How Did I Get Here? from Discover Economics

Ep 5: Will Page

June 17, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
How Did I Get Here? from Discover Economics
Ep 5: Will Page
Show Notes Transcript
Welcome to episode 5 of "How did I get here? Discover Economics

In this episode, we have Will Page. Will is the former Chief Economist of Spotify and PRS for Music where he pioneered Rockonomics, publishing work on Radiohead's In Rainbows, saving BBC 6Music and articulating the global value of music copyright. His book ‘Tarzan Economics: Eight Principles in Pivoting through Disruption’ publishes on 1st April. He has served as a fellow of LSE’s Marshall Institute throughout 2020 and has recently been appointed fellow to LSE's European Institute.

Tarzan Economics: Resources
Tarzan Economics
Who Sampled
How to vaccinate the world 

Thank you so much for joining us on discover economics. How did I get here? podcast? Just who or what is an economist, there's an economic lens for every topic that you can possibly think of the economists in our podcast are motivated by a desire to change the world. And their belief that better data and better understanding are key to achieving this theme. I'm very excited and enthusiastic about learning more about what economics can offer us as a society. And what are the options when it comes to careers for young people. And it's been an absolute delight to do this series on To learn more, to indulge my noisiness to get to ask so many questions, I'm hoping you as listeners will have wanted to ask yourself, thanks for listening. Now, I obviously enjoy speaking to all of the guests. For the podcast. I particularly enjoyed this one. And not just because will is Scottish, although of course it helps. But it was so interesting to speak to well, because he was chief economist of Spotify and what this interview does, I mean, his whole career brings together his love and passion for music, as well as economics. So there's some real fascinating storytelling and advice here. And, you know, will has also written a book recently, which we mentioned in the podcast am Tarzan economics, which I would definitely recommend you go and get, I actually have downloaded it on Audible, because I love an audiobook. So go out and check that out. And it's, you know, really accessible. And I think that quite a few if you're a teacher, or an you're thinking about introducing like older students or a level students to economics is quite a good way in actually it's not like Freakonomics or any of those books. That's a little bit more, you know, for me for Joe public. It does take things up a little notch, but I think it would be worth checking out. Definitely. So I hope you enjoy the episode. I really did. It's I think this might be the one that's most left field, shall we say? coming out to as the likes of the chief economist at Spotify and previously for other music organisations. So dive in, have a listen and let us know what you think. So today, we are joined by wil Paige well is the former chief economist of Spotify and prs for music really pioneered rock and omics, publishing work on Radiohead in Rainbows, saving BBC six music and articulating the global value of music copyright, his book tours on economics, it principles in pivoting through disruption publishers on the first of April, he has served as a fellow of lscs Marshall Institute, right 2020 and has been appointed fellow to lscs. European Institute starting in May 2021. Hi, well, it's lovely to meet you. And thank you so much for taking the time to tell us exactly how you got to your thank you so much. Great to be here. And I really support your course. Oh, good, good. You've given me a little bit of info just before we started about your book, we were talking about discover economics and what we're trying to do. And you gave away a bit of a spoiler that the last line of your book is exactly related to what we're trying to do. So I'm going to jump right in there and ask you, what is the last line of your book? So we're gonna hop skip and jump 323 pages? was an 18 months, blood, sweat and tears, just wrap it up? Who needs thought? Yeah. Well, the last sentence of the book is my way of trying to capture the journey that I've been on in terms of being an economist and a very unusual position, I think I was, and continue to be the only economist in the music industry, which technically makes me a monopoly. So I should be smashed up into little pieces. And it's just a very, very unique career path. But the way they wrap the book up, and we'll call back to the contents of the book later, I guess those simply say, don't wait for your job description. Create your job description. And I came up with that lay when I was doing some work on women in STEM subjects for high school students are looking at filling in UCAS forms and people asking like we don't see courses and doing what you're doing, like combining your passion of music and economics. You know, how do we get on that course? I said, there isn't one and that's the point. Don't wait for your job description. Create your job description. I think this, this this passive response of, I'll see what jobs are out in the market and respond to them is the wrong way to approach a career path in economics. Look at what you've got a job description and sell it into your employer. I love that. And true across so many things, not just economics. I do a lot of work with young people we're trying to do mentoring and have taught in the past. And a lot of my conversations kind of tinker around that area. You know, the job that is there right now. I mean, this is a bit of a cliche, you know, might not be there in five to 10 years start knowing what you enjoy and what you are passionate about and what you can make a living doing because let's face it, we've all got bills to be paid. is really important. And sometimes you don't know that until you just start doing stuff, I suppose as well, I love that. And we definitely will come back to the other pages and all of that other hard work that you put into the book, a promise won't just come down to that end, quote, quick punch my surname there, thank you very much. unintentional, but I'll take it. But it's interesting to think that the management teams of companies, which are probably putting out job postings, without a minute's thought can really describe what they need. Yeah. And I just love your listeners, be it the students be at the parents who are thinking about their, their children's career in economics to consider flipping the table and saying, I know what I've got to offer. And I know that they need it. And there's nothing wrong with having that level of confidence, when you're looking at the job market to go up to a failing company and say, I know why you're failing. And I know what it's going to take to succeed. You know, the whole purpose of like, you know, the job market is to stand apart from the crowd, then why Russ? Why wait for your job description, just go out there and create one, sell it. Yeah. And that's the thing, like I said, the managers don't necessarily know, I mean, I'm sure you've come across this as well, the amount of people I speak to by the job descriptions they put out into the marketplace, or the job descriptions that people have, that do not match what they do every day. And the person putting out the job description, looking for a new member of staff doesn't entirely know what they need until that person's in place. And so many times people will be doing the interview process and they'll get a candidate come in and think, well, you're not really what I was looking for when I started this process. But now that I've talked to you, I understand that you're maybe why need it happens all the time. So let me take I'm going to rewind, I want to make one of those little. This is where video would be quite handy. You know, can you do Wrigley Wrigley screen thing. But let's go back to the beginning. So where did you grew up? And what were you like at school? So I grew up in Edinburgh, and also with a strong allegiance to Scottish Borders, particularly in the coastal Scottish Borders, just just south of Dunbar. Really? It's quite interesting. If you're from the small town of Dunbar and you think what have we gotten done by well knock down castle, a pretty interesting harbour, a supermarket, but you've also got the small town of the small birthplace of john Muir. And when you work in Silicon Valley in California, it's incredible. Like you have street names, roundabouts, schools, john Muir is like God there now. Okay, he left me to 11. But, you know, it's the best minor point meeting venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. As you see I come from the town of john Muir. And then you're in serious ABCD all the way up to Zed. We were funding you. Yeah. So there is a small thing to think about, which I think is fascinating, which is the journey of john Muir and what he did for the National Parks of America. But yeah, that's that's my home. And then through school in Edinburgh, and then into university at University of Strathclyde, which, you know, the really important academic credential to University of