Category Archives: Economics

The mystery of the moral obligation

(featured image credit: Arek Socha/Pixabay) It may sound like the title of a Sherlock Holmes story, but moral obligation is rather more mysterious Imagine you are offered an interest free loan, with a moral obligation to repay it. That’s it. … Continue reading

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The cost of entitlement

(featured image: Vitaly Vlasov) On economics, law and personal conviction In 1865, a Dr Sturges purchased a property at no. 85, Wimpole Street in London’s Westminster borough. He must have been doing good business, since in 1873 he decided to … Continue reading

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Unjust deserts

(featured image: Aimee Ray CC BY) Many people see meritocracy as a worthy ideal: everyone gets what they deserve. Luck can mess this up: it is, by definition, something we don’t deserve. But is it really that simple? Imagine you … Continue reading

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The essence of time

(image: studio curve and Butch Dallsay CC BY) We are familiar with the concept of value for money, but are we as good at assessing ‘value for time’? You’re going on a short break tomorrow. You still need to pack … Continue reading

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The value of (not) knowing

We pay for goods and services, but are we also prepared to pay to know something – or indeed to not know something?   The economy is mostly concerned with the trading of goods and services – that is what … Continue reading

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How much time is money?

(featured image credit: Joel Charbonnet CC BY) Many decisions we make concern time or money. Both are scarce resources, but the relationship between them can be unexpected   My first summer job was as an attendant in a petrol station … Continue reading

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Economics in our thoughts

(featured image credit: Geralt/Pixabay) We are economic beings, and much of our own economics happens between our ears Picture your favourite artist or band, performing your favourite song, live on stage. Now, how much more would you be prepared to … Continue reading

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Two sides of Subsidy

(featured image: Jannis CC BY) There is more to subsidies than meets the eye Somewhere in Worcestershire in the British Midlands, a woman pops into the local pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription for two drugs. She pays £18 (€20, $22), … Continue reading

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An accidental (behavioural) economist on vacation (again)

(featured image credit: Ramesh Ram CC BY) The economic way of thinking is a bit like being a small child: asking ‘why’ all the time. Even on holiday… Maybe one day your correspondent will have observed nothing worth reporting on … Continue reading

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More compensation!

(featured image credit: Gerd Altmann) Would the world be a better place if we found (and made) it easier to compensate others? It’s a beautiful Saturday and you’re invited to a barbecue. The hosts have a reputation for ensuring memorable … Continue reading

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