Oxera

Inspiring better decisions through economics and finance

Articles
Depiction of Decarbon-nudge?
9 minute read

Decarbon-nudge?

Decarbonisation is one of the largest challenges facing societies across the world, and consumer behaviour has an important role to play in achieving this goal. Behavioural economics shows us that consumer behaviour can be influenced by ‘nudges’ and choice architecture. So what role can nudges play in helping us to decarbonise? Read More

Articles
Depiction of Malbeconomics: taking stock of the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point
6 minute read

Malbeconomics: taking stock of the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point

Developed economies are facing significant amounts of inflation for the first time in 25 years. Consumer prices, measured according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose by 5.8% on average across OECD countries in the year to November 2021. Will Page, former Chief Economist at Spotify and author of Tarzan Economics, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point and looks at the role that price points play in an inflationary environment. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Bits of advice: the true colours of dark patterns
13 minute read

Bits of advice: the true colours of dark patterns

Dark patterns are deceptive online interface designs that are used to trick people into making decisions that are in the interests of the online business, but at the expense of the user. In this second article of our ‘bits of advice’ series on digital regulation, we dive into the economics behind dark patterns: what are they; what can economics teach us about how they work; how is digitalisation changing their costs and benefits in the eyes of businesses; and how can competition and consumer protection authorities respond? Read More

Articles
Depiction of Discrimination in labour markets: how does the past affect the future?
9 minute read

Discrimination in labour markets: how does the past affect the future?

A large body of academic literature has sought to explain why members of observably different groups fare so differently in the labour market. Theories of distaste towards certain groups, alongside ‘rational’ models of statistical discrimination, have attempted to explain the well-documented disparities in wages and employment rates that exist between those of different gender, race and nationality. In this article, Eduard Krkoska, Doctoral Candidate in Economics at the University of Oxford and former Oxera intern, explores how these theories interact with each other and develop over time. Read More

Articles
Depiction of System failure: a problem for behavioural economists?
10 minute read

System failure: a problem for behavioural economists?

Recent developments in neuroscience show that decision-making is more complex than the (basic) model of System 1 and System 2 that was formulated for use in behavioural economics by the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. Recognising the substantial impact of the discipline on public policy and regulation, Peter Andrews—Oxera Senior Adviser and former Chief Economist at the UK Financial Conduct Authority—considers the implications of Kahneman’s model and the emerging critique of behavioural economics. He shows that behavioural economists’ empirical work does not, in fact, rely on the model, and flags the success of many behavioural interventions. Insights from neuroscience are found to have improved the design and impacts of behavioural remedies. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Non-fungible. Non-tangible. Still valuable?
10 minute read

Non-fungible. Non-tangible. Still valuable?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are blockchain-based ownership certificates of all kinds of digital collectables—ranging from pixelated cats to canonical YouTube videos and even recordings of unique moments in sport. The market for NFTs has skyrocketed. But what are they exactly? And what is driving their value? With the help of Oxer-cat, the first Oxera NFT, we aim to answer these questions, and provide an overview of possible challenges and future developments for NFTs. Read More

Articles
Depiction of The working week: a way four-ward?
9 minute read

The working week: a way four-ward?

In many countries, the five-day working week is an institution so culturally ingrained that we rarely, if ever, pause to ask the question: is there a better way of doing things? Questions like this are increasingly coming to the fore: the pandemic turned many of our lives upside down,… Read More

Articles
Depiction of Danger mouse: the opportunities and risks of digital distribution
9 minute read

Danger mouse: the opportunities and risks of digital distribution

Digital channels create new commercial opportunities and conduct risks (as well as commercial risks) for providers of financial services. There are important questions about the extent of provider responsibility and the nature of liability in a digital environment. But what is different about conduct risk in this context? And how should digital conduct risks be managed? In our experience, providers can manage these risks effectively using a new toolkit of data science and behavioural economics. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Working from home: shove or nudge?
4 minute read

Working from home: shove or nudge?

Three letters alone can describe the last 12 months for millions of people: W-F-H. Working from home is no longer a niche arrangement. Overnight, whole sectors of the economy abandoned the office in favour of the kitchen table, sofa or garage. There are, of course, pros and cons to… Read More

Articles
Depiction of Behavioural biases in the judiciary: food for thought?
8 minute read

Behavioural biases in the judiciary: food for thought?

Behavioural economics has taught us that human decision-making is not perfectly ‘rational’; so to what extent can we expect judges to be free from bias? We explore some recent literature on the topic and discuss potential implications. Although—as human beings—we can never be perfectly free from behavioural bias, our judicial processes can adopt measures to bolster fairness and accuracy in the decision-making process Read More

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