Strathclyde at the time was he had more student bars under one roof and any other university in the country. They had 10 floors of bad behaviour and that building, I think I got myself banned from just about all of them. And then a gap here working in financial services, and then into doing my master's, I think really important for your audience. To appreciate. I did the Scottish tutorial programme and economics masters, which is a very clever idea of pooling talents. So essentially, at Scottish universities would pool their services into one campus, one Master's programme, and that was a really great way of giving you the specialisms you would need to execute on your thesis. So for example, if you're doing your masters at Adam University, but you had a big focus in labour market economics and the best labour market professor was Aberdeen, you will be able to tap into the expertise as part of your Edinburgh based MSC. So I think it's for your listeners, it's a very interesting pooling model of running a Master's programme at universities getting to one campus that can be modelled elsewhere gives you the assurance of a great degree, but also the professor you need to pursue your specialism. I mean, that sounds amazing, I thought, because I talk to people all the time about going to Union in Scotland in general, because you get for years, of course for your undergrad. And one of the things I point out all the time is the fact I did English, literature and linguistics, but because as long as you put your core credits in those subjects, I got to do random stuff in the biology department and, and all kinds of other philosophy and Latin randomly one year as well. And I think that Yeah, there's definitely thinking a lot about how can you get the experience that you need when you're doing your your schooling, if you like, because, like you were, you know, you've obviously brought together your love of music and economics, you hear that language and people talk about starting their own business or being an entrepreneur, but you don't necessarily hear that language when it comes to you can bring things together actually, in your studies. You don't have to be isolated into one thing or another. You can bring things together. Before you even get started. Can I just ask a quick question before you get to uni? What kind of stuff Did you like? School skateboarding. And skateboarding. Big fan of Art and Design. Yeah, very interested in politics. But beyond school, I think, you know, I mentioned in the book from a very early age, I was not just introduced to the concept of economics. But my, my father, who's a math teacher at school in Scotland, taught me how to teach economics. And that's really, really interesting easing. He taught me how to teach economics before I was able to learn it. And what I liked about that was he always made me think about how your best intentions could make the problem worse, that could go for, you know, your life as a as a student at primary school or high school or into university, but also in politics, how introduce a policy to solve the problem can make the problem worse. And in the book, I give a really good example, I think it was 11 years old. So still, you're wrapping up Primary School at Tule. Cross Primary School in the heart of Edinburgh. We're at the beach in the Scottish Borders. And, you know, I said to my dad, well, what does economics mean? You know, he taught my older brother Tom, what economics is you got to teach me I wanted sibling rivalries kicking in I need to catch up with it. Give me the same goods that you gave him because the word economics is intriguing. I wonder what it means. So we're at this beach and in the Scottish Borders. And my dad said, Let's imagine you're the Prime Minister. Okay, my weapon, but we'll go with this. He said, Well, look out here on the beach. Now imagine I told you that 20 odd children drowned fatally in British waters last year, and there's hysteria going on. And you're at number 10 Downing Street. And you have to come up with a policy response to the fact that all these kids are drowning in British waters, and you've got grieving parents staring at you, you've got angry politicians, you've got a hostile press, tell him what your policy response is going to be. That's okay. Let's just work with savoia to we're at this beach, we're looking at your kids playing in the water. And obviously, there's a problem that which needs to solve, which is that kids are drowning in the water. And I got to come up with my policy. So my policy swans I don't know what you would say, Jennifer, but my policy response was to make swimming compulsory for abroad. Okay, so you really want to solve the problem. You're upset your 11 year old kid and you're crying because you're hearing that kids are drowning in British beaches? Yeah. So that's a great, that's politics. Now let's do some economics. What do we know about what happened? Cuz drone dad now makes me sad. Okay. Yeah. Where were the kids? They were in the war that and what does that tell you about their ability to swim or not? That means they can swim that? Why did you say that? Because kids who can't swim, don't go into water. And then the penny dropped, my policy would make swimming compulsory so all kids could swim, which means we would have more kids in the water as opposed to less now 0.001% of them dry and fatally an accident, you'd have more deaths as opposed to less and you can quickly see how the economist is building a model in this area. And that was the moment for me where I realise this is my subject. This is what fascinates me is how you can challenge your own logic by realising your best intentions of mice and men to quote that famous Scottish poet could actually make the problems worse, dad, dad died, I don't want workers to don't want less want to solve the problem. So what's the solution? And he talked about inflammation, you know, how about alerting parents to what the dangerous beaches are? How about a flag system? Red, Amber green is to the state of the undercurrents give the kids the information to know when it's safe to go into the water and you can reduce the risk of them drowning. But making it compulsory without any questions that was my sole policy response would have made the problem worse. So that's a really knew we'd go back to what did they learn at school? Forget school for a second when I learned that lesson. I knew that somewhere along the line and allowed myself in a career in economics. That's amazing. And honestly, parallel so many conversations I think we're having today because one of the you know, one of the things about discover economics is that, you know, we're trying to open up the field of economics and get more diversity. And you know, whether that's ethnic diversity, gender diversity and cognitive diversity, just Yes, absolutely. Let me give you a very quick flipside of cognitive diversity. So my first day when I moved to London in 2006, the same question that you've just asked was asked to me by the General Counsel of the Performing Rights society, a wonderful woman, you're top of our legal gaming copyright. And she said, How did you discover economics? They told her the story of being 11 years old, being at the beach, my dad, I wanted to solve the problem, but I made the problem worse and went through that story in your perfect articulate fashion, as you put down a knife and fork over lunch and said, I'd have just banned the kids from swimming. That's like, wow. Yeah, a lawyer sees a problem ban people from doing it. And that solves a problem and economist sees a problem. We have to do kind of reverse logic as to what will actually solve the problem. I thought. This is a very useful anecdote to hold on to here. We're learning A lot of different mindsets here. So cognitive diversity in the legal profession, I think is required as well. 100%. And that actually, that that reminds me of something you said in your recent article for LSE, when you're talking about, you know, analysing people's behaviour. Yeah. Because you can't legislate for people's behaviour. Like, I don't know about you growing up especially or even now, you know, there's a certain thing of, well, I'm a bit of a goody two shoes, I have to say, and it was a sward school, although we've established before we started record, and most of us to believe that no, person, my problem is that my, probably my definition of bad behaviour and good behaviour is different to most people's. That's the difference. Also, I, you know, hugely aware of the kind of public consciousness that as soon as you say something is not allowed, you're kind of pushing people to try and do it. It's like a red flag to a lot of people. And it's not necessarily like you said, If you ban swimming in the sea, great, but you know that it's the people who are not the strongest of swimmers, not the more sensible when it comes to thinking about under currents, and all the rest of it is going to be people who get drunk on a Saturday night at a beach party, who are then going to jump in the sea, because it seems like a good idea. So I love what you've said in a lot of your work about, you know, you've got to think about the