USA vs China continued… The Influence of Networks (and the Olympics!)

The last three Olympics have seen a titanic battle between the US and China to head the medals table. If you combine the total of the last three Games, China stands just ahead, with 121 golds to the United States’s 116. But, the US topped the table in both 2004 and 2012, while China edges […]

Who will rule the 21st Century?

This is a nice big question to ponder on the holiday beach or in the rented villa. A vast amount has already been written on the rise of China and whether the US will be replaced as the global superpower. And where exactly does Europe fit into all this? It is easy to make a […]

Political map of London is like America: strong geographic segregation

Thomas Schelling is a brilliant American polymath, who deservedly won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2005.  One of his most remarkable insights is about segregation in cities, which he published as long ago as 1971. The residential pattern of American cities tends to be pretty sharply divided on ethnic grounds.  The population of many […]

Minsky Mania: a Raincheck

The American economist Hyman Minsky is currently very fashionable, especially amongst those who are sympathetic to the idea of more government intervention in the economy. Minsky argued that financial crises were an inevitable feature of capitalism, unless governments stepped in through regulation and central bank action. He hypothesised that in prosperous times, when the corporate […]

Expansionary fiscal contraction

To many people, this phrase is an oxymoron. How can fiscal contraction be expansionary? But the evidence suggests that this is exactly what has been happening in the United States. In terms of national output, GDP, the trough of the trough of the recession was reached in the second quarter of 2009 (2009Q2). We have […]