November 20, 2017

How not to sell things

Some time ago I went into a specialist shop in Edinburgh to buy some stereo equipment. I knew next to nothing about the technology but had forearmed myself by studying a buyers’ guide and memorising the jungle of letters and numbers that was the brand name of the Best Buy model. The sales assistant beamed […]

Do economists care about inequality

The traditional view of economics is that it is a discipline that cares little for how the income and wealth of a nation is distributed. In Module 9.3 of our own text we come across the following: ‘How efficiently an economy’s resources are allocated and how evenly an economy’s income is distributed are not related. […]

Unintended consequences and the amazing world of sheep

We love sheep in Scotland. We already have more sheep than people as evidenced by the excellent publication “Sheep Facts: Find out more about the amazing world of sheep“. However, not satisfied with that, we were the first in the world to clone one and give her a pet name (Dolly). So it was not […]

Can Uganda teach the UK how to balance the budget?

When a government’s total outgoings (G) are more than their tax receipts (T), the result is a budget deficit where G > T. A government needs to borrow money to finance the debt, and interest payments can become so large that they cripple the economy. There are two main schools of thought for eliminating the […]

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 […]

Economics on toast – the price of avocados

I enjoy eating avocados; they are high in good fats and supposedly great for my health. I noticed recently, however, that the price of avocados in my local supermarket has substantially increased. It appears that I am not the only one enjoying avocados; there has been a huge surge in demand for the fruit. While […]

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 […]

I promise to pay the bearer

Money has three functions. It acts as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of wealth. On every Indian 500 Rupee note it states “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of Five Hundred Rupees.” It is signed by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This allows Rupees […]