behaviour as well. And you know, and I think that's where my interest in economics as a subject comes from, as well. Obviously, I don't have any experience or background, but I do. One of the reasons we're doing this podcast is because I want people to understand exactly what it means and the storytelling and the reality and the application of it if you like, which is why I love your story. Because, you know, if we put you in front of a bunch of school kids, you're probably as far away from what young people think an economist is when they see them on the news talking about inflation. You know, that's very far away from what you do. I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about your time working at the Scottish Government while being a dg have an evening because I feel like that is also something that people could relate to quite a lot and will be surprising, perhaps a Batman lifestyles best way to describe it by daily wearing a charcoal black suit, blue shirt, red tie, and doing some of the most boring work known to man, like local income tax reform, wonderful icebreaker. Yeah, and then by night, I found myself you know, desperately trying to get into the music industry. So I started writing for an award winning publication called straightening chaser, which is run by quite a famous DJ in Britain called Charles Pearson. And, you know, I was specialising in working with Philadelphia hip hop artists, particularly the roots, and rich Medina, King, Brit, these types of people, and also Brazilian funk stars, especially the composer eumir deodato, and Marcella dice and these artists, so Brazil and Philadelphia funk music by night and in government economic tax policy by day. So it was an interesting combination. But you know, the careers advice, there is what I call boot camp, I think the government economic service, if you can get a good line manager, and if you can get a good working department and these are two conditions, get a bad manager get a bad department is not going to work out for you, you can't just take the brand on face value. But if you can get there, then you can get a really good boot camp and understanding how to apply economics in an environment you know how to influence or policy, how to construct off benefit analysis, how to think about option appraisal, where the first option is do nothing, then you can explore option A compared to the nothing, then you can explore option B against doing nothing, you know, a very simple twist to the tail there. But a lot of people think I'll just compare option A to option B, you know, you compare option A to do nothing, you compare option B to do nothing, and then you build out your net assessment of the costs and benefits. So I would stress that the government economic services are fantastic bootcamp to build a curriculum, it's career. So having two years, three years in government economic service, you know, is really going to stand you well in terms of future steps, great training, and some great mentoring. And also you get understand the influence, like you can be a great economist and have zero influence on what's going around you. I don't care if you're a PhD from the University of Chicago and all these accolades. If you're not influencing, then you'll How can you teach value in your job description, your job of economics is to have impact. And that's a different skill. That's communication skills. That's something that's come up in a few of the other interviews, which is, you know, it's not really until we get into the workplace that you start to learn about, not just having the best idea, but how to communicate it to the people that you need to communicate to, to in order to get things done. And, you know, that's some people, you know, maybe naturally very good at it. Some people may have gone to schools were actually that was a big part of the curriculum. I know that for me, in my state school, you know, in northeast Scotland, it wasn't necessarily something that that was part of what I learned at school, but it is it's such an important thing and actually in your in your world in Spotify and other kind of tech giant If you like, what's really fascinating is when people look at them, it doesn't matter if someone came first and had a better idea, if they can't articulate it to the audience that they're trying to reach and get it to kind of, you know, get momentum is a word that's thrown around a little bit too much, you know, in that space as well. But there's a big part about communicating what you offer and what you're trying to do what you're trying to achieve that has a huge influence on the success of an idea. Where do you think you managed to pick that up? Or? I mean, I imagine that given how your dad was talking to you, when you were 11, you probably had a bit of it before you go into the workplace. But where do you think is they can pick off? You're right, the influence of my father is a big one there, but then built into my role of government was a particularly good at it. No, I was still at inconvenient truths and think, is it worth my while raising my hand and saying, that doesn't make sense, or that can make the problem worse. You know, I'm not going to claim to be a saint here, probably not more interested in having a good time in the evening and getting myself. I think that the thing which comes in when you look at moving into music was there was a passion there as passionate about music. All these have been since since since discovering Queen, you know, just and I was passionate about a music industry that was staring into the abyss around about the time of moving to London in 2006. Let's remind ourselves piracy, that is stealing music from the internet was ramping easily the most dominant form of music consumption, revenues, were falling off a cliff. The purpose of copyright, you think about the word copyright for a second is the right to control copying, which led me as an economist to ask the question about how do you control copyright when you've lost the right to control copying because of the internet and because of disruption? I think it was the passion, kind of going a little bit deep here. But hold with me is the passion overrode the insecurities to say somebody is going to raise your hand and start dealing with inconvenient truths. And that, for me, was the role of an economist. And that was where I decided to create my job description as opposed to wait for one that was simply to say this business is dying, economics may be able to do something about it. Nobody in the business is higher than the economist today. And I want to be your first. That's amazing. And you're absolutely right, there comes a point where you're, I suppose, and I find myself in these positions where you're sitting in a room. And depending on who's in that room, you might feel like you don't have a voice. But the conversation gets to a point where you think Hold on a minute, clearly no one else is going to open their golden shout, no, you're all wrong. This is a mistake Someone has to do. And you get pushed to that point. And and I can imagine that that happens all the time. Actually, I can imagine that I do have to imagine I did that at school to my teachers quite often because along with the goody two shoes thing was needs to ask questions, which I'm sure that a lot of my teachers find very annoying. But again, it's that confidence thing is is something I'd like to just hold on to for a second. Because when we talk about diversity in any industry, it I think there are so many hurdles that see the first person doing anything has to overcome that person has to have the confidence that they can step into that environment amongst people who, you know, don't look like them or don't have the same background as me or don't have that same experience as them and know that they can stand there and hold their own. Making sure that we have young people who have the confidence that the understand what economics is, let's see, and how they can apply it to places that maybe haven't looked at it through the lens of economics before. What advice would you give to see teachers who are talking to those types of young people who could do that, who could take economics into new places is tough, because there is a lot of professions out there, which don't employ economists to this day. mainstream music is just one of many, it's not actually that unique. I mean, sure, everyone's saying what the music industry is hiring an economist how weird. But you could sing that for a lot of professions. And that again, goes back to those last words of the booth is not enough people creating their own job description, and applying it to their profession. I remember my father saying that economics was not about your Greek symbols and crazy mathematical formulas, which is the off putting power or solving a Lagrange formula and calculus. I mean, my master's was basically 12 months of solving Lagrange formulas. Let me be absolutely clear to the students and parents listening to this podcast. I haven't solved the Lagrange formula once in my professional career, and I don't expect to so what was their masters, which cost 3000 pounds of student debt to