July 26, 2017

What do you mean economists are boring?

The Financial Times had an astonishing story Friday 26th May. The World Bank’s Chief Economist Paul Romer had been stripped of his line authority and management duties following what the FT called ‘uproar’ and a ‘revolt’ by his 600 economists. The Guardian also covered the furore here. So what had caused such tumult? A street […]

The Demand for Tweetie Pie and Bob

Some time ago I blogged about a curious overnight arrival in front of my house. It was curious, partly because it was to stay there some time – and also because it was yellow. I checked the statistics and found that only about 0.4 per cent of new cars sold in 2010 in the UK […]

Sometimes a glass is (almost) half full

There was an interesting article on the BBC News website last week that was brought to my attention by a colleague at EBS, Gerry Reilly . Its title says it all: ‘Shouldn’t lectures be obsolete by now?’ The article starts by saying that the reason the lecture has refused to go away is not ‘because it’s […]

Economics: still the cheerful science!

Five years ago I posted a blog on this site about a famous bet between the ecologist Paul Ehrlich and the economist Julian Simon. Ehrlich had been the author of a best-selling and gloomy book warning that we were going to run out of basic commodities in the future. And that in turn was taken […]

Half of three people agree with me

I read in a Scottish national newspaper yesterday that “The National Union of Journalists said that 99 per cent of the 50 BBC members who attended a meeting in Glasgow today called on the corporation to resign fully from the CBI.” Interesting, and what was also interesting was that none of the comments added by […]

Googlebus Battlebus

Those of us of a certain age will remember fondly the old days when San Francisco and Berkeley were known for their protests.  People would stick a flower in their hair, come to San Francisco and protest, often about what could be abstract but important ideas such as free speech, discrimination,  political affiliations. I am […]

Yet more notes from a grumpy traveller

I have an affliction which strikes many academics.  I read things indiscriminately if they are put before me, whether they are the conditions of sale for a theatre ticket, the ingredients on a tin of baked beans, or the small print on a train timetable even if I don’t intend to catch that train. The […]

More Notes from a Grumpy Traveller

If there is one thing that frustrates a traveller, it is the signage traps that are laid out to ready to catch them at their most tired and weary, from road signs in Brisbane that would only be seen as you were just passing them, and anyway they were mostly obscured by rainforest  foliage… or […]