Episodes
An economist that hunted crocodiles? An inventor who constructed prison camp radios and hydraulic models of the economy? An adventurer that could speak five different languages and was arrested for spying? Who is this ‘Indiana Jones of Economics’ as he was once described? We discuss in this episode the remarkable life and times of A.W. Phillips or ‘Bill’ as he was known to his friends. He has one of the most incredible life stories of any of the economists we have covered in our show whilst...
Published 09/12/22
Published 09/12/22
George R R Martin once wrote “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”  Here at EconomicsInTen we have always been keen to share our love of reading (and economics), therefore once again, Pete and Gav, your friendly neighbourhood economists have put together another Summer Reading special for you to enjoy. In a change from our usual format we ask each other the same simple question 10 times; what book would you recommend to read this summer...
Published 07/18/22
In 1890, the British Economic Association was formed, which would later become the Royal Economic Society. At that meeting was Millicent Fawcett and ten or eleven other women. Better known as one of the foremost leaders of the movement for women's suffrage, she was also at the heart of the economic establishment of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, not only through her marriage to renowned economist Henry Fawcett but also, as is less well known, as author of one of the most...
Published 05/09/22
At the moment everyone seems to be talking about the cost of living crisis and it's not hard to see why. Drive past a garage forecourt in the UK and you'll see that petrol prices have reached their highest average on record. Energy bills are rocketing making some households reluctant to put on the heating. The cost of your weekly shopping bill is more expensive than last week and yet this seems to be happening EVERY week!!! Other countries around the world are seeing a similar reduction in...
Published 03/13/22
What should governments do to stop problems such as consumers overeating or producers polluting? Many economists would encourage what is known as a Pigouvian tax that increases the price, reduces demand and creates revenue for the government, all at the same time. But why is it known as a Pigouvian tax? In this podcast from your friendly neighbourhood economists, Pete and Gav, you will find out about the life and ideas of Arthur C. Pigou, who the tax is named after. The man who bridged the...
Published 03/01/22
What do we expect from our public servants? We assume they do their jobs in order to make the world a better place and improve the welfare of society but James M Buchanan had other ideas. He saw those in power looking to do what’s best for them rather than for the people they represent and unfortunately the news cycle seems to support this seemingly cynical view. Public Choice Theory won Buchanan the Nobel Prize in Economics and in this third episode of our fifth season, your friendly...
Published 01/31/22
It's Christmas!!! AGAIN! And what more could you want this festive season than another Economics In Ten Christmas Special...it's almost becoming a tradition! So grab a mulled wine and a mince pie and listen to your friendly neighbourhood economists, Pete and Gav, discuss 10 questions that will teach you some economics and give you some festive cheer. Although take note...you will hear the most depressing Christmas poem ever!! Sorry. As always, there is a festive quiz and some wonderful...
Published 12/06/21
As they sing in Oliver! - Food, glorious food...and we LOVE our food. We love being in the kitchen, we love coming up with recipe ideas and we love gifting food-related books like Snoop Dogg’s glorious cookbook... but what can food (and drink) teach us about economics? Lots of course! In this special, Pete and Gav, your friendly neighbourhood economists, stuff so much economics into ten questions about 10 ingredients, you’ll have to loosen your belt to take it all in! And at the end, there...
Published 11/15/21
'A Study of Economics as if People Mattered' was the subtitle of E F Schumacher's most famous work, 'Small is Beautiful'. It might seem jarring to non-economists that people might not "matter" in economic theory but Schumacher's contention was that the "simplifying" assumptions of mainstream economics were decidedly non-trivial - they were "assuming away" the very essence of our humanity. Seen by many as the godfather of the modern environmental movement Schumacher viewed with alarm the...
Published 10/29/21
To establish whether you are in good shape or potentially shipping out a doctor might take your pulse. In economics, Gross Domestic Product (aka GDP) is the go-to metric for determining economic health. Governments can be toppled off the back of disappointing GDP data - think recessions  (or even worse the dreaded double-dip recession!).  But who was the man behind the creation of this powerful if often misunderstood concept and what might he make of the latter-day uses and abuses of GDP...
Published 09/17/21
“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood. Many of the great economists we have looked at in our past episodes were voracious readers, and whilst we in no way put ourselves in their company we are great believers in reading widely. Simply put we at EconomicsInTen are great believers in the power of reading and the power of words.  Therefore in this sequel to the first Summer Reading special, your friendly neighbourhood economists Pete and Gav answer one simple question 10...
Published 08/03/21
Have you heard of the ‘Randomistas’? Seemingly they are taking the economics world by storm and at the heart of this group of research economists is a French-American named Esther Duflo. With her husband Abhijit Banerjee and colleague Michael Kremer, she became only the second woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics, for her use of Randomised Control Trials, aimed at testing the efficacy of different social policies in combatting poverty and other ills in the developing (and in parts of...