do? Yeah, I'm just a genuine question like, was that a useful tool to apply? And I seen any counsellors been applied by any professional economic colleagues? No. So what do you teach it? Why don't you learn Google BigQuery, Tableau dashboards and the best Excel skills in the block, like you're far better economist learning calculus all day, and all right, so there's questions there. So I think the best thing you'll go back to what my father said was just about abstractions, thinking about problems differently. Why do we have a drought because we run out of water knows we price water too cheaply thinking about the problem differently. And in the book in the sixth chapter, the book is called pivotal thinking. So where I tell the story of be on the beach, but it's, I caught something from Rory Sutherland is this famous ad man and a brilliant guest for your show. I really encourage you to get Rory on his, you know, when you go to the Ogilvy offices, it has been well above the reception we sell or else it's a great way of reminding people in advertising what we do. In this line once we said, the opposite of a good idea can also be pause. A good idea? Simple. There's a sentence of a matter of words, no 65 page PDF slide deck here, you offset the good idea can also be a good idea as a way of thinking like that, which is okay, you got a good idea. Let's use just do one basic economics. You Jennifer's got a good idea that a monopoly would reduce output and increase prices. I get it. That's why we smash up monopolies why it's why monopolies are bad. That's why the board game teaches us right? So how about this, the opposite of a good idea is also a good idea. When I look at Tech monopolies have no marginal cost. They're software based companies. They expand output, and pretty much eliminate price. So the opposite of a good idea can also be a good idea. Now, there's something which you know, I'm going to bring this back to the students listening, how much money have you spent on Facebook? Nothing, but they're a monopoly. Hold on, they're expanding output 1.6 billion people getting 1.6 billion unique news feeds, none of which are the same. So they've expanded output, but they've eliminated price. So you can simply grab off the shelf, the old economic textbook of what is a monopoly and say that's a good idea. Let's break up monopolies. We're not regulating Tesco is regulating technology. And this stuff is hard. But I would love the students listening and for the parents listening to us to use that example, because social media is in all of our lives. Yeah, they're all called monopolies. Which by the way, the plural is kind of amusing there. There's all these monopolies. That, but yeah, we relate to social media, but in if they are monopolies, that is there's more than one monopoly, which is an anomaly. But if they are monopolies, they're definitely not monopolies and how the textbook teaches us. So either the text because wrong, or the description is wrong, but Something's got to give. And I think there's a lot of that required in economics, especially from kids studying today to realise those textbooks. Yeah, my fantasy next next year's curriculum is already out of date, but the curriculum that they teach in economics is proximately, 23 years out of date. So there's a lot of work to be done there in terms of, Okay, I can pass my exam and score an A, but I dropped Marlowe challenge conventional thinking, and give myself an A instead. And that's the challenge, I suppose for parents giving advice to their children, and also for the students making decisions themselves. And you and I've probably also had to make this decision of I know, I'm going to do this qualification, and I'm never going to use it again. But if I don't get it, I'm not gonna be able to walk through this next door that I want to walk through, in order to do the next thing that I want to achieve. And that and that's a horrible decision to have to make, especially when we're talking about things like masters that cost money, and not everyone has access to them. And we want people who maybe don't have the money to pay for a Master's, to walk through that same door, because we need them because we need the other way of thinking and experience. And we're beginning to see the fight back on out front in tech as well, which is, you'll see companies like Google saying to students don't go to university and acquire debt, we'll just train you up on the Google campus instead and give you the exact tools you need. And there's an argument for and against all, but you wouldn't get the more fulfilling experience of university if you buy into that story. But equally, you do get the vocational skills to succeed and become a product manager at Google and own what the prime minister in Britain earns in a month in a year and a net in a month working for Google. So, you know, there's pros and cons to all of this. I think, you know, in the background there, there's a very interesting, something you said earlier in this podcast, it's very interesting to be about specialists. And when we were both from Scotland, and with the higher symptoms of Scotland is possible to go to university at the age of 17, graduate at 21. And one of my best friends at university graduated from stress played with chemical engineering as like, do you really know at the age of 21 that you want to be a chemical engineer? Yeah. pastoralism and again, cognitive diversity, I think, begs the question of would it be better to have a more rounded education with bits and pieces from other disciplines and that I think that's what's happening with economics. I mean, you mentioned behavioural economics. You know, to be kind of blunt here is speaking somebody from pod people economics for me is micro economics is dead. They've gone down the psychology department and nicked a bunch of ideas sorry, but it wasn't that original in the first place. You can mock it up with a bunch of books portraying is but you know, that's what's happening. That's a good thing. That's a good thing. You know, a good artist burrows agree art steals a john lennon said an economics is stealing from all other disciplines. Now to try and stay relevant. I would champion theft in that respect as piracy. Not as Network geology. Oh good. I steal from anthropology is the job of economics to be dynamic? Absolutely. And to learn from, learn from the new information like don't be that's what I love about it as well is, when we go down the route of philosophy and politics or or down the policy route, I suppose there's too many ways that people can get tied to Bill, I've made this decision, I've drawn this line in the sand, I can't possibly change my mind, even if new information comes in. And to me, that's one of the beautiful things about economics is that you can pull in information Oh, no, God, you're gonna tell me I'm wrong? Well, no, it's just I want to build that point out for you. There rich is gone. What Ryan always said in the years of 2000, to 2006, when I was there was the role of an economist and government was to strive for evidence based policymaking, and avoid the temptation of policy based evidence making, you can see what happens in the world, all the best evidence making, I want to build a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham so people can get to Birmingham faster. Why does anybody want to get to Birmingham faster, nevertheless, find the evidence to justify that, really, versus looking at the evidence and trying to understand whether it would genuinely be an optic to commute from Birmingham to London. So evidence based policymaking is what we should be going for, whether it's economic evidence, whether it's psychological evidence, where whatever discipline you can to form a policy is a good example of an economist. But you know, using economics to justify an existing belief in a policy is a bad use of economics. But I really, really believe then, don't expect to get promoted fast by playing that game, because you're actually trying to be objective, as opposed to subjective. But I think that's the job of an economist is to say, way, what does the evidence actually say? And let's build a view upon that, as opposed to assuming we need to train link, and then we're going to find evidence to justify that assumption is very, very important. where the rubber hits the road is adhering to the former and avoiding the temptation of the latter. Yeah, absolutely. I think it is so important. And the some of the conversations we've been having with other economists for this series, is that a lot of them have come out and said, Look, I can inform policy by giving policymakers the information, but I'm not a policymaker. And, you know, I think in some disciplines, or let's say, in some economics disciplines, people have tried to make that distinction for themselves, whether I'm giving you the information, you can choose to ignore it. But I'm not the one making the policy, I'm giving you the best information. And actually, when we talk about the this is something else that I'm fascinated by, because I'm so nosy. And that's one of the reasons I love social media, because I can follow people on Twitter that that are