An unlikely triumph
In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?
Why nation-states are good
The nation-state remains the best foundation for capitalism, and hyper-globalisation risks destroying it
Is taxation theft?
The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused
The quitting economy
When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit
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?
The future is emotional
Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable
The bloodstained leveller
Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?
How much did Plato know about behavioural economics and cognitive biases? Pretty much everything, it turns out
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
What do slaveholders think?
It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?
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
Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?
Show me the Monet
How wealthy Americans grew to appreciate the French Impressionist painter – as an artist but also as a financial asset
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?
How Europe became so rich
In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?