January 23, 2018

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 […]

Nokia and the Multiplier

In the early 2000s, Nokia supplied four out of ten of the world’s mobile phones. The impact on Finland was enormous with the company contributing a quarter of Finnish growth from 1998 to 2007. During this period 30% of the research and development spending in Finland was attributed to Nokia; they generated nearly a fifth […]

Too many hairdressers and not enough bricklayers?

In the 1950s, the UK built more than 300,000 new houses a year, many in the public sector. The government now estimates that it needs at least 250,000 new houses each year to keep up with demand. However, the latest figures show that the number of new homes built in recent years has been consistently […]