Effect of Labour Shortages


Labour shortages occur when employers struggle to fill labour vacancies because of insufficient labour applying for the jobs. Labour shortages can occur in geographical regions or in occupations with special requirements in terms of skill or function. Labour shortages can also be seasonal in industries like retail (Christmas) and agriculture (harvest time). Recently, since Brexit …

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Why are UK house prices so high?


In recent years, we have had a devastating global credit crunch, the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s and then the impact of Covid. Yet, despite this financial and economic upheaval, UK house prices have bucked the trend, avoided a major collapse and now exceeded pre-crash levels. The economics of Covid have even made …

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Slowbalisation – Is globalisation slowing down?


Slowbalisation – a phenomena which involves a slowing down of the pace of global integration.

In recent decades globalisation has become so dominant, that we often assume the process is never-ending. Between 1970 and 2008, world exports as a share of GDP rose from 13% to 31%, and it seemed that globalisation was an unstoppable force.


However, since 2008, something unexpected has happened. Exports as a share of GDP has flatlined and even started to fall. Other metrics show a similar fate, a fall in global bank loans, foreign direct investment has fallen quite sharply and multinationals share of profit has decreased.

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Global Tariff Rates


This shows that in the past couple of decades, average global tariffs have continued to fall to less than 3% Falling EU tariffs to just under 2% The rise in US tarrifs in 2019, a reflection of the Trump trade war.

Reasons for shortage of lorry drivers in the UK


Back in 2015, I wrote a post about the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK. Six years on and the crisis has got worse. The Road Haulage Association states that a fully functioning UK economy requires over 600,000 drivers, but we are currently 100,000 short. The shortage of drivers is not unique to the …

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Historical US Unemployment


Historical US Unemployment since 1900 Sources 1890-1920 data are from Christina Romer (1986). “Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data”, The Journal of Political Economy, 94(1): 1920-1930 Robert M. Coen (1973). “Labor Force and Unemployment in the 1920’s and 1930” 1930- 1948 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Thanks to User Peace Generally, the US economy was …

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New Facebook page for Economicshelp.org


If you want to follow news and blogs of Economics help.org on Facebook, there is a new page here. Economicshelp.org I lost access to the previous Economicshelp.org page. When I set up page back in 2012, I didn’t want a personal account. (Facebook has many drawbacks). So I just created a business page, but now …

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Market Failure with Covid


Covid raises many problems for society and offers quite a few examples of market failure. These include:

  • Externalities. A young person catching Covid may face few personal costs, but there is an external cost because they may transmit to more vulnerable people.
  • Information asymmetries. There is a lot of misinformation about Covid and vaccines. This makes it more difficult for individuals and business to make rational decisions.
  • Monopoly power. Vaccines patented by large multinationals. Supply is dominated by a few of the richer countries.
  • Public good – Improving public health is a public good (non-rivalry/ non-excludable benefits). But, there is an incentive to be a free-rider on other people who make efforts to improve health.
  • Inequality. Lockdowns and social restrictions have affected different groups in different ways. Some jobs (typing at home) have done well and workers have increased personal savings. Other sectors of the economy have suffered from economic restrictions and may never recover.

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