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A behavioural economic case for Brexit

Chris Dillow / December 6, 2018 at 1:35 PM 77 views

Is there an economic case for Brexit after all? Superficially, it seems not. Almost all serious economists agree that less close trading arrangements with the EU and tougher immigration controls will make us poorer than we would otherwise be even…

"Chaos" with Ed Miliband

Chris Dillow / December 5, 2018 at 2:02 PM 88 views

David Cameron’s infamous 2015 tweet that we face a choice between stability and strong government under him or chaos with Ed Miliband has long become a joke – a cliché, admittedly, but a good one. In a sense, this is…

Blind to luck

Chris Dillow / December 4, 2018 at 4:23 PM 78 views

In a good article on how graduating in a recession does long-lasting damage to one’s career, Tim Harford says “it’s easy to overlook luck.” It is indeed. Evidence for this has been uncovered in experiments by Nattavudh Powdthavee and Yohanes…

Changing the agenda

Chris Dillow / December 2, 2018 at 12:46 PM 96 views

It’s hard to believe now, but only three years ago the country was not divided between Brexiters and Remainers. In fact, the very idea of such a split would have seemed as absurd as Swift’s division between big-enders and little-enders.…

Against debate

Chris Dillow / November 29, 2018 at 1:45 PM 124 views

Everybody, it seems, wants a debate. Theresa May wants to debate her Brexit deal with Corbyn; Grace Blakeley invites her critics to “come debate me”; and Sarah O’Connor wants a “nuanced debate now about what we value in the economy”.…

Strategic vs parametric thinking

Chris Dillow / November 27, 2018 at 4:04 PM 111 views

Brad De Long makes an important point when he says that rational thinking depends upon context, and we must always ask: “are we playing some kind of game against nature, or are we playing against another mind?” If it’s the…

Blinded by ideology?

Chris Dillow / November 22, 2018 at 2:28 PM 131 views

Andrew Neil tweeted yesterday that low gilt yields were a sign that “at least the credit markets still have confidence in the country” to which I replied that they were, to the contrary, a sign that markets expect low economic…

Against foxes

Chris Dillow / November 20, 2018 at 1:42 PM 126 views

Nick Cohen makes a good point: Political correspondents, who couldn’t find a big picture in a multiplex, buzz around Westminster hyperventilating about the number of letters sent to the 1922 Committee, and the replacement of minister X with junior minister…

Why the left needs "bottom"

Chris Dillow / November 16, 2018 at 1:59 PM 156 views

Conservative men of a certain age used to speak approvingly of some men (it was always men) as having “bottom”. By this they meant a combination of a moral code and loyalties that gave them a solid reliability. I was…

Why the left needs "bottom"

Chris Dillow / November 16, 2018 at 1:59 PM 159 views

Conservative men of a certain age used to speak approvingly of some men (it was always men) as having “bottom”. By this they meant a combination of a moral code and loyalties that gave them a solid reliability. I was…

Angry Brexiters

Chris Dillow / November 15, 2018 at 1:48 PM 236 views

Brian Cox asks a good question: The thing I don’t understand about these Conservative MPs is that they are such angry people. They haven’t done badly out of Britain - they aren’t on the receiving end of their own policies.…

Beer, & economic determinism

Chris Dillow / November 13, 2018 at 2:11 PM 171 views

Devarshi Lodhia has a nice piece on the decline of the pub. I wonder, though: to what extent are the social and cultural changes that have contributed to their decline a product of raw economics. My chart shows what I…

Not wearing a poppy

Chris Dillow / November 7, 2018 at 1:47 PM 106 views

I agree with Harry Leslie Smith. I too am increasingly disinclined to wear a poppy. The thing is that the nature of national remembrance has changed. For the first 60+ years after it began it was personal for pretty much…

The triumph of the liberal technocrats

Chris Dillow / November 4, 2018 at 2:24 PM 132 views

Brexiters have something in common with anti-pornography campaigners. That’s the idea that struck me whilst reading Alwyn Turner’s account of the failure to establish public harms that result from porn. What we have in both cases are failed attempts to…

Doubts about wage-led growth

Chris Dillow / September 8, 2018 at 12:28 PM 262 views

“Higher wages prompt improvements in productivity”. This is one of the central claims in the IPPR’s report this week. But I wonder: how true is it? Certainly, it can be for individual firms. An employer who pays better than the…

Prosperity and Justice: a review

Chris Dillow / September 5, 2018 at 1:06 PM 265 views

I confess I approached the IPPR’s report, Prosperity and Justice, with low expectations. I feared it would be yet more bland technocratic centrism. I was wholly wrong. It gets to the heart of our economic problem – that inequalities of…

Over- and Under-reactions in politics

Chris Dillow / August 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM 216 views

You will all have had experience of somebody flying off the handle on the slightest provocation – brushing against them in a crowded pub, or pulling out in front of them in traffic. I suspect this everyday behaviour helps us…

Ownership in question

Chris Dillow / August 7, 2018 at 12:39 PM 320 views

What is the right form of ownership of a company? This is the question raised by Stan Kroenke’s proposal to buy all the remaining shares in Arsenal – a move described by the Arsenal Supporters Trust as “dreadful”. Viewed through…

Diversity: a rightist ideal

Chris Dillow / August 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM 218 views

The left does not have a monopoly of wisdom - or, if we judge by the row about anti-semitism, any wisdom at all. There is one great truth which, historically, rightists have known better than many leftists. It is that…

Not debating immigration

Chris Dillow / July 26, 2018 at 12:37 PM 234 views

Some new neighbours recently moved in next door to me. They seem nice, but the point is that I had no say whatsoever in the matter. And yet almost everybody believes that, together with my fellow Brits, I have a…