completely different from me have completely different lives. And I can be very nosy about what their what they think and what their lives are like. And I recommend that to anyone who's, who's just trying to learn more things, find excellent people who share their lives and kind of listen. And the interesting thing as well about economics, because we can start to drill down to how research is conducted and how we consume research as well. When we think about diversity and something that's coming out in the last few years, or certainly that be more visible to the public in the last few years. I'm sure that there's people shouting, listening to this, and we knew for a long time that research can be biassed, and that not all data is created equally, etc. So I think what's also good about economics, borrowing other disciplines is being willing to look at how we collect information and how we process information and understanding that, you know, numbers on their own don't tell the whole story and how the people who then translate those numbers, they have their own biases. Amen. Yes, it's a big one, it's it's interesting to think about some of the contents of the book that's going to be relevant to your audience is a chapter called Big Data, big mistakes. And I'll take what you're saying there and take it a step further, which is sometimes having all the data is the problem. And we'll call it quantification bias, where you are biassed what you can measure, and not only lack the bias or the balance, but you just disregard what you can't as irrelevant. And that's where the problem happens. The quantification fallacy almost, as well. And I explore that in the book. And with Spotify, we had all of this data and a common question is you had all this amazing data. What did you do with it? The job of an economist was to be the sort of the opposite end of the spectrum, which is not trusted, because you can build a dashboard and show a spike doesn't tell me anything. Yeah, I need to channel that dashboard. Why was it bill? I need to question that spike, is it just common sense? And then look at what else is happening, which wasn't being measured. I give you some very, very quick examples. But just in you think about big data. Here's a great one. Everybody at school or the parents listening will be familiar with Google will be searching for Google for the content that we're looking for. That's a pretty familiar task. So let's say here's a good example. Apple one, which is a bundle which students parents might be considering. $30 a month gets you, all of Apple's Products news music, film games fitness, two terabytes of storage, if you happen to work at NASA, it's all there for $30 a month. If you search for Apple one on Google, the first link will be a paid search link paid for by Apple to appear at the top of the rankings on Google. The second way will be an organic link to the Apple one bottle which Apple didn't have to pay for. You don't need to be an economist, and you may well be a parent of a kid working out what they want to do with the ups for you at work for their kids staring at you guys wanting How should I feel it out to spot there and realise we have a problem. I'm preaching to the converted, I search for Apple one, I don't need to pay Google to appear at the top of the rankings when somebody searches alone. And in that chapter, I take an example of Steve Fidelis, the former chief economist at eBay in a professor at Berkeley University, and does some really great work that challenges not just your how markets work, or how economists think. And he did this great project with eBay, where he identified hundreds of millions of pounds being spent on paid search advertising, which didn't need to be spent, you can take that money off your p&l tomorrow, and not affect our Robo pay search advertising is only achieving what organic hertz would have achieved. Anyway, if I search for a Gibson Guitar on eBay, guess what's gonna come up? I give some Les Paul guitar on eBay, we didn't need to pay for that. So he so he did that. Now the point? I mean, when he presented that work, what do you think eBay said, well done Nobel Prize winning piece of economic No, we like spending that money on paid search advertising, we have quite a cosy relationship with Google here. And that's again, an example where the rubber hits the road, you know, a 10 year old could spot there's a problem there in terms of paying for something that you would have achieved in a way. But even at the higher echelons of business, you have these reciprocal relationships, which say, Don't rock the boat so fast. I think that's for me is is that type of corporate tough foreign policy, tough work, you're working in the public sector, where economists really get their hands dirty, and, you know, bread tricky, because you're always trying to avoid not getting sacked, but relevant. And then again, you know, how many big data scientists will show the benefits of paid search advertising without questioning whether the organic hit would have come up in the first place? Now I'd ask all your listeners, maybe take a break from this podcast, jump on it for yourself? Let me see. I know. Absolutely. And, and also, what you were saying there about not just having all that big data, but asking, you know, can I trust it? That's one of the first things because as I said earlier, I work in digital comms, and I spend so much time educating people like you're looking at, say, Google Analytics for your website, and it will, it will give you some demographic data, or how many of your households have a device that has one IP address, but is used by four different people who hit four different demographics. Yeah, the app. So that's in what like so. So how do you know? And it's, it's making sure that yes, you've got the numbers, that's one step. But have you asked how those numbers came about? Where did they come from? What could possibly be skewing that information before you even start to analyse it? I think that something that came up when we interviewed Rachel Griffith, and something that I think my parents gave me, the absolute gift that they gave me that I still hold on dearly to you is just being endlessly curious about how things work. Yeah, like, and that's the biggest thing you can do, I think, if you want to be an economist, or, or just in anything in life, is making sure you're the one that's asking the question of, well, how does this work, though, you know, we can't take anything for granted, you know, maybe worth as we come out of the pandemic, and just touching on that as well, because one hat tip to Hartford and how to vaccinate the world, your podcast and broadcast and the BBC, introducing some sort of coherent mathematical analysis to some of the numbers that are being around with the pandemic. But if you are told about a regional our rate, okay, think about that. A regional RA, you're right to raise your hand and say, how in God's name, are you going to mention it measure the array by region when people are moving around? Yeah, you know, sorry, but we we've got quite a big elephant in the room here that we need to tackle if I'm supposed to be worried about in one region, it's 1.2. And another is 0.9. I mean, I mean, London's The best example. I mean, I used to just laugh when I when I was living in North London, and it'd be like in your area, and I'm like, I can take five steps in the other direction, and I'm in someone else's, for a start. And we're also close together. And yeah, it's impossible. It's impossible. Just maybe to a drawing on Spotify. They're what they are right to be. I'll bring it back to Spotify. And give you a really good example that your listeners, the kids that school and the parents wondering where they're going to go at university can relate to is that Spotify, we have a free tier. Everyone knows that you get adverts. You don't get offline listening. And then we have a paid tier for 10 pound a month 1499 per family plan where you get offline listening to adverts full features. Great. everyone's done standard class coverage, the first class coverage and the model of converting you from selling In a class, the first class is the same as what economists have explored with monopolistic screening over the years as well. So that's the model, but then you have the language of conversion. So people would often say, what's your conversion ratio? How many people did you convert from free to paid? That would be the golden metric for Spotify during its pre IPO years? How's conversion going? And I used to say, that's the wrong word. Because I could go from no Spotify to paid Spotify, perfectly fine, perfectly take up the Vodafone bundle here in the UK, some of your listeners may be on by using convert me from free to paid. Yeah. So the language of conversion is misleading. You take that to the our rate debate, you have the same issue in terms of how do you measure a retransmission? Yes, people go from A to B, necessarily, they could have gone straight to B. And it's very interesting how I was able to draw on my time at Spotify, understanding some of the problems and metrics in a pandemic. And that's a good use of