Articles illustrating principles of microeconomics from the FT: 2007

In this page we highlight some useful recent articles illustrating principles of microeconomics from the Financial Times. While there are many such articles published by the FT on a weekly and even a daily basis, the idea here is to focus on articles that can be particularly useful for illustrative purposes for the teaching of core principles.

Some of the articles just illustrate basic points, some can provide the basis for more extensive discussion of economic principles, while others often develop around recurrent themes in the course of the year (e.g.the set of articles and editorials on carbon trading in the 2006 articles archived here)

The articles mey be useful, especially in MBA-level teaching, and it is hoped that they may be of some use to other lecturers and students who might otherwise have overlooked the articles (subject to appropriate copyright permission from FT being obtained if and when necessary). They are noted here in order with the latest weeks entries at the end, scroll down if necessary.

And what is the microeconomic topic of most significance in 2006? Judging by the flurry of articles on them, there are two clear winners: green taxes and carbon trading.

The articles are generally available on the FT website, I usually confirmed this the lazy (low cost and efficient) way by sticking the title of the article or part of it, into Google (sometimes plussing "FT" to the search if the title was too generic). Full access in many cases requires an FT subscription (it's worth it for the consumers surplus ...).

See FT articles 2006 for archived comments on articles for 2006

January 2007

(1) Comparing the cost of living is not what it used to be (John Kay, Tuesday 2nd, page 13). How global competition and technology has contributed to the fall in real price of many goods and services, while others remain (or have become) high priced.

(2) We cheapskates bank on driving a hard bargain (Guthrie, Thursday 4th, page 15). Nice companion piece on the same topic as the first article above

(3) Technology, not globalisation, is driving wages down (Bhagwati, Thursday 4th, page 15). Another article (see two immediately above also) on how global competition and technology is affecting prices (here price of labour), in this case Bhagwati thinks major culptrit is technology (though it should be said others disagree)

(4) Train operators' lesson on airline seat sales (Willman and Bryant, Thursday 4th, page 2). Lessons in price discrimination and yield managment that the air sector may have to offer the rail sector.

(3) Profitable opinions (FT editorial Saturday 13th). The limits of voluntarism, and the role of incentives in dealing with pollution

(6) Congested isles: how user pricing can ease impasse on the roads (Robert Wright) Thursday 11th. page13). Anoter example of how sensible people's opinions and rational economists advice can differ sharply. .