The underlying economics behind contests: The Conservatives leadership battle, Miss India, Eurovision, Brexit and Inequality

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From hit shows like Strictly Come Dancing to Miss India, the Conservative party leadership battle and the recent Eurovision extravaganza – contests teach us a lot about human behaviour, taste and the way markets operate. Tacky, fun or lifestyle enriching contests inform us about the interaction of the consumer (judge/voter) and the supplier/firm (contestant) lookingRead more

Does ASDA’s blocked merger with Sainsbury’s make sense?

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has put the brakes on ASDA and Sainsbury’s becoming the dominant force in supermarket retail. Dr Jon Seaton examines whether the argument against the deal is justified? A lot has been happening in retail recently, writes Dr Seaton, but consumers were understandably shocked by the decision of UK regulators inRead more

A warning to the Bank of England’s Mark Carney

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Economist Dr Jon Seaton has a warning for the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney… Dear Mr Carney – have you forgotten the Phillips curve? Recent employment rates now match the low levels of the early 1970s, so with very low interest rates, rising wage inflation and low productivity is it any wonderRead more

Brexit thoughts from Turkey

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Last week took me to Istanbul, working on a Newton Mobility Grant project with two of our former PhD students, Umut and Burcu Senalp. During the time that I was away, the Brexit crisis in Parliament really got going, which triggered a number of thoughts. First of all, the role of Turkey in the BrexitRead more

Brexit has already hurt EU and non-EU exports

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This Blog post, written by Dr Huw Edwards, was originally published in The Conversation “Over the past few months, we have been investigating how the vote of June 23 2016 has since affected the values and patterns of Britain’s trade with major trading partners inside and outside the European Union. By comparing trade flows withRead more

Happy healthy Halloween!

Ever-desperate retailers are getting in on the seasonal bandwagon by promoting Halloween festivities, which could mean spending your hard-earned money on potentially unhealthy and expensive cakes, snacks and sweets. Venture tentatively into the local supermarket on a dark autumnal night and you could be faced by your ultimate fear – scarily unhealthy food at exorbitantRead more

Beware Doctor Who! Brexit likely to make time travel more expensive

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Warning: Our resident ‘time travel’ expert, Dr Jon Seaton, provides here a slightly tongue-in-cheek evaluation of the effect of Brexit on the cost of time travel. For many students starting University – the prospect of sitting down to a tried and trusted TV favourite may just be the right thing to relax to –  afterRead more

Economic insights into the upcoming Royal Wedding

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This Blog post, written by Dr Jon Seaton, can be read in full on The Conversation’s blog site. “The cost Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials on May 19 2018 has been estimated at £32m by one wedding planning company. The cost to the public, however, will be far less than his brother William’s marriage to CatherineRead more

Can we alleviate fuel poverty through non-traditional energy services?

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Can non-traditional energy services and transactions provide a fair and flexible route towards alleviating fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions? Distinguished speakers, spanning several sectors of the energy system, joined the EnTraNTS and FlexiNET Team to deliver a conference addressing that very question. Contributions in the relevant literature and divisions of the industry, as highlightedRead more

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