Published 07/02/21
Quiz Question: Who is the only economist to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Answer: Muhammad Yunus.... and yet strangely he has never been in the running to win the equivalent Economics Prize.  Is there a reason why his ideas,  and those of the institution he founded - The Grameen Bank - have been so welcomed by US Presidents and other dignitaries and yet not been as well received by his peers? It could be the fact that microfinance, his big idea to solve poverty, has proved somewhat controversial...
Published 05/28/21
How do you know if a country is "doing well" economically? How can we say that one country is "more developed" than another? For many years incomes (GDP) and other measures of how much "stuff" a country was making were the standard yardstick but then along came Amartya Sen and changed our viewpoint on how development was measured forever. Those ideas, shaped by a childhood that spanned the partition of India, would eventually win him the Economics Nobel Prize but there is so much more to the...
Published 04/12/21
Are you lucky enough to own your own home or business? But do you ever stop and think about what you would do if someone tried to take it from you, or bulldoze it? Do you ever stop and reflect on the economic power that legally protected property gives you? It's very easy to take property rights for granted but one economist is convinced that they are the key to the success of capitalism and unlocking the entrepreneurial power of the developing world; his name is Hernando de Soto. So if you...
Published 03/15/21
Have you ever wanted to know about inequality but didn’t know where to start? In this latest special by Pete and Gav, your friendly neighbourhood economists, you will be guided through the economics of inequality. Along the way you will come across stocks and flows, a curve that looks like an elephant and a coefficient that has nothing to do with Aladdin but everything to do with an Italian economist. As always, it comes with lots of suggested reading and if you ever end up in government,...
Published 02/12/21
Did you hear about the psychologist that won the Nobel Prize for Economics? Sounds like the start of a joke doesn’t it? But in 2002 Daniel Kahneman won the award for the revolutionary work on "prospect theory"  carried out with his colleague and friend Amos Tversky.  Their work changed the course of economics by introducing the world to behavioural economics. So if you’ve ever felt like you have been tricked into buying something at a higher price or have fallen into the trap of just...
Published 01/25/21
It’s Christmas!!!! But slightly different in 2020. With the coronavirus still here and a full rollout of a vaccine still distant, there might be many who face Christmas on their own or not seeing many people. Therefore Pete and Gav thought it would be the right thing to do and create another economics of Christmas! So sit down with your drink of choice, get in your favourite chair and listen to your friendly neighbourhood economists as they go through 10 questions that will teach you some...
Published 12/19/20
When Thomas Carlyle famously described Economics as ‘the dismal science’ it was said that it was inspired by the writing of Thomas Malthus. His doom and gloom essay on population was to have a legacy that lasted his lifetime and beyond but were his predictions correct? And if he wasn’t, why do we still talk about ‘Malthusian’ economics now? As always, your friendly neighbourhood economists, Pete and Gav will be guiding you through the numerous arguments surrounding Bob’s work and wondering...
Published 10/19/20
Who is the founding father of Economics? Adam Smith you say? Who told you that? We did!?! Well…do you remember that famous quote attributed to Keynes (via Paul Samuelson)?  It was ‘when the facts change I change my mind, what do you do?’ and it seems that the facts may have changed. We say changed but maybe simply forgotten or ignored. Some are now making a case for Ibn Khaldun, an Islamic scholar, as the great-great-grandfather of our beloved discipline. Make up your own mind after hearing...
Published 09/20/20
The summer of 2020 was the festival of sport that was never was. Many have tried to fill this gap, some with more success than others…I mean, who hasn’t enjoyed watching Simon Anthony complete a Sudoku puzzle on YouTube? Or been gripped by kitchen darts? But now it’s our turn to step up to the plate! Yes…here it is…the economics of sport. There are 10 thought provoking questions as always and guiding you through are your friendly neighbourhood economists, Pete ‘The Greatest’ and Gav ‘The...
Published 08/11/20
The chances are you have heard the phrase ‘creative destruction’ but what do you know about the man that coined it? In this podcast you will find out about Joseph Schumpeter, an economist who was hard to categorise but had plenty to say. In a world where ‘secular stagnation’ has arguably become the norm, his work on entrepreneurship and innovation are as important as ever. As well as being an influential economist Schumpeter also lived what might be called a 'colourful life' which may have...
Published 07/27/20
Demand and Supply – the cornerstone of economics! But how much do you know about Alfred Marshall, the first man to draw the ‘Marshallian Cross’ that we all use today? Some argue his ‘Principles of Economics’ was the most influential book of the 19th Century and set the template for every economics textbook that followed. This episode is jam-packed with economics and guiding you through as always are Pete and Gav, your friendly neighbourhood economists. Technical support as always comes from...
Published 06/29/20
Want to know more about Milton Friedman? The marmite of economics! You may have noticed that people either love him or hate him. Mrs Thatcher lauded him as the quintessential ‘intellectual freedom fighter’ but for others he’s the architect of a damaging neoliberalism ideology,  the so-called "shock doctrine" that has damaged many societies around the world.  Arguably both views are too simplistic in a world that has become increasingly binary in its thinking; perhaps there is a middle...
Published 06/01/20