Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Convertible

In a forthcoming paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Meghan Busse and her co-authors ask if weather conditions affect car purchasing decisions. They find that the choice to purchase a 4x4 or convertible is highly dependent on weather conditions at the time of purchase, which is inconsistent with classical utility theory. Psychological biases such as projection bias and salience seem to explain their findings. The paper is available here.

A History of Irish Economic Thought

The book which I co-edited with Tom Boylan and Renee Prendergast entitled A History of Irish Economic Thought is now out in paperback, making it affordable for the interested reader (the hardback version retails at a staggering £100). The book looks at the contributions of Irish economists to the development of economics as a discipline. It also looks at how particular political and economic debates centred on Ireland (e.g., land reform and the Bullionist controversy) affected wider economic discourse.

The Bankers' New Clothes

I'm a big fan of The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong With Banking and What To Do About It by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig. Anyone interested in the future of banking and how banking should be regulated needs to read this highly accessible book. Recently, Admati and Hellwig have written a response to their many critics, which attempts to debunk 28 flawed claims - it is available here. In the video below, Admati gives an interview to INET about The Bankers' New Clothes.

Investing: The Last Liberal Art

I have recently read Investing: The Last Liberal Art. In it, Robert Hagstrom argues that students, investors and investment professionals need a range or latticework of mental models to help them understand the complex world of investment. The mental models come from a wide range of disciplines - mathematics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, biology, decision making, literature and physics. Hagstrom clearly demonstrates how each of these disciplines can help investors think about investing.
I found this book very helpful in thinking about the education of students in my school. The world is a very complex place and we need to have a diversified portfolio of ways of thinking about the world, which only a broad-based education gives us. The university curriculum can become too specialised and narrow, resulting in graduates with an undiversified portfolio of mental models.

British Financial Crises Since 1825

I have a chapter in a book which has just been published by Oxford University Press. The book is entitled British Financial Crises Since 1825. My chapter looks at the role capital and extended shareholder liability played in assuring British banking stability from 1826 until the 1930s, a theme which is developed at length in my new book Banking in Crisis. My colleague Gareth Campbell also has a chapter in the same book. His chapter looks at the Railway Mania and and the 1847 commercial crisis.