Articles

Currency unknowns weigh on an independent Scotland

Whatever Mr Salmond may say, there has to be a plan B.

Philistines may carp but scientists should reach for the sky

Anthropology helps us understand the world, in ways that are helpful whether we are talking about the internal contradictions of communism or the pathologies of financial crises.

How big data lets us see a little further into the unknown

Big data can help us understand the past and the present but it can help us understand the future only to the extent that the future is, in some relevant way, contained in the present.

Do not criminalise traders just for being in the know

Obtaining better information about companies is essential to the efficiency of markets and society: obtaining it fractionally earlier is of no public value at all.

The world’s rich stay rich while the poor struggle to prosper

The dispersion of productivity among already rich countries has increased. Norway and Switzerland have surged ahead but laggards such as Italy – and indeed Britain – have struggled to keep up with the pack.

For truth on immigration, look to the Bard not politicians

Politicians, like gang bosses and football fans, routinely attempt to establish or reinforce their leadership by inciting hostility to other groups.

Economists: there is no such thing as the ‘economic approach’

Economics is not a method but a subject – one defined by the problems it sets out to tackle not the techniques it uses.

Coastal dwellers should take their own chances

When the sea defies mankind’s efforts to keep it in place, the shore people want these costs, too, to fall on the public at large.

They may not find a Jobs – but Pisa tests lean in the right direction

To say comparisons of academic performance are always imperfect and open to revision is not to say they cannot be made at all.

Is it better to play it safe or to place bets that risk bankruptcy?

Although transactions with low probability of large loss and high probability of small gain carry the potential for disaster, they can appear attractive for a very long time – perhaps for ever.