Archive for April, 2007

The Financial Times seems to have turned into the Big Issue. Its Saturday magazine was on the theme of “Can England’s middle classes save the planet?”. It started with a column by Falk Beyer, a man who survives by scavenging rubbish bins (I’m not making this up!). According to Beyer: “I am not a poor […]

An astute point buried in the letters page of today’s (London) Sunday Times: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: India Knight (Comment, last week) writes: “Our ancestors existed on red meat, and there is no evidence to show they all died of breast cancer.” But almost all of them died before the age of 30. Statistically, they would […]

Happy Danes

In: Uncategorized

29 Apr 2007

Researchers in the economics faculty of the University of Cambridge have confirmed Denmark is the happiest place in the European Union. The research, led by Dr Luisa Corrado, is based on the European Social Survey into well-being, which began in 2002. To quote the press release: “Women generally classed themselves as happier than men, while […]

The 28 April issue of the Economist includes some inconvenient facts aboutBhatan. Inconvenient, that it, for those who praise the Himalayan kingdom for having Gross National Happiness, rather than GDP, as a national goal: * The Bhutanese are obliged to wear knee-length tunics and full-lengthdresses in public. * It is run by a council of […]

I was planning to do a brief review of last night’s television programme on the human footprint. The programme reduces human life to consumption and waste. To quote the Channel 4 website: “From our babyhood – when we get through a massive 3,796 nappies and produce 254 litres of urine – through to our old […]

The latest issue of Cato Unbound is on the theme of happiness. It has useful pieces from a variety of perspectives including articles by Darrin McMahon, Barry Schwartz, Ruut Veenhoven and Will Wilkinson.

Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard, has set up a blog. Rodrik is one of the leading thinkers in what could be called the anti-globalisation or global justice movement. That is he is generally in favour of greater regulation of capitalism and supports such initiatives as fair trade. In my 24 […]

There follows my latest book review for Fund Strategy. It is on Diane Coyle’s The Soulful Science. Diane Coyle is annoyed. She argues with considerable justification that economics, the subject in which she has immersed herself for her entire adult life, is caricatured by critics. Those who attack the discipline often do so from a […]

On Monday Fund Strategy published a comment by me on the idea that America is “decoupling” from the rest of the world economy. I argued instead that America’s relative economic decline is becoming increasingly apparent. The increasingly popular idea that the world is “decoupling” from America is misleading. It is not that the integration of […]

Yesterday’s New York Times magazine makes an important point on the key role of migration in the development process. Although much of the piece is about the pain of separated families it points out that: “Migrants worldwide sent home an estimated $300 billion last year — nearly three times the world’s foreign-aid budgets combined. These […]