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Essay/Education
An unlikely triumph

In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?

David Labaree

Essay/Politics & Government
Why nation-states are good

The nation-state remains the best foundation for capitalism, and hyper-globalisation risks destroying it

Dani Rodrik

Essay/Political Philosophy
Is taxation theft?

The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused

Philip Goff

Essay/Work
The quitting economy

When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit

Ilana Gershon

Essay/Economics
Of money and morals

Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance?

Alex Mayyasi

Essay/Work
The future is emotional

Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

Livia Gershon

Essay/Politics & Government
The bloodstained leveller

Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?

Walter Scheidel

Essay/Economics
Platonically irrational

How much did Plato know about behavioural economics and cognitive biases? Pretty much everything, it turns out

Nick Romeo

Essay/Economics
What is human capital?

Human capital theory was invented as an ideological weapon in the Cold War. Now it is helping to Uberise the world of work

Peter Fleming

Essay/Human Rights
What do slaveholders think?

It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Essay/Economics
In praise of cash

Cash might be grungy, unfashionable and corruptible, but it is still a great public good, important for rich and poor alike

Brett Scott

Essay/Subcultures
Utopia Inc

Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?

Alexa Clay

Essay/Art
Show me the Monet

How wealthy Americans grew to appreciate the French Impressionist painter – as an artist but also as a financial asset

Ross King

Essay/Economics
End of a golden age

Unprecedented growth marked the era from 1948 to 1973. Economists might study it forever, but it can never be repeated. Why?

Marc Levinson

Essay/History
How Europe became so rich

In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?

Joel Mokyr

Essay/Economics
The great cryptocurrency heist

Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There's just one problem: trust

E J Spode