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Those who see themselves as practical students of the real world are condemned to never understand it. To grasp how society works demands an entirely different approach. Simply responding to what happens to be in the news is doomed to yield superficial and one-sided results. The recent calls by economics students for their tutors to […]

The pious war against tax dodging is much more dangerous than any schemes for evading or avoiding tax. When individuals or corporations act to minimise their tax payments the worst that can happen is that the authorities lose billions in tax revenue. In contrast, the stakes in the sanctimonious offensive against tax dodging are much […]

It is one of the most bewildering discussions in a confusing area. Deflation is welcomed by some economists but condemned by others as a grave threat. Some basic distinctions are necessary to understand the debate. Let’s start by outlining recent developments. The eurozone’s inflation rate fell by 0.2 per cent in the year to December […]

Although the claim is frequently repeated it is untrue that a debate about economic equality is underway. To those who follow it carefully it should quickly become clear that something else is happening. Take the recent discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. A televised debate involving some of the main protagonists helps make […]

The contemporary obsession with the super-rich often combines an intense interest in breathtaking bling with a quiet loathing of those with spectacular wealth. Both ingredients in this peculiar cocktail were on display in BBC2’s recent Meet the Super Rich season of documentaries. Rich, Russian and Living in London focused on the lavish lifestyle of wealthy […]

The last thing I expected to be thinking about after a long and boozy Christmas lunch was economics. However, my first ride in an Uber taxi set me thinking. For those who have not used Uber, which operates in over 50 countries, it is service that allows users to order taxis using their mobile phone. […]

One of the great paradoxes of 2014 was the apparent mismatch between falling oil prices and military conflict in strategic regions. Normally fighting in the Middle East and the Ukraine would be expected to push up oil prices. Only this year the price has fallen sharply since June. According to the US Energy Information Administration […]

In the light of today’s publication of a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a rich country think tank, my spiked essay on inequality is worth rereading. The OECD broadly argues that high and rising inequality damages economic growth whereas I contend that, if anything, causality runs in the other direction. […]

It is sad fact that as the emerging economies have become wealthier the discussion of development has become ever more degraded. Whereas the focus used to be on economic transformation, attempting to turn poor countries into rich ones, the new generation of experts promotes behavioural correctness. Take a look at the 2015 edition of the […]

This article was first published in the December issue of Fund Strategy. Of all the confusing areas of economics one of the most bewildering is public spending. Despite its centrality to public debate in Britain most people probably shrug their shoulders when they hear it being discussed. Yet its profile is likely to get higher […]