James Zuccollo

James Zuccollo is a senior economist for UK consultancy Reform. He leads Reform’s economic research and has co-authored reports on monetary policy, fiscal institutions, and education funding among others. He has appeared on the BBC Today programme and written widely in the online and print media, including City AM, Prospect, The New Statesman, Public Finance, and The Guardian. Prior to Reform he was an economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) where he published work on economic impact assessment, regulatory reform, and the value of tertiary education. James is on Twitter @jzuccollo

The equation for happiness - The Dismal Science

Aug 12, 2014

As the world starts to move from focusing on growth to wellbeing a group of neuroscientists decided to test people’s brains to check whether ‘happiness’ occurred as predicted. The BBC reports that they found “We can look at past decisions and outcomes and predict exactly how happy you will say you are at any point in […]

Football referees aren’t just wrong, they’re biased - The Dismal Science

Jun 18, 2014

Football penalties are often controversial and the first couple of days of the World Cup have already provided one dubious decision. Luckily for the referee’s personal safety it favoured the hosts, Brazil. But, according to Randal Olson’s fascinating analysis of penalty decisions, there may be more than luck involved: 70.6% of all penalty kicks were awarded to […]

There is no One Model to Rule Them All - The Dismal Science

Mar 10, 2014

I like the influence that physicists are having on economics. Moving towards agent-based modelling in some areas of the discipline is a great idea. But, in addition to lending their novel insights, some seem to enjoy piling on economics generally. Generally you have to take the good with the bad but Mark Buchanan’s latest article […]

Politicians vs policy analysts - The Dismal Science

Dec 10, 2013

Jonathan Portes has an interesting post on the Department of Work and Pensions’ analysis of Mandatory Work Activity. Jonathan does a great job summarising the research and it’s fantastic to see good evaluation coming out of the Department. The political headline of the post is less positive: “DWP analysis shows mandatory work activity is largely […]

Quandl update - The Dismal Science

Oct 18, 2013

It’s been a few months since I wrote about how much I love Quandl so you might be wondering how things are working out for me. The good stuff is still really good but there are a few things that still need work. The good I can import data directly from R/Python code without having […]