The latest issue of the Economic Research Institute's bulletin has been released, covering the topics of returns on university top-up fees, electricity prices and Soviet military spending.
Robin Naylor, Jeremy Smith, and colleagues preview the government's decision on re-setting the cap on "top-up" fees. They fear that a big rise will deter some people from going to university: their research shows that although on average a degree gets you a pay premium, there are wide variations in the returns to higher education by subject and degree class.
Michael Waterson and his colleagues ask whether domestic consumers benefited from the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) and other institutional changes designed to increase competition and reduce retail prices in the UK electricity market. They find that the net effect has been merely to rearrange where money is made in the system.
Mark Harrison returns to the mid-1980s, when Soviet leaders began to regret the price they were paying in the international arena for extreme secrecy in military affairs. He examines new evidence on their decision to release more information about defence spending – and the difficult process of revealing the truth.
Edited by Romesh Vaitilingam, the Bulletin is available free of charge at the Economics Department website.