In a thought-provoking op-ed in the FT recently, Tim Harford (of ‘Undercover Economist’ fame) asks whether the nexus between behavioural economics and public policy is indeed a feasible one and whether this new ‘sexy’ stream of economics is living up to the hype. He asks, “Is behavioural economics doomed to reflect the limitations of its intellectual parents, […] ...

Avurudhu season is hotting up and nearly all the credit card companies are falling over themselves to offer the most attractive discounts and offers. I for one eagerly took advantage of a couple of them last week. Today’s hot spots were at the Race Course where HSBC was running a 20% discount and ‘fashion hawker […]

Avurudhu season is hotting up and nearly all the credit card companies are falling over themselves to offer the most attractive discounts and offers. I for one eagerly took advantage of a couple of them last week. Today’s hot spots were at the Race Course where HSBC was running a 20% discount and ‘fashion hawker […]

Driving through the Nepali capital Kathmandu is an open exhibit of what happens when there is a failure of governance. Endless stretches of city roads broken up for repair but stalled for years, kids stepping over overflowing sewers as they walk back home from school, canals brimming with waste winding through residential neighbourhoods, vans and […]

Driving through the Nepali capital Kathmandu is an open exhibit of what happens when there is a failure of governance. Endless stretches of city roads broken up for repair but stalled for years, kids stepping over overflowing sewers as they walk back home from school, canals brimming with waste winding through residential neighbourhoods, vans and […]

At my village home this weekend I had an interesting conversation with one of our long-time hands, Jinadasa, talking about how his son and daughter need to find jobs after having recently completed higher studies. His son had studied business administration in his degree programme at Ruhunu University, and focussed especially on human resources management. His […]

Is it worrying that more young Sri Lankans are getting more 'picky' about the type of job they want? At my village home down South this weekend I had an interesting conversation with one of our long-time hands, Jinadasa, talking about how his son and daughter need to find jobs after having recently completed higher studies. His son had studied business administration in his degree programme at Ruhunu University, and focussed especially on human resources management. His only wish now ...

Just read about a fantastic programme of The White House called ‘Presidential Innovation Fellows’ which brings together folks from the technology entrepreneurship and ‘start-up’ community to address national issues and improving people’s interaction with government. Although I just stumbled upon it, it seems to be running for the 3rd consecutive year. As noted in this […] ...

Bringing tech entrepreneurship to improve government Just read about a fantastic programme of The White House called ‘Presidential Innovation Fellows’ which brings together folks from the technology entrepreneurship and ‘start-up’ community to address national issues and improving people’s interaction with government. Although I just stumbled upon it, it seems to be running for the 3rd consecutive year. As noted in this article about the Fellowship programme, ...

Mumbai opened an impressive new airport terminal two weeks ago and I had a chance to sample it just a day after it opened. An otherwise exhausting 9 hour layover there was made rather pleasant thanks to the brightly-lit terminal, colourful and comfortable chairs, and decent shopping (although many of the shops are yet to […]

Mumbai’s New T2 Terminal Mumbai opened an impressive new airport terminal two weeks ago and I had a chance to sample it just a day after it opened. An otherwise exhausting 9 hour layover there was made rather pleasant thanks to the brightly-lit terminal, colourful and comfortable chairs, and decent shopping (although many of the shops are yet to open). The new terminal ...

The curious case of The Economist article on Sri Lanka In what can only be described as a bizarre turn of events, a recent article on the blogs section of The Economist website went missing for about 4 days. No – not just inaccessible in Sri Lanka – but completely missing. The article in question was in the blogs section of The Economist website – the ‘Gulliver’ column – and ...

Notorious for poor service quality in our hotels and restaurants, Sri Lanka can also be classified under the countries with the most over-staffed retail and service establishments. More often than not you can spot waiters idling around, chatting with each other, and a waiter-to-customer or sales assistant-to-customer ratio of 3 to 1 or worse. I […]

Overstaffing and idling Notorious for poor service quality in our hotels and restaurants, Sri Lanka can also be classified under the countries with the most over-staffed retail and service establishments. More often than not you can spot waiters idling around, chatting with each other, and a waiter-to-customer or sales assistant-to-customer ratio of 3 to 1 or worse. I spotted a classic example today ...

End of season sales can be great ways of pulling customers into a store, and it’s a clever marketing strategy used by most high as well as low-end stores. The brands for which the franchise is owned by the Softlogic group is having a widely advertised “upto 50% off” sale at many of their branded […]

Sneaky End of Season Sales End of season sales can be great ways of pulling customers into a store, and it’s a clever marketing strategy used by most high as well as low-end stores. The brands for which the franchise is owned by the Softlogic group is having a widely advertised “upto 50% off” sale at many of their branded stores to clear out last ...

Health and pharma research financed privately by private corporations have the incentive of high returns on research that leads to successful drug development. However, public research on health is not as easily financed. It can be argued that public research on health exhibits public good characteristics, and requires a more active intervention to provide. I […]

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