suggest

One of the surprises of last week was the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate of economic growth in the second quarter of 2016, the period from April to the end of June. In the run up to Brexit, the economy expanded by 0.6 per cent on

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Why Britain and the US are streets ahead of Europe in innovation

Why Britain and the US are streets ahead of Europe in innovation

The proposed takeover of the hugely successful ARM Holdings by the Japanese giant SoftBank is in the news. Cambridge-based ARM is well placed to exploit the white hot concept of the internet of things, highlighting the UK’s recent advances in this field. The UK has also performed

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Sorry, Prime Minister: Legislation won’t end excess in the boardroom

Sorry, Prime Minister: Legislation won’t end excess in the boardroom

A key platform of our new Prime Minister is to curb what she perceives to be boardroom excesses.  “It is not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change”, she said. One of her proposals is to allow employee and worker representatives to sit on company

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Why austerity must be the order of the day for May’s chancellor

Why austerity must be the order of the day for May's chancellor

On the face of it, the Brexiteers have a bit of explaining to do. A week before the vote, Boris Johnson dismissed fears about the value of sterling, and accused the governor of the Bank of England of “talking the economy down”. Yet the economy does seem

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How Stalin’s right-hand man could help the UK in EU exit negotiations

How Stalin's right-hand man could help the UK in EU exit negotiations

The topic of behavioural economics is very fashionable. But many economists remain rather sniffy about it, arguing that it often does not really add to what the discipline already knows. But one of its most distinctive and strongest results from a policy perspective is its emphasis on

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The only way could be down for shares – and Brexit is just the catalyst

The only way could be down for shares - and Brexit is just the catalyst

The Brexit vote creates many uncertainties, exciting or frightening depending on your predilection. One thing which is certain is that the Leave victory was delivered by the less-skilled sections of the electorate. It seems part of a more general stirring up of what we might think of

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The EU referendum has shown just how irrational voters are

The EU referendum has shown just how irrational voters are

Some things never seem to change.  In the mid-16th century, in the course of her short reign Queen Mary, a daughter of Henry VIII, tried to restore Catholicism.  To this end, she arranged to marry King Philip of Spain, at a time when Spain dominated Europe.  The

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Old Europe’s poor innovation record is a harbinger of long-term stagnation

Old Europe's poor innovation record is a harbinger of long-term stagnation

The economic debate around Brexit has been disappointing.  Far too many of the points focus on the short-term.  Would Brexit precipitate a sterling crisis?  Well, if it did, at some point the currency would bounce back?  Would it tip us into a recession?  Maybe, but recessions come

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