Month: January 2011

Housing demand – a role for status concerns?

Housing is a complex commodity. Economists think about the demand for housing as having both a consumption and an investment component. Trying to integrate the two components is a challenge. But is this approach sufficient? Economists differ in their views on the success of conventional approaches to understanding […]

Magical markets and medical muppets

You don’t come across that slightly touching, naive market fundamentalism quite as often now as you did a few years ago. The financial crisis and its aftermath has increased the circumspection of some market advocates, at least for the moment. One place you do sometimes come across the […]

What a carve up! redux

When I read Jonathan Coe’s What a carve up! back in the 1990s it was as a satire on the deep unpleasantness of the Thatcher government. The rapaciousness of some of the characters was slightly cartoonish but none the less disturbing. Yet, the more I think about it […]

Is a two-tier service a good thing?

I must have been looking the other way. An article in today’s Observer (which appears online under a different title here) mentions that back in December the Government withdrew the so-called Two-tier code for public service employment (as notified here).  The code is designed to stop the emergence […]

Mr Ed’s fishing expedition

Ed Miliband’s speech to the Fabian Society conference today was intriguing. That isn’t to say that I agreed with it all. But it was a fascinating step in the political game and a piece of political rhetoric worth examining. Mr Ed has come in for a bit of […]