Study Leave

Dear Economist, My economics tutor says that I should be studying harder if I want to do well in my exams. I think that he is basing his advice on purely theoretical assumptions, and that there is no empirical evidence for his assertion. Who is right? M.W., Cambridge...

Who shares wins

Armed with their theories and their statistical models, economists are increasingly marching off to occupy distant intellectual territory: marriage (Gary Becker), racial segregation (Thomas Schelling), obesity (David Cutler) and whether it matters whether your child...

PG mating

Dear Economist, I am worried that if my children receive sex education at school, it will make unwanted pregnancies more likely. Should I take them out of class? Protective Parent Dear Protective Parent, You are right to be worried. It is easy to see why information...

Right on queue

As the queues formed down the street outside branches of Northern Rock this week, it was obvious enough to a game theorist what was going on: people had decided to hunt rabbits. Bear with me – this will make sense in a moment. Game theory is the study (by economists,...

Dog’s life

Dear Economist, I’ve been dating someone for a few months and the relationship is now quite serious. There’s just one problem: his dog. I’ve no strong feelings about dogs, but he’s had this mutt for years and seems to love it more than he loves me. I could swallow my...

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