If you’re looking for some short insights into the latest economic thinking, and you’d like a break from watching the Olympics, then look no further than this excellent selection of recommended articles.

​As part of his weekly ‘Monday Briefing’, Deloitte’s Chief Economist, Ian Stewart, last week published this list of articles which are sure to inform and entertain economics teachers and students. I’ve copied his email out below. If you’d like to sign up to Ian’s weekly email (and I strongly suggest you do) you can click here to do so.


Deloitte Monday Briefing: Summer Reading List

* With the Olympic Games and the holiday season upon us we are releasing our summer reading list. These eight articles offer an eclectic alternative to the latest popular economics book. We think you will get a lot more ideas in less time from this list than from reading one finance best-seller. All of these articles are available free and online. To ensure the whole piece is printed select the print icon on each article:

* New software is providing companies with more information on the habits and incomes of online shoppers. This enables businesses, especially in areas where pricing is complex, such as air travel and hospitality, to charge different prices to different consumers. This article has useful advice on how to get the best deal – including the recommendation that on-line shoppers use a PC to avoid the higher prices levied on generally more affluent Apple users by some websites (2 pages):


* London is hosting the Olympic Games for the third time, having previously done so in 1908 and 1948. In 1908, the capital had only two years to prepare, after Rome was unable to host following the eruption of Vesuvius in 1906. This fascinating account from History Today shows how those Games went on to set a number of precedents for future Games (3 pages):


* Experiments by bestselling author and Duke University professor Dan Ariely have revealed that almost everyone is willing to cheat a little. In this TIME Magazine article he explains why we exhibit such dishonesty and studies the impulses that make us steal a pen from work but not petty cash (2 pages):


* Yale University’s Robert Shiller is perhaps best known for his New York Times bestseller “Irrational Exuberance” which warned of the dot-com and housing bubbles. In this article, he explains why speculative bubbles are social epidemics, such as those involving belief in alchemists and astrologers, rather than market-created events (2 pages):


* Why do many large and expensive aid programmes often fail to achieve their goals? This Economist article outlines the ideas of Esther Duflo, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who argues that relatively small interventions may be the key to improving the lives of the very poor (2 pages):


* In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many academics lent their support to eugenics – a social movement aimed at ‘improving’ the genetic composition of the population by breeding out ‘unfit’ races. This article from Yale’s alumni magazine sheds light on the contribution of Irving Fisher, one of America’s most well-known academic economists, to this movement (7 pages):


* The global financial crisis has fundamentally changed the world economy. In this article on Project Syndicate, Harvard’s Dani Rodrik outlines the three key characteristics that will define success in this new global economy (2 pages):


* Somalia has topped Foreign Policy magazine’s annual index of failed states for the last five years. This article from Foreign Policy looks at ten reasons why countries fall apart, from elites blocking new technologies to a lack of property rights (7 pages):



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