Meeting in the middle: the clustering effect

Today sees local elections across the UK, with the highest profile battle being fought over the mayorship of London.  While there are two high-profile candidates in Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, there are a number of other candidates who represent a whole range of political views from the far right to the far left.

There is a significant third candidate in the middle, Brian Paddick.  While he is unlikely to get elected, he has a significant impact on the policies of the two front-runners.  There are many differences in policies between the Conservatives and Labour, and this difference is driven by the existence of the third option.  Continue reading “Meeting in the middle: the clustering effect”

Disincentivising high incomes

A 50% tax rate was introduced to the UK in April 2010, to apply to all earnings over £150,000.  This high tax rate was devised to raise additional income for the treasury by increasing the payments made by the highest earners, therefore increasing the Robin Hood effect of income tax.

However, it is likely that this higher tax rate is unlikely to increase tax receipts to the degree that the government would like.  Continue reading “Disincentivising high incomes”

Is free too cheap?

At the beginning of February, Google lost a court case in France where a competitor – Bottin Cartographies – has accused them of anti-competitive pricing.  The story has been reported by Forbes and CNET with some confusion over what exactly has been discussed.

The basis of the case appears to be that Bottin Cartographies has alleged that Google is giving away its maps service for free, which is a move designed to ensure that nobody else can compete and are driven out of the market.  Once Google has no competition, it will be able to raise its price and abuse its market power.  Continue reading “Is free too cheap?”

The continuing relevance of the Phillips curve

The Phillips curve is an indication of the relationship between unemployment and inflation. The curve is named after AWH Phillips, who discovered the existence of this relationship when looking at UK data between the years 1861 and 1957. The curve shows that as unemployment rises, the rate of inflation can be observed to be lower, and vice versa. The relationship was similar for other developed countries.  Continue reading “The continuing relevance of the Phillips curve”

New site live

After transferring content across, the old site has been switched to the new – sorry to anyone looking for purple and orange colour schemes!

You will notice a new focus for economic-truth, with blog posts accompanying the academic content that the site carried before.  These posts will look at various issues with an economic focus; please let us know if there’s anything you want to be covered.

Piracy and the lack of a stick

The issue of piracy on the Internet has particularly high visibility, with Wikipedia, Reddit and WordPress blacking out their sites in response to the US government’s plans for legislation to ban links to pirated material.  The key issue is that the government’s plans aren’t attacking the pirates directly, but are instead attacking anyone who runs a site which may carry or link to copyright material.  A similar issue exists in the UK, with the last government’s pressing through of the Digital Economy Act 2010; under a strict interpretation of the act, ISPs could be forced to block access to Google if it were shown to link to pirated material.  Continue reading “Piracy and the lack of a stick”

CIMA law notes

During the move to the new site, it is intended that the notes for CIMA Business Law will be input directly to the site rather than being held on a PDF.  A benefit of this will be that this will enable discussion around the contents of the page, and if anything needs clarification it can be easily reworded.

Why isn’t this happening to the rest of the notes?  Common attributes of economists are their love of drawing graphs and their use of equations, which don’t easily translate to website content.  Never say never, though.