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Illegal gold miners working in a pit in Manicaland, Zimbabwe. Photo by Robin Hammond/Panos Pictures

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Weak links

The idea of the ‘supply chain’ shackles how we think about economic justice. What forces could new metaphors unleash?

Michael Gibb

Pakistani construction workers in the Business Bay area of Dubai, 2012. Photo by Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum

Essay/
Work
Universal unions

Being an employee is a threat to your liberty. But while firms exist, compulsory unions are a basic safeguard of freedom

Mark R Reiff

A guard in the ‘segregation block’ at the Adelanto Detention Center, the latest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in California and managed by the private GEO Group. ICE detains an average of 33,000 undocumented migrants. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Private gain, public loss

Putting public services in private hands is bad economics. Worse, it undermines our bonds as a political community

Alon Harel

Samuelson explained economic theory to the postwar American public. Photo by retrofile/Getty

Essay/
Economics
The people’s economist

Paul Samuelson’s mathematical brilliance changed economics, but it was his popular touch that made him a household name

Roger Backhouse

Krishna (14) married her husband Gopal when she was 11 and he was 13. The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but in poor, rural areas girls are often married young. Rajasthan, 21 January 2013. Photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Essay/
Gender
Sex and prosperity

Nothing we can do will make the world more free, fair and prosperous than giving women control over their own bodies

Victoria Bateman

The August 1926 edition of Radio Broadcast magazine, three years before the 1929 crash. Scan courtesy of Americanradiohistory.com

Essay/
Economic history
The economics of bubbles

Market booms and busts might be irrational, but we can understand why they happen – and what to do to mitigate the damage

Brent Goldfarb & David A Kirsch

Old Vennel off High Street (1868), Glasgow, Scotland, photographed by Thomas Annan from The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow. Courtesy the Getty Museum, LA

Essay/
Biography and memoir
Mistress of all trades

A campaigning journalist and an early feminist, Harriet Martineau humanised economic theory through Dickensian storytelling

Valerie R Sanders

‘We know more than we can tell’: Traders at the fishmarket auction in Grimsby, England, once the home of the UK’s largest trawler fishing fleet. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty

Essay/
Economics
Know-how

Market systems have made better use of more information than economic planners. What if AI and machine learning changed that?

Tim Rogan

From the ‘Open for Business’ series on British manufacturing and industry, West Midlands, England. Photo by Peter Marlow/Magnum

Essay/
Work
No boss? No thanks

Far from making them obsolete, the flatter business organisations of today need managers more than ever but in new ways

Nicolai Foss & Peter Klein

US President Bill Clinton standing in Red Square during a Moscow summit in January 1994. Photo by Diana Walker/Time Life Pictures/Getty

Essay/
Economic history
Economics as a moral tale

The development sector set out to summon the magic of capitalism from the ashes of communism. How is it going?

John Rapley