economics. Yeah, absolutely. understanding the concepts, and you might spend years using them, applying them in one industry. And then you can absolutely take that to another and apply them. So people listening to long career guys, if you could get the concepts nailed, and taking it elsewhere. I wonder if I could just I'm going to bring in a quote from the end of your LSE article, I think that I mentioned earlier, just to ask for some advice, if you like, and we'll have a link in the description. So when the ideas in our heads are worth more than the roofs above them, the quote at the end to know due to the accelerated pace of disruption that's resulted from the pandemic, we're all facing our Napster moment, we all need to let go of transactional data and grab on to an understanding of consumption, we all need to realise what matters most our ideas and our actions are all too often what's being measured. Least So I was thinking about that concept or reality, the IP is worth more than real estate. And what does that mean for young people in their future? Because Gone are the kind of traditional ideas of you know, childhood, good school, get job, buy a house, you know, that I was brought up with, and I feel like so the generation that just come out of university, let's see right now in our in the job market, but early on in job market, people talk about that being the kind of last generation You know, they're not, they're not gonna be able to afford to buy a house or it's in all of those traditional markers. Let's say we're going for them. And if you're a young person right now, and you listen to that, in the media, you think, well, I really want to spare everything. What am I going to what does that mean for me? Because I'm even, you know, I'm further away from that. Let's see, then, then they are. So what advice would you give to young people who find themselves in that position and thinking about the future and, you know, investment in life markers. Let's see. To that paragraph specifically, I'm gonna draw on a pretty clear example here of how to think differently about how the world has been measured in the past decades, if not centuries, to why I think musics journey, you know, articulated in my book matters so much just because it got their first it was the first digital disruption. It's the first to recover. And, you know, to that, quote, everybody, you know, is doing it, they're Napster moment professionals. And I mentioned in the book, accountancy, banking, and lawyers were previously the 123 top professionals for any university graduate when I was at university back around the time, Henry. Now, they're all replaced by software engineers, product designers, and UX specialists, you know, you would not want to be an accountant or a banker, us if you were the top your retail, where you'd want to go into tech. So it's quite a big transition. I think that's a really relevant point for parents to see how the tables have been turned in terms of where did the brightest and best students want to go, they do not want to be accountants at KPMG. Bankers at Morgan Stanley, or lawyers at Clifford chance, horrible professions, we can the offices, the offices come out of our more than salary. Now, they want to be in an open office environment as offered by tech. And it will take decades before those all professions can adapt, can let go, the old viners are using the expression of ties and economics and grab on to the new one. But the other point that's in there is, you know, from understanding how things are consumed to being sold. So one of the key lessons from Spotify, is we gave up in a world of transactional data. Okay, so follow me here in the late 90s. And the cocaine capitalism of the late 90s. When musicans, who was at peak when record labels would take helicopters to their private jets. They used to sell CDs get this by the weight of pallet. I got a pallet of CDs here. Great, not what's on there. How much does it weigh 30 kilos, I'll give you this much for it. Shania Twain, Robson, Jerome doesn't matter. It's all going to sell. Now, we get to see the function analytics of every single stream happening on Spotify, time of day, IP, location, age, gender profile of the user source of those streams, everything about assumption, and that's a big revelation for me in terms of how music got there first in terms of letting go how things were sold transactional data points and how they're consumed. Consumption analytics. Yeah, let's just take one really simple example your listeners were boiling at, let's say, the Minister of Transport wants to understand the health of the transport economy during the pandemic. And what they've done is they've looked at how many cars were sold last quarter, this will happen in government in 2021. I'm going to measure the transportation needs of US economy by car sales transactional data, would it be more helpful for the economist in the room to raise their hand and say, I don't care how many cars are sold? I care about how those cars are being consumed? Yes, and for what purpose? You know, our car sales down because the majority of car sales last quarter were just tie orders, which have been acquired by Uber drivers to move more people around less ownership. far more interesting story than trying to understand Tell me if car sales are up 2% or down 4% and previous, which is currently the narrative. Yeah, you could apply that to gyms, you know, is a nation getting healthier? Jennifer? Yes. Because gym memberships spiked in January, wonderful. Shut up, go get a job in a shoe shop you're not wanted, I want to learn Yeah, but other people use noseeums and how they're using those gyms, which is the birth of fitness apps. But you can see Apple is investing heavily in that same transition of, you know, decades, centuries of gimme transactional data. So I can make judgments to this new world which Spotify discovered for us and everyone else is discovering. Now because we got an effort because we're that Canarian digital coal mine, I will understand how contents being consumed. And I think that's the big pivot that we're all facing. And if you have no qualifications, but you've cracked that nugget, then you're a hell of a lot more valuable. And that's where we have a real problem in the economics profession, do not do a degree, a Master's, a PhD in something that's become irrelevant, which is transactional model, understanding consumption. 100%. And there's been a lot of a lot of the interviews so far, we've been talking about the different applications of economics and environmental economics is a big one. And how economics is applied to, you know, environmental issues. And just when you were talking about the car thing right now, it makes my blood boil, if we were allowed to swear would use a different m term that you probably more familiar with. Yeah, I don't care how many cars are sold, because I've got a 10 year old, actually 12 year old car outside, that's a diesel. And it's much more important, how often do I use it? How far do I go when we're talking about the environmental impact of cars? And you know, this idea that do not No, do not buy a diesel? Well, how about you not buy a car, like us? The one you've got until you know that, again, there's there's no easy answers that are many, many factors involved in any of those decisions. And again, I think that's where economics really stands out, I can give you an even more beautiful example of one that's much closer to home for me as it's gone literally 24 hours before I say to my mom and dad, your son's an author, because the book comes out a lot like the book industry. And this has given me a wise old fox of the book industry. I will not name this person. But they'd been in the business for many, many years. And I was at a summit the industry and they're saying maybe the country could do what Spotify could do. I stood up on stage and said no. How can you say that? Because you listen to a song more than once. We rarely read a book more than once. Therefore, the models don't work. They're not compatible. Sorry for making a blatantly obvious point. That doesn't work. Yeah, I got booed off stage for saying that. But nevertheless, there's there's ways or publisher came up to me afterwards, he said, why his words, Mr. Page, you made a good point up there, you should take heart from that ignore the booing as okay. He said in my industry. I run my p&l every year. And he's a very successful book publisher on the basis of 80% of books that are sold, or not consumed. I said, What the rubber duck? Are you seeing here? Yeah, he said 80% of consumption is not consumed. That is eight out of 10 books that I put out in the market are sold, they pay the price, but it will actually get read. They're on a glass table. They're in a bookshelf collecting dust, or maybe they're a gift, but they're not consumed by the person who made the purchase. I was like, that's a tonne of breakage in your business model. How on earth can you be a successful publisher with that type of ratio where 80% of your of your worth is not actually being consumed? And he said to me, that's why I always like to say that the record collection defines who you are, and the big collection