Crime prevention: where’s the evidence?

©Harry Haysom

It may seem mind-bendingly obvious but we need to test and evaluate ideas

Underperforming on performance

State education in Britain consists not of families choosing the best schools but of good schools choosing the best families

All aboard the volatility express

Should we treat low volatility as a portent of disaster, or as a sign that the world economy is finally on the right track?

Illustration by Harry Haysom of two doctors arguing over a patient lying on a hospital bed
©Harry Haysom

Let’s play economics-by-metaphor

The patient was seriously ill. Dr Balls advised antibiotics but Dr Osborne argued it was a virus

Illustration by Harry Haysom of two men betting on a gambling table
©Harry Haysom

A good economic bet

Pundits who make wagers may look grubby but at least they are accepting a cost for failure

Illustration Harry Haysom of the UK flag superimposed by the dividend of staying in the union
©Harry Haysom

There’s more to life than money

Too often the debate over public policy becomes a toy argument, dressed up as the grown-up version

Illustration by Harry Haysom of happynomics
©Harry Haysom

The four lessons of happynomics

‘Happiness is surely important, but the case for letting economists loose on the subject is less clear’

Illustration by Harry Haysom of an economist thinking of a forecast
©Harry Haysom

An astonishing record – of complete failure

‘In 2008, the consensus from forecasters was that not a single economy would fall into recession in 2009’

The man who put a price on everything

The Nobel Prize winner believed that no matter what the subject, economics always had something insightful to add

Illustration by Ed Nacional of London house prices
©Ed Nacional

When a man is tired of London house prices

‘Since Londoners cannot seem to stop asking, “Is there a bubble?”, I’ve been trying to figure out the answer’

Healthcare – the final reckoning

‘Somebody, somewhere has to be able to say, ‘That’s great – but it just costs too much’’

The random risks of randomised trials

‘There are perils to treating patients not as human beings but as means to some glorious end’

Have living standards really stopped rising?

‘People drift in and out of all income groups as a result of luck or the life-cycle of a career’

Economists aren’t all bad

‘Some research on students suggests economics either attracts or creates sociopaths’

Why long-term unemployment matters

‘Research shows that employers ignore people who have been out of work for more than six months’

How investors get it wrong

‘We trade too often because we’re too confident in our ability to spot the latest bargain’

Four steps to fixing inequality

‘As the example of Finland makes clear, it is possible to change income distribution dramatically’

Economic quackery and political humbug

George Osborne views economic logic as an inconvenient distraction, writes Tim Harford

The business of borders

‘The economic dividing line in the UK does not run along the Scottish border, it circles London’

Let’s have some real-time economics

‘It would have done the Fed no harm to have had more people with a habit of making snap decisions’

ABOUT TIM

Tim HarfordTim Harford is economics leader writer for the Financial Times and writes the “Undercover Economist” columns on Saturdays. He first joined the FT as Peter Martin Fellow in 2003 and after a spell at the World Bank in Washington DC he rejoined the FT’s leader writing team in 2006.

Tim’s book, The Undercover Economist, is a Business Week bestseller and a Sunday Times bestseller, and was number one on Amazon.co.uk. It has been translated into sixteen languages. He is now working on a sequel.

Tim is also the presenter of the BBC2 series, Trust Me, I’m an Economist.

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