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David Smith's

David Smith's
Austerity myths revisited Posted by David Smith at 01:00 PM Category: Thoughts and responses My piece on Friday, The Myth of Abandoned Austerity, has attracted quite a lot of interest. It had a simple aim - to demonstrate that fiscal consolidation, deficit reduction, continued throughout the parliament, alongside recovery. Simon Wren-Lewis, a professor of economics at Oxford, devoted a blog post to it, here. Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, was typically condescending, tweeting that I was "confused (& confusing)". Let me respond to Simon. But Simon answers the question himself: “I know this cannot be the case because I have never said that austerity was abandoned in 2012. That means, he suggests, that I am guilty of creating a straw man. This is not quite the same, of course, as economists that Simon might know saying austerity has been abandoned. (More...)

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Virtual Economy Home page of the Virtual Economy on Biz/ed. Virtual Economy Home Page Welcome to the Biz/ed / Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Virtual Economy. Undergraduate Reading You can find plenty of coverage of economic questions in good quality newspapers, magazines, blogs and articles online, and television and radio programmes. For example, try the Financial Times, The Economist, and Prospect, which frequently include articles on economic matters; and the blogs and commentaries of economists and economic journalists. Online The Economics Network website, Why Study Economics? has useful information for students considering a university course in economics.

Consumer price inflation - Office for National Statistics The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.5% in the year to June 2016, compared with a 0.3% rise in the year to May. The June rate is a little above the position seen for most of 2016, though it is still relatively low historically. Rises in air fares, prices for motor fuels and a variety of recreational and cultural goods and services were the main contributors to the increase in the rate. These upward pressures were partially offset by falls in the price of furniture and furnishings and accommodation services. Business Tesco’s chief hits out as profit warning hits shares The new boss of Tesco has attacked his predecessors for adopting “artificial” tactics to hit aggressive profit targets in the final few months of each financial year. Tesco’s shares plunged by 10 per cent to 168p on a warning this morning that the chain’s profit for the year to February will be no more than £1.4 billion, well short of the £1.94 billion that investors had been anticipating.

Faculty of Economics Introduction This reading list is designed to provide information about the scope and content of Part I of the Economics Tripos at Cambridge. It aims to help potential candidates who are thinking of applying to read Economics at Cambridge, and to allow schools to advise such candidates. Directors of Studies may also find it useful to send copies of this reading list to candidates holding conditional or firm offers of admission.

The Economist explains: How Nigeria’s economy grew by 89% overnight ON SATURDAY, April 5th, South Africa was Africa’s largest economy. The IMF put its GDP at $354 billion last year, well ahead of its closest rival for the crown, Nigeria. By Sunday afternoon that had changed. Nigeria’s statistician-general announced that his country’s GDP for 2013 had been revised from 42.4 trillion naira to 80.2 trillion naira ($509 billion). The estimated income of the average Nigerian went from less than $1,500 a year to $2,688 in a trice. How can an economy grow by almost 90% overnight?

Ed Miliband promises £2.5bn funding boost 'to save NHS' 23 September 2014Last updated at 12:27 ET Ed Miliband: "It's time to care about our NHS" Ed Miliband has said a future Labour government would pay for 36,000 more doctors, nurses and midwives, partly funded by a tax on tobacco firms. The Labour leader told his conference the £2.5bn funding pledge to "save and transform" the NHS by 2020 would be the centrepiece of his plan for government. 35 Mind-Blowing Facts About Inequality Photo Credit: While Hillary Clinton occasionally gives some lip service to the problem of extreme inequality, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate really hammering away at it. He has even blasted the orthodoxy of economic growth for its own sake, saying according to Monday’s Washington Post that unless economic spoils can be redistributed to make more Americans’ lives better, all the growth will go to the top 1% anyway, so who needs it? Sanders might know his history, but the rest of the candidates could use a little primer. The United States was not always the most powerful nation on Earth.

Will globalisation take away your job? Image copyright Getty Images Millions around the globe may have taken to the streets in recent years to protest against the impact of globalisation on their jobs and communities - but this backlash is only likely to grow as globalisation itself becomes more disruptive. The stark warning comes from Richard Baldwin, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research think-tank, who has been studying global trade for the past 30 years. Technological advances could now mean white-collar, office-based workers and professionals are at risk of losing their jobs, Prof Baldwin argues. In the US, voter anger with globalisation may have led to Donald Trump's election victory, but those who voted for him could be disappointed as his aim of bringing back jobs is unlikely to work, says Prof Baldwin, who also worked as an economist under President George HW Bush. Protectionist trade barriers won't work in the 21st Century, he says.

UK doctors have 'ethical duty' to prevent waste Doctors have an ethical duty to prevent waste in the NHS, argues a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Its authors point to potential cost savings of nearly £2bn. Examples include better use of medication, tests, hospital beds and operating theatres. The British Medical Association said doctors were ideally placed to identify savings, but patients must come first. Adam Brimelow reports.

The effect of tax cuts Question: What are the effects of reducing tax? Let us take the example of a cut in the basic rate of UK income tax from 20% to 18% In this case, workers will see an increase in their discretionary income. With lower income tax rates, they would keep more of their gross income, so effectively they have more money to spend. In this case, we could expect to see a rise in consumer spending because workers are better off. Growth in UK house prices weakens, Nationwide says Image copyright Getty Images Annual UK house price inflation fell to its weakest level since November 2015 in January, according to mortgage lender Nationwide. The 0.2% rise in house prices last month was down from a 0.8% rise in December, although that left prices 4.3% higher than at this time in 2016.

'Top Christmas toys' in pictures 5 November 2014Last updated at 08:12 ET Dolls, Lego and variations of new technology all feature in a list of predicted bestselling toys this Christmas. The annual Dream Toys chart, from the Toy Retailers Association, features toys ranging in price from £7.99 mini-figures to a £99.99 dinosaur. Toys that have featured on the industry group's list in previous decades have included drawing set Spirograph in 1967 and the Nintendo Game Boy games console in 1991.

Mathematics for the modern economy Industrial mathematics is of significant importance to the UK economy, cutting across many high-value industry sectors, including engineering, finance, defence, life sciences and even sports and entertainment. To maintain their position and economic benefit, such industries must strive to be advanced, inventive and creative. The same argument also applies to more conventional sectors, such as agriculture, utilities and manufacturing. In all cases, there is a clear need for problems to be defined in a sensible mathematical way and solved to yield the best economic and social outcomes using appropriate, often innovative, mathematical techniques. Industrial mathematics is currently responding to the uncertain data-rich world which industry now confronts. It is doing this by developing and applying tools that can take account of the uncertainty that can arise in many different situations and can lead to many statistical patterns.