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,

Greg Spanner

Mastering the wage bargain

27 September 2019|

In a week, I will head back to university to complete a masters degree in economics at LSE. As anyone who has considered a post-graduate degree will know…it’s expensive. Which raises the question, is it worth it? The obvious justification for paying such extortionate fees is labour market signalling and increasing human capital. But will my masters give me improvements in these over and above my undergraduate degree from the University of Surrey? And will it make a difference that

Florian Baier

Economists are warming up to climate change

20 September 2019|

I’m an expat, or European immigrant, living here in London. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about Brexit. For my frequent visits home, though not as frequent as my Mum would like, I use an Irish low-cost airline (which is the only one which flies direct from London to my hometown). I have paid as little as £30 for a return flight to Germany. While this is good for my wallet, it’s really not great for my carbon footprint. £30 —

Erik Britton

Trains, cathedrals and superlatives

13 September 2019|

“Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance Everybody thinks it’s true” Paul Simon I write this sitting on my bed in my berth on the Caledonian Sleeper train, running overnight from Edinburgh Waverley to London Euston. As many (better) writers before me have noted, there is something peculiar about train travel, particularly long journeys, particularly at night, that turns the mind towards contemplation. In my case, that is now amplified by a couple of glasses of scotch

Andrea Zazzarelli

In vino veritas

6 September 2019|

This August I turned 40 and while I’ve cherished the abnormal levels of attention and celebrations, I’ve so far remained immune to most symptoms of a mid-life crisis. I have no urge to purchase a sports car or motorbike or a trophy wife. I see sport as a necessary evil enabling and counterbalancing a relatively carefree lifestyle on my terms, not on those fuelled by bucket lists, age-related insecurities or peer pressure. As a result, I feel no desire to

Joanna Davies

The pitfalls of misrepresentation

30 August 2019|

At the age of 32, my other half is retiring, and he thinks I should too. At least, that’s what this morning’s drive to the station implied. Sure, we’ve discussed the joys of being footloose and fancy free, exploring the world and wearing our hair in dreadlocks, but I didn’t really mean it! My response to this morning’s ambush was silence, which I suspect spoke volumes, or, at the very least, made my true feelings a little clearer. I’m not

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