Andrew Harris

Is it rational to vote?

6 December 2019|

Next week, millions of UK voters will head back to the polls and cast their ballots in a general election. To those interested in politics, elections provide weeks of head-to-head debates, battle buses and the opportunity to dissect party manifestos. To others ― such as Brenda from Bristol ― the response is far less enthusiastic. While a third general election in a little over four years may seem a tad excessive, and cause many to sympathise with Brenda, turnout is

Tobias Sturmhoefel

‘Tis the season

29 November 2019|

Readers like myself who have a healthy dose of cynicism about the holiday season will be relieved that today’s blog doesn’t revolve around Christmas (yet). Instead, I’ll be embracing my North American heritage and exploring Thanksgiving and the ensuing phenomenon of Black Friday. Thanksgiving, which in the US falls on the fourth Thursday of November, is a secular holiday celebrated by families gathering for a long weekend and enjoying an indulgent meal of roast turkey together. It’s quite a wholesome

Kevin Loane

OK boomer

22 November 2019|

Young people in Europe and the US are showing signs of turning against the generation born after World War II . This move can be seen in the meme ‘OK boomer’, which has become a popular online retort to those who are on the wrong side of 50, or who don’t know what a meme is. It’s typically used to dismiss what are perceived to be outdated views on issues such as climate and gender. And while this intergenerational strife

Rhydian Griffiths

Is it rational to use the Tube?

15 November 2019|

We’ve all done it. Endured the chaotic cesspool that is the Tube, inevitably encountering that person who refuses to move down the aisle when the train is busy, leaves their backpack on, and blocks the doors when you finally decide you can’t take listening to their awful taste in music anymore. So, are we thinking rationally when we opt to use the Tube? Rationality is one of the key assumptions underlying neoclassical economic theory. The theory contends that economic agents

Brian Davidson, CFA

Reflections from a (wannabe) ecowarrior

8 November 2019|

I’m not planning to glue myself to a tube carriage. And I’m not planning to wheel a pink boat down Oxford Street. But I did recently take an incredibly eco-friendly action: I said on Facebook that I am committed to doing something for the climate. Of course, actually doing something would be good too, so I made a private commitment to do that and set out to take a holiday without getting on a plane; not a Greta-Thunberg-sail-across-the-Atlantic-style effort, but

Andrew Brigden

A walk across Spain? “It’s about time!”

1 November 2019|

A few years ago, Fathom introduced a sabbatical scheme to reward its staff for long service. As a young and growing company, few members of staff have built up sufficient credits to reap the benefits in full. However, as someone fortunate enough to have joined in the early days, I have. For a while I’ve been entitled, as a one-off, to take an additional ten weeks of paid leave. No strings attached. But what to do with all this time?

Kevin Loane

Time to ditch the urban car?

25 October 2019|

In the interests of transparency, I’ll start this blog post by admitting that I failed my driving test. Twice. This happened in the United States, where my task was to navigate a four-block area of North East Washington DC, before parallel parking. In neither attempt did I reach the parking portion of the test, hitting the curb on the first turn of my inaugural attempt, and switching lanes without signalling on the second. I didn’t think I had the mental

Ellie Henderson

Fathom: in fashion

18 October 2019|

Over the years annual expenditure on clothing in the UK has steadily increased as a share of GDP. People are topping up their wardrobes with the latest fashion, from the ridiculously overpriced Yeezy trainers pioneered by Kanye West (which seem to me to be classifiable as ‘fashion’ only in a very loose sense of the word), to the less expensive side of the spectrum from the likes of ASOS or Boohoo. Is this an efficient form of expenditure? This TFiF

Tobias Sturmhoefel

The many benefits of better bogs

11 October 2019|

I may be taking a risk in writing this blog, as toilet humour is usually one of the things to steer well clear of in the workplace. On the other hand, it is the oldest and one of the most universal forms of comedy. And, given the wealth of extremely detailed (and perhaps overly revealing) data available to economists these days, I think it’s not surprising that some more bizarre topics will occasionally come up for discussion. Looking past the

Ritush Dalmia

Becoming Homo Economicus

4 October 2019|

The day before my holiday to Greece this summer, I rolled out of bed at 11am to horrific news. My dad had just got a haircut. A haircut!? The day before we fly to Greece!? Outrageous. I disgruntledly explained the Balassa-Samuelson effect, i.e. lower productivity means that services in less developed countries tend to be cheaper than in more developed countries. (I’d like to point out that my dad actually almost always gets a haircut when we go on holiday,

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