Adam Smith Blog

Kenneth Arrow, economist, 1921-2017

Other Writing
Kenneth Arrow, who has died aged 95 at his home in Palo Alto, California, on Tuesday was a towering figure in 20th century economics. In 1972, at the age of 51, he won one of the first Nobel memorial prizes in economics, the youngest winner then or since. Yet even a Nobel Prize understates Arrow’s […]

Longevity in rich countries

POPULATION forecasting is not simple. Demographers use mortality data—information about when people die and why—to estimate the likely life expectancy of people still alive. The UN, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others produce periodic forecasts that are fairly similar.

How to catch a cheat

Undercover Economist
Should the rules and targets we set up be precise, clear and sophisticated? Or should they be vague, ambiguous and crude? I used to think that the answer was obvious — who would favour ambiguity over clarity? Now I am not so sure. Ponder the scandal that engulfed Volkswagen in late 2015, when it emerged […]