The Eternal Sunshine of the Post-Brexit Mind

By Prof Duncan Watson

A Downbeat Dawn

My partner is from Stoke-on-Trent. I know Stoke as the birth place of the greatest sportsman in the world, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. For those unforgivably innocent of Darts, you might instead know it as the world capital of ceramics. Born myself in East Bergholt, where many as hour is spent saying ‘crikey, that Suffolk Punch is a big horse’, I’d argue back and forth with my Stokie love over word pronunciations and the origins of the oatcake. Brexit slaughters this innocence. The day after a hefty 69.4% Leave vote, the BBC unleashes its reporters on Stoke to repetitively patronise the locals: ‘what were you thinking?’. Continue reading “The Eternal Sunshine of the Post-Brexit Mind”


By Dr Pete Dawson

The English Premier League season is almost upon us.  As well as seeing whether the usual suspects (Manchester City, Liverpool) will again be vying for the top spot and the survival prospects of the newly promoted teams (Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa – see here for a previous blog I wrote about this), many eyes will be on the impact of Video Assistant Referees, more commonly referred to as VARs, which will be used for the first time this season. Continue reading “VAR VAR VAR”

Who is Boris Johnson? Brexit Clues

The hullabaloo surrounding Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has exercised eyebrows throughout his career trajectory. A quick online search and a ‘Terrifying Boris Quotes’ headline flashes up on my screen. But who is our new Prime Minister? Some complain that he is a flip-flopping populist. They point to his inconsistent views over Europe as irrefutable proof. Originally, he’s seen sailing through the pro-European sea with yellow stars sparkling in his hair: “This is a market on our doorstep, ready for further exploitation by British firms. The membership fee seems rather small for all that access. Why are we so determined to turn our back on it?”. Roll on a few months and he is accused of wanton destruction by graffitiing a bus on route to Brexit Street: “there is simply no need in the 21st century to be part of a federal government in Brussels that is imitated nowhere else on Earth. It was a noble idea for its time but it is no longer right for this country”. Could the real Boris please stand up? Or is he just a populist who gingerly negotiates the shifting political sands in pursuit of that oasis of power? If so, I should stop here as any economic comment becomes tittle-tattle. However, I reject this accusation. Instead, I will argue that through political economy we can observe coherency in his posturing. I’ll use that to then initiate the most dangerous of economic method: prediction. Continue reading “Who is Boris Johnson? Brexit Clues”

Holiday Musings: The Economics of Introverts.

By Duncan Watson

We’re sitting in Norfolk twiddling our thumbs. We’re dreading another visit to the zoo to keep the kids quiet. Lou pipes up “I’m bored, let’s go to Sardinia”. Zooming off to Stansted Airport at 2 in the morning and, hours later, we’re made it to Cagliari. A wave of heat hits us. Its 39 degrees.  Lou remarks “you know I really don’t like hot weather”. I whine back “neither do I, I thought you did”. The lament keeps coming as this moan is diligently repeated, admittedly with extra lower lip tremble, by the two kids: Eadlin and Lufian.

Continue reading “Holiday Musings: The Economics of Introverts.”

The Roar of the Lionesses!

By Peter Dawson

For the second summer in succession football fever has again gripped the nation.  This time the women’s football team, aka the Lionesses, contested a second consecutive World Cup semi-final.  As in 2015, when they lost to Japan, heartbreak was again the order of the day following a narrow 2-1 defeat to USA.  This post is not about controversies and the merits (and demerits) of video assistant referees of which there have been several in this tournament (I will be exploring this in a separate blog later in the summer!), but about the impact the (continued) success of the women’s team might have in terms of demand. Continue reading “The Roar of the Lionesses!”

“One Bad Turn Deserves Another”: Group Reciprocity in Trust Games

In the summer of 1906, Atlanta, a city previously known for relatively peaceful race relations, saw a spate of newspaper coverage of black attacks on whites, in particular white women. (“Bold Negro Kisses White Girl’s Hand,” screamed one headline.) On September 22nd, four assaults upon white women were reported. Armed with guns, a group of whites went downtown to a black neighbourhood and attacked black men, killing 25. None of the original alleged assaults were later substantiated.

Your first reaction is probably: how appalling. Yes, it is. But also, isn’t it weird? Continue reading ““One Bad Turn Deserves Another”: Group Reciprocity in Trust Games”

The Royal Norfolk Show: Layers of Impact

Research by Dr Bahar Ghezelayagh and a team of Economics students has found that the Royal Norfolk Show (RNS) generated £20 million for Norfolk in 2018. If you were to ask a member of the public what they think an economic researcher does they would probably picture a lonely figure, hunched over the computer, crunching through numbers to get published in journals only read by other academics. The reality of this project is very different! Continue reading “The Royal Norfolk Show: Layers of Impact”

The Premier League Beckons for the Fine City of Norwich!

By Dr Pete Dawson

The fine city of Norwich together with Sheffield United will once again be hosting Premier League from next season with Norwich clinching the title on the final day of the Football League Championship season on Sunday.  Both clubs have graced the Premier League before: Norwich as recently as the 2015-16 season whereas Sheffield have not been in the top flight since being relegated in 2006-07. Continue reading “The Premier League Beckons for the Fine City of Norwich!”

Full Marx to Chuka? Change UK and Revolution in British Politics

By Duncan Watson

“I’ve never known a night like it”. It’s 1987, the day after The Great Storm. My dad is weaving through the felled trees trying to get me to Old Hall, a commune in East Bergholt. I’m off to meet my childhood sweetheart at a mate’s party. Fast forward to today and I’m back at Old Hall. There is no childhood sweetheart this time, she’s long gone. I’m just driving through on my merry way to the new phenomena of A12 road congestion. I’m contemplating instead our current storm. British politics is in full gale. Continue reading “Full Marx to Chuka? Change UK and Revolution in British Politics”

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