Oceans apart

July 9, 1999

Paul Ormerod (Letters, THES, July 2) is critical of our report on the almost complete disappearance of Britons interested in a career in university economics. Yes, in principle, we should be able to buy in non-Brits to fill the gap.

Unfortunately there is an empirical flaw in his ideas - one roughly the size of the Atlantic. This country is willing to pay only about a third of what US departments can offer. In the medium-run, therefore, we are dead. We cannot hold on to the best people.

Stephen Machin, Professor of economics, University College London. Andrew Oswald, Professor of economics. University of Warwick

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