May 27, 2017

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 […]

Will Finland’s Basic Income Experiment Work?

What do you think about giving everyone in your country a basic income? No matter if you are employed or unemployed, young or old, rich or poor? Social benefit systems can be extremely complex and bureaucratic. Basic income proposals seek to simplify those expenses by eliminating complex benefit systems. Supporters of a basic income for […]

The Art of Negotiation – Lessons from the Market

Things are not always what they appear to be. On a recent trip to East Asia I took the opportunity to visit a famous street market. Apart from wonderful street food, the market has a wide range of clothing and accessories that attracts both tourists and locals. One feature struck me. Why were so many […]

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 […]

Shrinking Value

It’s official: pack sizes are shrinking! According to the Bank of England, food retailers in the UK are making pack sizes smaller and using cheaper ingredients in an effort to offset increased costs in the wake of Brexit. Since the referendum in June 2016, the value of sterling has depreciated by around 12% and now […]