Wednesday, 02 January 2019 16:22

The Moral Limits of Markets

From paying people to queue for you to selling permits to allow factories to pollute, Michael Sandel (Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University) is uncomfortable with the creeping marketisation of our society. Is attaching a price to something a morally neutral act that might help us to achieve our aims more efficiently or can the act of paying for something devalue and degrade the very thing we hope to obtain? Sandel certainly thinks so.

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 01 December 2018 17:01

The Deadweight Loss of Christmas

Christmas is coming (queue a chorus of voices decrying Christmas displays in shops from August and the commercialisation of the Christmas season). But as you open yet another ill-fitting knitted jumper and garish pair of socks from great aunt Gertrude, have you ever wondered about the “efficiency” of your gifts? Confused? Let me explain.

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 18:25

Aid - What is Going Wrong?

Since about 1970, more than $2 trillion of aid have been given world wide, much of it from western countries to Africa and yet the proportion of African's living in poverty has risen six fold. Something isn't working. The question is what.

Aid is a complicated topic. Are we considering long term economic aid? Is this different to emergency, disaster relief aid? Who are we doing it for? Should we be doing it at all?

Some recent reading. news headlines and discussions on aid have set me off thinking about the various issues surrounding it and it occurred to be that a mini series on aid might be a good way to kick off this blog. The intention is not so much to give answers, although I hope there will be some, but more to provoke thought through a series of posts over the next few days or weeks. Do feel free to use the comments on at the bottom to add your thoughts (you will need to create a free account before you can post).

Published in Blogs