Category Archives: New research

Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts

It is often taken for granted that more information – or at least more well-designed, easily understandable information – will always be welcome. So in the UK, traffic light diagrams representing nasty sugars and fats is increasingly plastered across food products. But … Continue reading

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Paying for psychic pigs

  It hath been decreed that the biggest football tournaments must be accompanied by a psychic animal – be it octopus, fish or pig. Someone really ought to start to blog about football and behavioural economics, because this popular sport of … Continue reading

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Hey, big risk taker

Correlations are fun, aren’t they? What would the newspapers be without them? With an empty Health and Science section, that’s what. According to a paper by Olaf Hubler at the Institute of Empirical Economic Research, there is a correlation between … Continue reading

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I can see through you (or can I?)

Career coaches (actually, no, everyone) says that you need to act confident to get to what you want. Think positively. Tell yourself you’re great. Believe in yourself. Being confident signals to others that you are high ability. But what about … Continue reading

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How the Joneses change with age, or how I use my quantum physics book to show off

I was recently reading an article about Higgs Boson, and irritated by the fact that I wasn’t sure I entirely understood what was going on, decided that I needed to purchase a book about quantum physics. I’ve been reading it … Continue reading

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Clock and awe

The last time I felt a sense of real awe was in Iceland, hearing the rumble of the Gullfoss waterfall, and then catching my first glimpse of it. It’s a waterfall that in summertime throws an average of 140 cubic metres per … Continue reading

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Don’t believe this blog – economists lie!

An old economics “joke” goes along the lines of an interviewer asking a mathematician what two plus two equals. The mathematician replies “four”. The interviewer asks an economist the same question. The economist gets up, locks the door, sits down … Continue reading

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Benevolent dictators versus leaders with personality

Do benevolent dictators exist? And do democratically elected leaders always deliver better outcomes for their peoples? Authoritarian North Korea has unequivocally not delivered economic benefits for its citizens in the way that more democratic neighbours have. But recently, China’s mix of authoritarianism with a … Continue reading

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Why are the French miserable?

According to a recent slew of books, French children don’t throw food. And French women don’t get fat. I have noticed that they often have nice scarves. So chic. But does that make them happy? No. According to happiness surveys, … Continue reading

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Bigoted? No, just overconfident and bad at statistics

There are different shades of discrimination. There is active dislike of a particular group of people, and then there is the tendency to make generalisations about individuals based on the (perceived) characteristics of the group you associate them with e.g. of … Continue reading

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