The truth about inequality

‘One myth is that inequality in the UK has risen since the financial crisis. In fact it has fallen quite sharply’

The economists’ manifesto

If Britain’s top economists were in charge, what policies would they implement? Tim Harford sets the challenge

Cigarettes, damn cigarettes and statistics

We cannot rely on correlation alone. But insisting on absolute proof of causation is too exacting a standard

Online ads: log in, tune out, turn off

How annoying does an ad have to be before a website should refuse to run it?

Highs and lows of the minimum wage

‘The lesson of all this is that the economy is complicated and textbook economic logic alone will get us only so far’

The pricing paradox: when diamonds aren’t on tap

‘Diamonds are costly because we desire them. But what if that isn’t true? What if they are desirable because they are costly?’

Man v machine (again)

‘The Luddite anxiety has been dormant for many years but has recently enjoyed a resurgence’

Boom or bust for bitcoin?

Bitcoin appeals to libertarians on the basis that governments cannot arbitrarily make more of it

Battle for the web’s ‘last mile’

The fact that a few large players have such influence over vital services should make us all queasy

Overconfidence man

We don’t have a good sense of our own fallibility. Checking my answers, it was the one I felt the most certain of that I got wrong

Is it possible to just click with someone?

‘Whether the computer reckons you’re a love match or not isn’t something that anyone should take seriously’

Why the high street is overdosing on caffeine

‘If Starbucks opens a café just round the corner from another Starbucks, is that really about selling more coffee?’

Making a lottery out of the law

‘The cure for “bad statistics” isn’t “no statistics” — it’s using statistical tools properly’

The great data debate

‘The idea that we can somehow measure “the thing that matters most” is quite absurd’

The power of saying no

‘Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time’

How much is a (micro)life worth?

‘Travelling 28 miles on a motorbike is four micromorts; cycling the same distance is just over one micromort’

Why more and more means less

Status quo bias means that most of your stuff stays because you can’t think of a good reason to get rid of it

You really, really, shouldn’t have . . . 

There is a vast discrepancy between how we see the world when giving gifts and when receiving them

Women (still) don’t win prizes

‘Something about the culture of UK schools is nudging young women away from economics’

The Christmas card network

‘It is not clear new technologies are expanding our number of genuine friends’

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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