Monthly Archives: July 2010

9/11 worse than getting divorced

“Terrorism is a major negative externality” is something only an economist would write. So begins a recent paper by economists at the University of York and Imperial College London, who have been studying the impact of 9/11 on well-being in … Continue reading

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Do women just not want to compete?

The gender pay gap is still shockingly large – 22% in the UK according to the National Statistics. There are various reasons put forward for this (aside from outright discrimination), for example, the years taken out of many women’s careers … Continue reading

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Criminally selfish – or not?

How to reduce crime rates is one of the big issues that Governments are judged on. So it makes sense to try to understand why criminals actually commit crimes. A recent study by researchers at the University of Bonn suggests … Continue reading

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Don’t blame the pension scheme

Pension schemes have been much maligned lately. With austerity coming into fashion, the pension scheme bashing has got even worse. In particular, any firm or employee on a defined benefit pension scheme has been held up as demonstrating the very … Continue reading

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Relying on the octopus

There is an interesting story in Stuart Sutherland’s book Irrationality. In his chapter on the paranormal, he describes an experiment where subjects were asked to complete a bogus personality test. They were then all given a descriptions of their personalities … Continue reading

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It’s just not fair! Why we don’t know what taxes we want

What’s the difference between being left-wing and right-wing? Perhaps not very much – it depends on how the question is asked. Stian Reimers at UCL asked people how a tax burden should be split between a high earner (Andy on … Continue reading

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Don’t diet (or be obese) and drive?

A paper by scientists at UCL suggests that the risks we take are linked to how hungry we are. The interesting part aspect of the study is that it suggests that how hungry we are affects our general decision-making – … Continue reading

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Why pressure to reveal pay at the BBC may increase the earnings of those at the top

Transparency has definitely come into vogue lately. It’s been rumbling on for a while now, but exploded last year when details of MPs’ expenses were revealed. Heartened by its success, the transparency bandwagon has been running away with itself. The … Continue reading

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Nutty monopolies

The market for teachers is an odd one. This week, the UK’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) was up in arms, this time dramatically declaring that schools are breaking the law by using classroom assistants to fill in for teachers. … Continue reading

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BBC Three’s misguided attempt to slim people down

In amongst the various Doctor Who spin-offs and teen entertainment, BBC Three occasionally also tries to lend a helping hand. Usually as part of a reality programme – because clearly people with problems are very entertaining. One of BBC Three’s … Continue reading

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