2. A regulation parable: what if supermarkets were run like state schools? From Don Bourdreau, via Greg Mankiw.
3. The excellent Evan Davis opines on intangibles:
We're less clear and that's because we've moved towards the intangible sectors more than other developed economies. We are a huge net exporter of business and commercial services: insurance and finance, surveying, architecture, legal services, advertising, university education.
Is that a good thing?
The service sector raises a number of problems. Here's the nub of it: old industries – manufacturing industries – had lots of good reasons to disperse geographically. You had shipbuilding in Sunderland, steel in South Wales and coal scattered around the country. The new industries are brainy industries and so-called knowledge workers tend to like to be near other people who are the same. Think of the City or Hollywood. People cluster. This means you have winning regions, such as London and Cambridge, and losing regions. The people who want to be top lawyers in Sunderland are hoovered up by London.