Is the end nigh for RPI?

A new independent review of consumer price statistics in the UK has recommended that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) should aim to make a variant of the consumer price index (CPIH) the UK’s headline measure of inflation, and that regulators should refrain from using the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to set regulated charges during a price control. How have regulators dealt with inflation in recent price controls, and what are the possible implications of the Johnson review?

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Too much or not enough? Transport and cities

Cities have both benefits (such as more productive workers) and costs (such as congestion and increased pollution) relative to smaller settlements. What is the role of a city’s transport networks in ensuring that the potential benefits of the city are enhanced, while the costs are minimised? And how can planning and funding help with the development of efficient transport networks?

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You’re worth it! The economics of life valuation

How much should we spend on safety? Trading off safety against other factors is a difficult task, and politicians have looked to economists for help. The result is the ‘value of a statistical life’ (VSL), where income and other factors are measured to estimate society’s loss from a single death. But how has this economic measurement come about, how and why do the resulting values vary, and what are the implications for public policy?

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Competition and exercising consumer choice in online markets

Online markets have become one of the hottest issues in competition enforcement in recent years. Indeed, they play a big part in the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) strategic goals. So how should competition authorities assess and address potential anticompetitive restraints in these markets? Dr Philip Marsden, one of the CMA’s Inquiry Chairs, discusses this much-debated topic and suggests a re-focus on exercising consumer choice

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