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Hard work and talent combine for sporting and business success

The rout of the Brazilians by the Germans at this year’s football World Cup and British success in cycling seems to reinforce the thesis that hard work trumps talent. Yet it is not just modesty that leads me to suspect that even after 10,000 hours I would not be ready to perform at Wembley Stadium.

Authors should back Amazon in the battle with Hachette

Established companies in all industries are inhibited in their response to radical change by vested interests inherent in their existing business models. Now, in publishing, it’s time for the author to be placed where he or she should be – in charge.

How to fix Scotland’s independence depositor dilemma

If Scotland introduces its own currency the first minister should declare that all contracts made in sterling – or dollars – will continue to be payable in that currency.

How the health and safety culture can curb moral hazard

What does the death rate from violent accident in England over seven centuries tell us about moral hazard in the financial system?

Drizzle alone will not provide a path to prosperity

The correlation between a temperate climate and economic prosperity is clear and striking. What are the causes?

Angry economics students are naive – and mostly right

Economics students are – yet again – expressing dissatisfaction with the content of their curriculum. They are right

The startling human progress that economists fail to see

The most important source of economic advance comes not from doing the same things better, but from achieving the same objective in a completely different way.

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.

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.

Why London homes remain affordable – it is the buyers who change

The monetary rewards attached to different occupations and social positions change from one period of history to another. The houses remain, the backgrounds of their occupants change.