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A new world is possible.
Let's not go back to what wasn't working anyway.
Tim Harford writes the Undercover Economist column, and was previously an economics leader writer for the FT. He first joined the newspaper as Peter Martin Fellow in 2003.
Tim is the author of nine books, including the million-selling The Undercover Economist and most recently How To Make The World Add Up. He is also a regular presenter for BBC radio.
He was made an OBE in the 2019 new year honours list “for services to improving economic understanding”.
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The country’s supply issues have been exacerbated by Brexit, but that’s not the whole story
David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens discerned crisp causal relationships from fuzzy data
‘What is the point if all the costs and benefits being analysed are flights of fantasy?’
Many algorithms have been trained on data from a racist, sexist world, and it shows
Or why going back to 2019 is not progress
Not every unvaccinated person believes Covid-19 jabs are a genocidal conspiracy
Fraudulent research wastes the time of scientists who try to build on it and the money of agencies who support it
It is hard for a well-informed person to appreciate the depth of someone else’s ignorance
In academic economics, the more senior title the job grade, the more male‑dominated it is
Will all these certificates join passports and income tax as emergency measures that lasted?
‘The pressure to be productive is everywhere, even in time off’
From clinical trials to Dungeons & Dragons: the ideas that emerged later than you think
This romp through mathematical ideas doesn’t shy away from equations or challenging ideas but is always a model of clarity
‘A city block with tarmac and concrete can be several degrees hotter than one with shady trees’
Fact check for the Covid confused
Could fractional doses be the solution to inadequate supplies?
The hounding of Chris Whitty reminds us why society must protect its truth-tellers
The virtues of applying minimalism to difficult problems
Turns out there’s a good reason snake oil still sells
How one of our most powerful tools became one of the most misused
‘We’re warned to be careful of the small print, but on a mobile phone, all the print is small print’
‘The Vulcan is a dramatic portrayal of the mistakes economists make in assuming everyone is rational’
‘While dissent leads to better decisions, it also leads to discomfort. Disagreement is valuable but agreement feels so much more comfortable’
‘While the library and pool were in full plague mode, I also visited a bustling restaurant that was so normal as to be disorienting’
‘We approve of boundless IP for nice people and none at all for scoundrels. That is not much of a policy’