Economics


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Essay/
Work
Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

Photo by Jason Madara/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Economics
Are coders worth it?

In today’s world, web developers have it all: money, perks, freedom, respect. But is there value in what we do?

James Somers

Jack Whinery and family, homesteaders photographed in Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress

Essay/
Economics
Return of the oppressed

From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequality moves in cycles. The future looks like a rough ride

Peter Turchin

It’s in the stars; Ben Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill June 7, 2012 Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Essay/
Economics
The new astrology

By fetishising mathematical models, economists turned economics into a highly paid pseudoscience

Alan Jay Levinovitz

Yes! Photo by Westend61/Stefan Kranefeld/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Work
Stupefied

How organisations enshrine collective stupidity and employees are rewarded for checking their brains at the office door

André Spicer

The Bray family reading bedtime stories at the Family of the Mystic Arts Commune. Photo by John Olson/LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Essay/
Subcultures
Utopia Inc

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

Alexa Clay

Workers at the Blue Plains Waste Water Treatment Plant, Washington DC. Robert Madden/National Geographic Creative

Essay/
Future of technology
Hail the maintainers

Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more

Andrew Russell & Lee Vinsel

Photo by Rob Howard/GS

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

Leisure society: tourists at the Tahiti Motel swimming pool in Wildwood, New Jersey, 1960s. Photo by Aladdin Color, Inc/Corbis

Essay/
Automation and robotics
The golden age

The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp – but are we ready for freedom from toil?

John Quiggin

Photo by Harry Gruyaert/Magnum

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
The fallacy of obviousness

A new interpretation of a classic psychology experiment will change your view of perception, judgment – even human nature

Teppo Felin

Photo by Alex Majoli/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Economics
Dark Leviathan

The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings

Henry Farrell

Photo by Kevin R. Morris/Corbis

Essay/
Economics
The American cloud

The cosy coastal world of pretend farmers’ markets bears no resemblance to the actual back end of America

Venkatesh Rao

Photo by Tomas Peters/Reuters

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

Picasso at home in his villa in villa at Notre-Dame de Vie in Mougins in 1967 surrounded by his latest paintings. He was 85 at the time. Photo by Gjon Mili/Time Life/Getty

Essay/
Economics
The longevity gap

Costly new longevity drugs could help the wealthy live 120 years or more – but will everyone else die young?

Linda Marsa

Cards not accepted. A man counts his money at a floating vegetable market in Srinagar. Photo by Fredrik Naumann/Panos

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

Oh human folly! Photo courtesy Wikimedia

Essay/
Economics
Platonically irrational

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

Nick Romeo

College days, 1948. Photo by Peter Stackpole/Getty

Essay/
Education
Rise of the humanities

Professors worry about the ‘crisis in the humanities’. But more people than ever, especially women, are studying them

Peter Mandler

A still from Chipotle’s ‘Cultivate a better world’ campaign.

Essay/
Economics
Ad nauseam

The more we hate it, the more it agrees with us. How advertising turned anti-consumerism into a secret weapon

Adam Corner