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Beauty and the bidder

Should scarce assets be allocated by auction to the highest bidder or by a beauty contest of suitable applicants? From FIFA's decision on where to hold the World Cup to the ways in which European governments assign mobile phone licences, the choice of process is the economic issue of the moment.

Broken but better: Monopoly companies should not resist being dismantled by...

As Microsoft faces being broken up, Bill Gates should take heart from the lesson of history: the biggest beneficiaries of anti-trust break-ups have often been the companies being "punished".

Cloud cuckoo land’s costly logic

The mobile phone spectrum auctions are part of a long tradition of governments deriving revenue from allocating scarce resources. In this case, no juster tax has ever been imposed.

Regulation by Rules or Regulation by Values

There are three ways of regulating behaviour - and of the three, regulation by values is much under-rated.

A heavyweight metal

Steel production receives a disproportionate amount of attention from politicians and the media. This obsession is deep rooted and illogical.

Mastering Strategy: Regulated Industries

Regulated businesses face almost all of the strategy issues which confront conventional firms, and some additional ones that are specific to their own environment. As deregulation spreads across Europe, the gap between those firms which handle these specific issues effectively and those which respond to regulation and regulatory changes with hostility, complacency or defeatism will widen rapidly.

Hairy issue helps solve rules dilemma

Regulation by rules is all very well; regulation by values is indispensable.

Everyday tale of truth and falsehood

The reason competitive markets work is because, over time, we have stumbled on processes which force people to reveal what they really want and how much they want it.

Review: New Labour (New Statesman)

The proposition which New Labour offered the voters in 1997 was essentially a simple one. Labour was very like the Conservative party while...

Crisis, what crisis?

The crisis in the European social model should be clearly visible from Copenhagen. It proves hard to establish what is really supposed to be going wrong.