Category Archives: Thoughtbox

Executive pay: we need to think beyond £s

The main political parties have achieved near-consensus that something needs to be done about executive pay. There is an argument that Government has no role in this area, and that private firms, with all their incentives to seek greater profits are … Continue reading

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An economist’s guide to keeping your New Year resolutions

Got some New Year resolutions? Wondering how you’re going to keep them? Think you could benefit from some behavioural economics and psychology tips (who doesn’t?!). 1) Make your resolution public. If you care about what people think of you, you … Continue reading

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Fairytale economics

 Are you sitting comfortably? It’s time for a Five Minute Economist Christmas special: in an unusual fit of whimsy not unconnected to the festive season, economists discuss their take on a selection of fairytales. Enjoy, and see you in the New … Continue reading

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Economists are hedonists!

Hey, all economists are hedonists! Yeah, that man in the dull tie over there. And that dismal scientist too. And that one staring at her spreadsheets on a flickering screen. Oh yes, hedonists.   Obviously, I do not mean we’re … Continue reading

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When asking the question changes the answer

Some economics is about trying to solve economic and social problems. Some economics is about trying to work out why those problems occur. And a lot of the rest is trying to work out how to measure those problems and … Continue reading

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Books about the financial crisis

I’ve just read a pile of books about the financial crisis (partly for work, partly for pleasure), and here are my favourites. If you’re not sure what a synthetic CDO is, but would like to, I would highly recommend Gillian … Continue reading

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Search engine alphabet

This post isn’t strictly about economics. It’s more an account of how I whiled away a lazy Saturday morning, typing random letters into search engines. But I’m obviously in good company. Even Hal Varian, author of the classic text Intermediate Microeconomics … Continue reading

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The FME economics cryptic crossword!

I’m taking advantage of the double bank holiday weekend in the UK and am jetting off (thank you, Kate). In the meantime, should you be looking for some economics fun over the holiday season, try the Five Minute Economist cryptic … Continue reading

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The economics of becoming a parent

In the UK, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. The shops are filled with pink and flowery trinkets. The proliferation of all these pretty presents dedicated to mothers may make any rational utility maximising person wonder: is it time I became a mother? (Or … Continue reading

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The overconfidence of Machiavelli and Blair

In the 16th century, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book for a prince on how to use cunning to obtain and hold on to power. In sharp contrast to most books written at the time on princely governance, morality took second … Continue reading

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