October 20, 2019

Archives for April 2013

The student who caught out the Harvard professors

You are an economics student (Thomas Herndon) who has been asked by your professor to take one well-known paper in economics and replicate its results as homework. You decide to take one of the most famous papers in economics in recent years (“Growth in a Time of Debt”) by two eminent Harvard professors (Reinhart and […]


Recently I described how the English language keyboard format QWERTY had been wrongly maligned as an “accident of history” and was instead a brilliant engineering solution to a particularly tricky technical problem of its day.  But is it also really seriously “inefficient” and “inferior” as the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman argues in his first […]

Risky Business

Pity the poor strategic manager in Jamaica!   The strategic value of effective risk management is undoubted.   Knowledge of key environmental risks assists in shaping the strategies of the firm.  But what do you do when those risks are “unforeseeable” and there is no way of knowing what they are?  Students of the EBS course […]

The QWERTY Problem

“The QWERTY problem” has been defined in economics textbooks as “an inferior industry standard that has prevailed possibly because of historical accident”.  QWERTY is not just the first six letters of the standard English language keyboard, today it has also become the focal point for debates as to whether markets should be left to develop […]