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Misconceiving austerity

LONDON – Was the British government’s decision to embrace austerity in the wake of the global financial crisis the right policy, after all? Yes, claims the economist Kenneth Rogoff in…

Under-reported underemployment

It was John Maynard Keynes who first argued that economies can get stuck operating below full employment, in an “underemployment equilibrium.” While the idea was revived in support of fiscal…

Why does our service economy offer such bad service?

By Robert Skidelsky and Nan Craig New Statesman Britain is a service economy with a lot of lousy services. The paradox is easily explainable. Service and cost-cutting are contradictions in…

Real Wages and Unemployment

This week, the British Labour Party has launched a new attack on the government on falling living standards. Real wages have been falling consistently since the coalition took power; OBR…

Economic Rebalancing Acts

We all know how the global economic crisis began. The banks over-lent to the housing market. The subsequent burst of the housing bubble in the United States caused banks to…

Austere Illusions

The doctrine of imposing present pain for future benefit has a long history – stretching all the way back to Adam Smith and his praise of “parsimony.” It is particularly…

Meeting our makers

In the early 1950s, Britain was an industrial giant. Today it is an industrial pygmy. Manufacturing was industry’s bedrock. In 1952 it produced a third of national output, employed 40%…

Models Behaving Badly

“Why did no one see the crisis coming?” Queen Elizabeth II asked economists during a visit to the London School of Economics at the end of 2008. Four years later,…

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