Monthly Archives: August 2012

Economics in denial, worrying about grade deflation and some extraordinary excuses: Top 5 blogs you might have missed this week

Howard Davies at Social Europe discusses how the disciplines of economics and finance may become more useful in explaining the world.

The Economist charts the fall of net migration under the coalition and wonders if this marks a sudden and big change for Britain.

Chris Cook at the FT data blog looks at GCSE grade deflation and why this matters so much to schools.

Richard […]

A tax on sugary drinks would not be a panacea but it would be a sensible step in the right direction for public health

Oliver Mytton and Mike Rayner suggests that a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks is necessary to encourage better consumption habits and tackle obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It is argued that such economic disincentives could be the most effective mechanism for improving public well-being. Nobody denies obesity is a significant problem. The individual cost from premature loss of life and disability is […]

What the Olympics didn’t say about Britain’s place in the world

Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony left the British media swooning, with much of the international media likewise impressed, if slightly befuddled. However, Eric Taylor Woods argues that the event organisers missed a chance to show the positive and negative aspects of Britain’s central role in world history. Since the conclusion of the 2012 London Olympics, much has been written about what this […]

There are large gaps in the knowledge about the costs and benefits of higher education amongst students

Applications for university places have fallen largely due to a trebling of university fees and students’ lack of knowledge of how fees will be paid. Sandra McNally, Martin McGuigan and Gill Wyness show that supplying year 10 students with accessible information can reverse the fears of those who believe that university is simply too expensive. Applications for university places are down […]

British wage inequality: what occupation you have has never mattered so much

Mark Williams looks at how occupations relate to the massive rise in British wage inequality between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s, finding that growing inequality is largely between groups and is driven by a small handful of occupations.   That Britain has become hugely unequal over the last few decades is a well-known fact. How inequality has grown is less well known. […]

Civil servants advising opposition parties: can we afford not to do this?

James Lloyd explains why it should be a no-brainer for civil servants to advise political parties in opposition if it helps to avoid potential policy disasters and the future waste of public money.  A recent story in The Times reported that senior civil servants want closer links with Labour before the next general election, including helping with the party’s manifesto. Although different […]

The new higher education fees regime could be damaging for the UK economy

Paul Whiteley discusses his research into the relationship between enrolments in higher education and economic growth. He finds a significant positive correlation, meaning that the cuts in higher education funding could have negative implications for future economic growth.  After the 2010 general election the newly elected coalition government in Britain introduced a radical new policy for the funding of higher education. The policy was […]

The United States needs to do more to reduce emissions and be a true leader in international climate policy

Bob Ward looks at the prospects for international progress on climate policy. Despite President Obama being far better than his predecessor, the US is still one of the countries failing to reduce emissions fast enough.  There has been much confusion ahead of the next round of international negotiations on climate change, which start at the end of this month, over whether the […]