Author Archives: aveekbhattacharya

Utilitarianism and anti-social preferences

I’ve been troubled this week by Arindrajit Dube’s anecdote about the Nobel-prize winning economist Gary Becker: In case you don’t speak economics, what this means is that Becker thought we can’t say that domestic violence is incontrovertibly a bad thing, because we need to consider the benefits to abusers against the harms to those who […]

Review of Dreamers

I’ve written a review of Dreamers by Snigdha Poonam for the LSE Review of Books. It’s a fascinating and important book, so I’ve had a go at drawing out some of its political implications in the review: Each chapter in Dreamers profiles a different segment of India’s youth: behind the scenes at a Buzzfeed-style website […]

Would more people support foreign aid and charities if they grasped the scale of global inequality?

Cross-posted from the Inequalities Blog. For all the attention that economic inequality has received in recent years, it is too rarely noticed that the largest disparities in living conditions are between people in rich countries and those who are poor by global standards. Yet for those of us concerned about global inequality, the political trends […]

What has Jeff Bezos done wrong?

I think it’s fair to say that the response to Jeff Bezos’ recent announcement that he will be donating $2 billion his new charitable fund has been relatively negative, with responses ranging from the snarky to the outraged. So I have been thinking about why he has generated so much hostility, whether it is justified […]

Are multi-buy discount bans paternalistic?

In recent months, both the central UK Government at Westminster, and the Scottish Government have released strategic plans for addressing obesity. In both cases, among the measures being considered is a ban on multi-buy discounts for unhealthy foods and drinks, such as  confectionery, crisps, cakes and sugary sodas. This would outlaw price promotions that offer […]

A Socialist life in a Capitalist world

Bryan Caplan has written an article about how he thinks ideologically consistent socialists should live, given the likelihood that capitalism isn’t going to end any time soon. His five step plan: 1. Live frugally 2. ‘Cheat the rat race’ by taking a low paying job/a career with lots of leisure 3. Approximate a commune by […]

Why I am not a Liberal

Sam Bowman has written a good piece arguing that many people who self-identify as ‘centrists’ are actually liberals, and as such should more assertively defend liberal values. At a time when ideological labels are regularly thrown around in a loose and confused manner, it is refreshing to see someone draw the political dividing lines so […]