How do you make the Olympics pay? Fudge the figures

Illustration by Harry Haysom of an Olympic torch
©Harry Haysom

‘Hosting the games is not unlike building a church for one single, glorious wedding celebration’

Illustration by Harry Haysom
©Harry Haysom

How to fuel a rewarding culture

‘Money matters, but sometimes we find financial incentives to be insulting or grubby’

Illustration by Harry Haysom
©Harry Haysom

The dubious power of power poses

‘Many notable results in psychology are now being questioned because later research has reached different conclusions’

Illustration by Mitch Blunt
©Mitch Blunt

Worth the wait?

‘If you miss your plane or your train, it hardly matters that the queue was a nice place to chill’

Illustration by Harry Haysom of a girl recalling good memories
©Harry Haysom

How the sense of an ending shapes memory

‘Composers, novelists and film directors try to end on a high. Restaurants keen to manipulate their online reviews have found a similar trick’

Illustration by Harry Haysom of tetris
©Harry Haysom

The refugee crisis — match us if you can

‘However many refugees we decide to resettle, there’s no excuse for doing the process wastefully’

Illustration of barcodes

A billion prices can’t be wrong

‘A “big data” approach to inflation is helping us understand the fundamental question of why recessions happen’

©Harry Haysom

The odds are you won’t know when to quit

‘The truth is that there are no foolproof methods for knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em’

Illustration by Harry Haysom
©Harry Haysom

Could an income for all provide the ultimate safety net?

‘Though the idea of a basic income is far from mainstream, it has had astonishingly broad support’

©Harry Haysom

Tata Steel, Port Talbot and how to manage industrial decline

‘The wounds of a large industrial closure run deep. The entire economic ecosystem of an area can collapse’

Why one size doesn’t fit all

‘The most notorious example of this “compromise effect” is our tendency to plump for the second-cheapest bottle on the wine list’

Delusions of objectivity

‘“Naive realism” is the seductive sense that we’re seeing the world as it truly is, without bias or error’

Trump, trade and ‘the China shock’

‘Freer trade has inflicted a more grievous toll than economists, myself included, had expected’

Capital ideas in a time of inequality

‘The wealthy do not simply wallow in bank vaults like Scrooge McDuck. They spend their money’

These are the sins we should be taxing

‘The UK already relies more than most rich countries on fuel, alcohol and tobacco duties’

The lost leisure time of our lives

‘Keynes was right to predict that we would be working less but overestimated for how long that trend would continue’

How to make good guesses

‘Would you say that someone reading the FT is more likely to have a PhD or to have no college degree at all?’

The consequences of cheap oil

‘When oil prices are high, people may get out of their cars and walk, cycle or get public transport’

Online dating? Swipe left

‘It is crazy to believe someone’s eye colour, height, hobbies and musical tastes are a basis for a lasting relationship’

How to keep your gym habit

‘Might a commitment strategy allow you to pay yourself to go to the gym?’

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.

E-mail Tim Harford

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