to find who you really want to be. Wow. When he said that my jaw hit the floor. It's like where's he taking me here? I went back to my house loo to my bookshelf recited that line. The record collection defines who you are. I've listened to all of those records. I own every john Coltrane record ever Elise I listened to them all religiously. Yeah, but the book collection defines who you really want to be. I was looking at my book collection thinking. Karl Popper. I only bought that books. I could pretend to be as brainy as my big brother. I've never actually bothered to read any percent this bookshelf hasn't hasn't been taken off the shelf yet, but I paid for the content. Yeah, so then better transactional data. Great. We're selling more books. That's useful. You got a PhD in answering transactional data a book sales wonderful. I don't care. I want to understand how are those books being consumed, even though they're being consumed at all? And also, this is I mean, we've talked about this for hours. But also then the next question for the book industry is, does that matter? Will people continue to not consume or not consume in that way? In which case, will it continue? ad infinitum. Unlike bigger, bigger questions, Jennifer on the biggest one, what we're doing right now, podcasts is a means to the end which Jennifer's got some great inspirational ideas, albeit expressed in DottoTech. And I want to get them well, I could hold a book in front of my face for two hours a day for three weeks reading a book, or I can listen to a 42 minute podcast. Yeah, no, achieve the same game got your podcast, don't need your book. And the entire industry is just like a sleeping giant walking into this 100% this tornado of disruption as podcast start up their lunch now seeing top authors like some of the biggest thing authors see their book sales crater for for clim. And their podcast, you're going through the ceiling? Can I just be the economists in the room to say we have an issue here? But yeah, again, just like with music 20 years ago, you're dealing with an inconvenient truth. And yeah, it's hard to persuade people have a problem ahead of them when their jobs depend on them not understanding it. Yeah, into the role of an economist one on one, what can I know we've run over time, and I'm really sorry, because I could talk about this for ages. I would love to hear your opinion on audiobooks in that equation. Because, again, I'm a massive fan of audiobooks because I can be listening to a particular and I I know that some people have a particular thing where they'll listen to a nonfiction audio book, but don't like to listen to a fiction audiobook and vice versa. Where do you think that sits in terms of you know, because like say podcasting is disrupting audiobooks is one of the ways that the book industry is start is hopefully trying to hang on to the listeners, but how do they compare? audiobooks raises a couple of interesting questions and the first one a personal one for me is when you go on your first time author a book journey and you spend 12 months in a Batcave writing and you come up with air and start the manuscript process is an email you get which is Who do you want to speak your book or voice your book? Yeah. Before like I put my life into this because somebody else is going to read it on Audible. Sean Connery passed away the same day as I got the emails. But yeah, I got angus king who famously I would argue famously read shuggie Bane, which was an audible breakout success story and as an interesting back end to what's happening with audio books, which is you know, that broke out shall you be more successful audible first, then hardback, paperback second, so you have that two by two matrix of your management consultant of great reader, bad book, bad read a good book to read off angus king from Crieff. So we have a tree facts, and apparently what he scores 4.9, and all books that he's read. So, you know, it's interesting to think about the actual book writing process and audible. Second thing which you can add to the debate about what happens to audiobooks and audible specifically, as what happens if they were to go to an all you can eat payment model, similar to Spotify, give us 20 pounds a month, and you can listen to as many books as you want. Great with no raise the average revenue per user ARPU figure for because they're spending 20 as opposed to 10 or 15. You know, they're getting more value for their money, they're getting an option value to listen to as much as they want. They're getting a booth a proposition. But the question The Economist has to quickly raise their hand and ask is how you're going to distribute that money to the authors? Is it going to be by time spent listening to the book? Is it going to be by the quality score of each book, listen to which is I spent hours listening to this because I thought it was terrible. So please give them less my 20 pounds a month, this week, but it captured my imagination, please give them majority of it? How do you allocate and that that's a fascinating piece of work. And I would encourage the students and the parents listening to think about this, because underneath that debate is a topic called fair division, which is long lost in the history of economics. And when you go back to the Polish mathematicians who met in the town of low in Poland, cafe get this Jennifer get this I Kathy called this Scottish cafe Can you believe Of course it was. Well, they they basically came up with the concept of fair division. For those who can remember how it works, you know, very quickly, there's a cake and the job is at will and Jennifer need to cut up that cake fairly. The simple rule is to give will a knife and Jennifer the choice because it forces me to cut evenly because I can't roll. The choice I'm going to be left behind with enter a third person and you're dealing with the mathematics of preference and envy. And that's where her division works in music streaming today, Spotify, Amazon, apple, YouTube across all them. We're having this debate right now, which simply says, should it be the case that Jennifer's 10 pound a month of Spotify goes into the aggregate pot with everyone else in that country for that period. And then what we do is we allocate the proceeds pro rata to all the artists and songwriters, which essentially means is to get 1% of all US That happened in that country for that period for that product, then you get 1% of all the catch simple, efficient distribution of revenues, or should we ring fence Jennifer's 10 pound a month to just her music. And it's such a divisive debate and music. people taking you know, very heated debates with strong opinions you decide which I love as an economist less you hear it. Underneath it is a really interesting economics about trade offs. I can give you wish unsee the pro rata model of electing a government or I can give you fairness, the proportional representation model directing a government but I can't give you both. Now, Alison, beautiful example of economics at work as soon as you say, Did you know that your music streaming services paying artists that you didn't actually listen to people are offended? Yeah. The artists you contracted with the platform? Yeah. So we have a paper published with a mentor of mine, David Sophia, who studied at LSE, and University of Chicago and, you know, really pioneered economics and collect the administration called money and money out. So if you were to Google up page to fear, money in money out, that should come up at the top of the rankings. And we will certainly circulate that paper plus some sort of non technical descriptions of the work. But that's a really, really powerful example of putting economics to work for students to listen to, because all those students listening will have access to streaming services. Yeah, all of those students listening will know there's money going from either their bank account or the Bank of mom and dad, to that streaming service. Yeah, I would ask those students who are thinking about economics to ask the next question, which is, that's the money in the platform, how does the money get distributed out? And that brings economics to life. And there's, there's a million other questions that came in as you were describing that as well. Because I think about again, it goes back to the diversity debate, and I think music is waning, going back to, you know, Elvis making money off of a number of black artists who'd kind of paved the way and and wrote the music and, and then so how do you then factor that in as to which artists get the get the money back afterwards? And then you also have to factor in the recommendation engine? And how the fairness of a recommendation engine and you know, and that side of things is to well, if we're looking at who got listened to and is that how the money gets distributed? Well, how do we know that that was fair in the first place for people getting ripped, there's just so many factors at play. I'm an advisor of the company who sampled which is the biggest crowdsource database of sampled music in the world of fast now. You know, for your listeners, please go there and try the six degrees of