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20 January 2015

The Power of Shared Myths

By John Hawksworth Are shared myths the primary driver of human progress since the Stone Age? That is the central thesis of ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, an engrossing and provocative new book by Yuval Noah Harari, professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The book details... Read more

16 January 2015

What can behavioural economics tell us about the payday loan market?

By Charlotte Hacker How should payday loans be regulated? And how should financial regulators approach other similar innovations in consumer financial products? In the penultimate lecture of this year’s Beesley series, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Martin Wheatley, addressed these issues. He argued that the specific combination... Read more

08 January 2015

Investment is the key to unlock European growth

By Andrew Sentance The British economist John Maynard Keynes has had a great influence on our thinking about economic policy since the Second World War. But his ideas are often misrepresented and misused. In popular economic debate, Keynesian economics is associated with the view that more government spending is the... Read more

19 December 2014

Who will benefit from the oil price surprise?

By Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser, PwC The big economic development this year was one which no economic forecaster had predicted – a dramatic drop in the crude oil price. Brent crude is now around $60/barrel, a drop of $50/barrel from the average price in 2011-13. The most significant impact... Read more

09 December 2014

Has trade growth become disconnected from GDP growth?

By Dr Rebecca Harding* Recent world trade data has shown a pick-up after a very flat period from last autumn until this summer. In the third quarter of this year, the CPB World Trade Monitor shows trade volumes rising at 2% above the previous quarter. So does this mean that... Read more

05 December 2014

Can Africa’s economic rise be sustained?

By John Hawksworth During the second half of the 20th century, sub-Saharan Africa[1] was generally an underperformer in the global growth race. Over the past decade, by contrast, it has been one of the fastest growing parts of the world economy, as shown by the blue bars in Figure 1... Read more

17 November 2014

Regulatory independence: is it under threat and does it matter?

By Grant Saggers and Joel Strange Is regulatory independence under threat? If it is, why? And does it even matter? These three questions were considered in the recent sixth Beesley Lecture by Tim Tutton, former Director of Regulation at National Grid, and Richard Price, Chief Executive of the Office of... Read more

12 November 2014

The Great British consumer to the rescue … but for how long?

By Barret Kupelian and John Hawksworth The Great British consumer has been fundamental in driving the UK economy out of recession and into the fast lane of economic growth. But what has really driven this revival and how sustainable is it? Analysis in our latest UK Economic Outlook shows that... Read more

10 November 2014

Separating myth from reality in the UK regions

By Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser, PwC The major political parties have the regional rebalancing of the UK economy high on their agenda - and rightly so. However, improving the prospects of cities and regions outside London and the South East must be based on a realistic view of our... Read more

07 November 2014

What are the prospects for a competitive water market?

By Richard Laikin and Preithy Kumar* Water is one of the few industries where meaningful competition has yet to be introduced. However, several developments this past year have made the opening up of this market more likely. This includes the passing of the Water Act which sets out the legal... Read more

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