Central banks have fooled themselves into thinking they have power over inflation

The failures of central banks around the world to anticipate and control the current upsurge in inflation are now apparent to all. What has been going on with the highly technical models which economists in these institutions build to try and explain inflation? If we look under the bonnet, we find a debate which is […]

As Johnson squirms, his party must remember the roots of Conservatives values

Boris Johnson’s government now has a penchant for embracing policies which, to many, have a distinctively non-conservative feel. High taxes, a big state. What’s next? An old idea which is currently being given new legs is that of a universal basic income (UBI). The basic concept is that all citizens of a country receive from […]

Businesses face a fresh tipping point of staff shortages and wage hikes

For years, inflation has not been an issue. Since the late 1990s, annual inflation in the UK has averaged 2 per cent, with a peak of just over 4 per cent. In the US, there was a similar story, with even less variability. This is in stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s, when the […]

Unemployment has stabilised but there will be economic pain ahead

There are high levels of business optimism. Survey after survey has told us this, from reports from Deloitte on large companies to evidence from the Federation of Small Businesses. Consumer savings are at an all-time high. People are itching to get out and spend the money they have been forced to accumulate. All in all, […]

A tip for Dominic Cummings: Don’t hire anyone who fails to grasp the power of incentives

Trending Topcs

The job advert issued by Dominic Cummings for people to work in government has attracted a wide range of comments. One particular focus has been on the sorts of skills he is looking for. Computer science, forecasting, artificial intelligence, causality theory — all these topics excite his interest. Cummings advocates a small selection of scientific […]

Full employment in Britain has lowered productivity instead of increasing wages

Laziness

The UK jobs market is booming, as the latest ONS figures show. Unemployment is at its lowest for over 40 years. A record 32.1 million people are in employment, a rise of over 3 million since the financial crisis. Apart from in a few scattered pockets, Britain is at full employment. Usually in such circumstances, […]

Beware the dysfunctional consequences of imposing misguided incentive systems

Lehman Brothers Headquarters

Following the disclosure of salaries at the BBC, it has hardly seemed possible to open a newspaper or switch on the television without being bombarded by stories about pay. By pure coincidence, an academic paper entitled “Pay for Performance and Beyond” has just appeared. So what, you might ask? Except that it is one of […]