separation where you can name two artists, any two artists, you know, completely unconnected, yeah. And they'll connect them through sampling through six steps. It's a brilliant, brilliant experiment. The other sampling that is a fascinating one about copyright and ownership, like who owns the thong, a couple of very quick examples to bring that to life. There's a famous hit by the Verve around the time, the Millennium called bittersweet Symphony. This is like 20 years ago, and they used a sample by Angela Goldman doing a version of a Rolling Stone song. Yeah. And you're the original intention for the band was we'll use this as a loop at the introduction. And that's it, you know, a four bar loop and we'll go into a song what he actually ended up doing was using the sample throughout the entire song and it became the corner, cornerstone of the composition. And there's a singer of the verb unfortunately, wore a T shirt, which said, Who the f is Mick Jagger, which didn't help the diplomacy of the Leo seasons with a Rolling Stone onto our Rolling Stones got I think, 95% of the publishing for that song. And then 20 years later gave the verb their publishing back. So they actually owned it. Unfortunately, the song This could be the last time there's another band from a gospel African American band, who are also looking at suing the Rolling Stones, for bet samples, you know, who stole the song from who stole the song kind of spillover effect, and it's all documented very interestingly on the site. But it just raises that question that john lennon said, which is a good artists borrow great artists steals what is original anymore? Yeah, that's a beautiful example of copra. Yeah, yeah, those debates are really great. I really want to be the, I don't want to be an economist. I want to be the judge in the courtroom. Let's move the big herbal split. listens to the music says guilty. Yeah, you know, I think that would be the best profession in the world of just like, you know, working out, did you actually steal that song? Just inspired by those cases of great for raising the question of intellectual property and, you know, just to underline in terms of career opportunities, economics, intellectual property, big opportunities right there right now, thanks to technology. Yeah, massive. I'm gonna ask you just one final question for the for the podcasters knows. I mean, we've covered this in many different ways, I think throughout this discussion, but just to kind of, let's see if there's some way we can summarise a little bit of it, but what advice would you give to teachers and parents who are talking to young people about economics as a career just to kind of distil if you like some of the advice, I'm going to try and give you one that nobody else would give. I don't want to repeat words that people will hear in other podcasts are going to be value added as well. Yeah, I'm gonna go back to Adam Smith, and go back to his career. And he said, a lot of really, really like to try and really understand Adam Smith. It's hard like some of that language guru. But when you get digging, you can really uncover some absolute gems that influenced your life. And this story revolves around when Adam Smith was at Glasgow lettering and philosophy, and then moved to Oxford, and spent a few months down there with the dreaming spires of Oxford the most prestigious position in the world at the time. And after six to eight months there. And forgive me if I get the dates and the facts slightly out of context here. He decided to quit Oxford and go back to Glasgow, and the deans of Oxford said, Adam, you're the most important academic on the planet America has been built based on your principles of the free market. Everybody's been influenced by your work, you know, you're questioning is the Enlightenment, the role of the state in the church. And you're here, ultimately, you decided to go back to Glasgow, not Aberdeen, or Edinburgh. But Glasgow, why are Why are you quitting here. And now, I'm going to paraphrase here. But Adam Smith basically said, as soon as a professor no longer has to compete for his students, He therefore becomes redundant. And what he was meaning was because we want to study at Oxford, he didn't need to try, it needs to keep himself on his toes didn't need to advance this idea. And when I read this, it just explains so much of some of the challenges of universities being essentially monopolies, which is if I don't need to compete for that next round of 180 students wanting to do econ 101 next year, then I don't need to try and be a good professor. And I think back to how many odd lectures I had, how many god awful professors, there was so many, so much dead with knees trimmed, and you've been asked to cough up 9000 pounds and fees for this dead word. And what Adam Smith said is, is because they don't have to compete, they've got job security life, I get the argument for that the whole 10 year debate again, one thing that, you know, comes from there is the problem of a monopoly. Yeah, this means you can't go bankrupt, you don't need to try. So I would just stress to students and parents, yes, there is prestigious universities out there. And yes, I'm sure they've earned their reputation. And yes, I'm sure they're going to justify that reputation and their fees. But be wary that those with the best reputation will often try least, versus those who perhaps don't have the best reputation, but are putting everything into their teaching those superstar academics, you see on the profile, you ain't gonna get lectured by them. And even if you do, you won't get tutorials with them, or you'll never get time in their offices. So don't think that part of the appeal is actually going to come to fruition when you make that choice to wage study. As soon as that Professor no longer has to compete for the students, He therefore becomes redundant because the job of a professor is to champion new ideas and to keep fighting to make things better not to be complacent with your laurels in the past. So I think that lesson from Adam Smith in the 1700s is even more relevant now with cost of education as well. Absolutely. Oh, and we could do another episode on that. Thank you so much for your time. It's been amazing. And like I said, I think it'll be really valuable for the listeners to kind of understand what the all the different applications and the different kind of life if you like you can have with economics that they maybe just hadn't realised before. And I'm hoping we'll put the link to your book and to the articles that we've mentioned and stuff like that in the description. And you know, I can have a wee chat. But if there's anything else you think would be worth kind of adding on at the end, I have included things like the money and mini money out link and, and also to whosampled. Because I think there's a lot of interesting stuff for students and parents to look up there. Yeah, maybe just click out, I invested heavily in a new website, tars and economics calm. And the woman who built the website for rose Turner, a wonderful woman, you could recommend her highly for this type of work. And she said, What's the one purpose you want your website to deliver? Is it book promotion? I said, No. I said, I want to help students, I want to help that student thinking what am I going to do with my ups for me to commit to all this debt. So under the section called rockin omics, there are a huge resource of everything, with amazing publications that people can get to as well. So you know, that one's there to help people learn, brilliant, or make sure that that is all in there. Thank you so much. I'm hoping that we'll be able to do a follow up series and come back with some questions from students and, and parents and teachers. So if you're up for that, we can jump back in at some point. Absolutely. And maybe, you know, just toss out a wild, wild sell idea. We could do it this way. And I could get a music artist or something on board as well. You know, as an artist with a career in this business making a living out of this business. How would you have benefited from economics? I think that'd be an interesting way of listening to a creative person. You're talking about where economics was missing in their lives as well. I think that could be a really interesting application of this subject for for students and parents listening. Absolutely. That would be absolutely amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to our episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Please get in touch if you visit our website, discover economics You can email us through the site get in touch See all of our resources. And we'd love to hear from you. If you've got any questions for our guests that we can pass on to them, and I keep nudging our guests. We're hoping to get them back in the hot seat again with your questions. So please do get in touch and let us know what you think. If you've enjoyed the podcast, remember to go to Apple podcasts, and rate and review. Remember to subscribe so that you get all the new episodes as they come in. And we look forward to hearing from you and let us know what you think. See you on the next episode.