Author Archives: aje

WW1 Battlefields

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We have been to Picardy several times and in 2014 made our first foray to see some of the WW1 Battlefields. This page is to share some of our advice on what to do.

Getting there

I enjoy getting the ferry because it feels more like a holiday, and there are plenty of cheap and regular crossings from Dover to Calais. I like using P&O because they’ve been good at getting us across if we’ve been late, and have good customer service.

However the Eurotunnel is a far better option. It’s usually around £80 per trip (although there’s a £15 per trip pet surcharge) and the road links are superb. There’s several trains each hour and it’s essentially first come first served. When you check in you are assigned a letter, and they typically refer to a set departure time. But if you proceed to the boarding slip lanes as soon as your letter is called, there’s a good chance you’ll squeeze onto an earlier train. If you spend too much time in the terminal and wait until the second call, you may well get pushed back onto a later one. The crossing takes just 35 minutes and you can get out of the car as soon as you’re on board. It really is an engineering marvel and wonderfully convenient.

Base

We stay in Mons Boubert which is a friendly village near Arrest. However we’ve also stayed at the Domaine de Drancourt campsite and highly recommend it. We like to book through Eurocamp which have plenty of affordable options. It is toddler friendly and conveniently located. Some of our favourite day trips include:

  • Saint Valery sur Somme – we visit the town centre regularly. It is the port that William the Conquerer departed from in 1066, and was a resting place for Joan of Arc on her way to Rouen in 1430 (I think). There is a monument for the former outside the Office de Tourisme and a plaque for the latter in the medieval part. The Sunday market is worth visiting (but best to park outside of town and walk in) and the quayside is flat and leads to a nice cafe (and playground) on the beach. We’ve enjoyed Creperie Sel et Sucre and Spa Samaris.
  • The Somme Bay steam train – St Valery to Noyelles is 15 minutes, whilst St Valery to Le Crotoy is 30 minutes. There’s a nice Salon de The/Art gallery right next to the station at Noyelles called Relais de las Baie but make sure you check times for the return journey (often it’s either a choice of coming straight back or having to kill a few hours)
  • Abbeville – the town centre is convenient to park in, find a brasserie, and visit the cathedral. There’s also a soft play called Accro Kids which has coffee and wifi. On a rainy day it is a necessity if you have young children.
  • Amiens – under an hour from St Valery and an easy day trip. We parked by the Hotel de Ville, visited the cathedral, and ate on the banks of the river. The old town is worth exploring.
  • Quend plage – Fort Mahon plage is bigger but Quend plage is a little closer (it’s a 40 minute drive), more down to earth (they don’t sneer if you want a coffee before lunch) and has everything you need. There is plenty of parking within a short walk of the beach and several brasseries on the front. The beach is sandy and goes for miles. It can be windy and the weather is unlikely to be much better than the UK but if you bring games, shelter, and a picnic it’s a great day out
  • Crecy – the battle of Crecy took place in 1346, and was an important part of the 100 years war. It is just over 30 minutes away. There is a small turret that can be climbed to give an overview of the site and visualise the importance of the new technology being employed by the English longbowmen

The battlefields

The itinerary below is based on what we’ve done, and what we’d do if we did it again. It is based on an overnight stay but could be fit into a daytrip. I’m not including any photos and don’t advise you to do any more research than what you’re reading now. If, like me, you don’t have much familiarity with these sites it’s best to see them for the first time in the flesh. Be willing to be surprised. Once there, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to absorb information. You can find the exact locations easily but we just put the town centre into the sat nav and then looked for the road signs to each place. This seemed like a better way to do it – everything is very well signposted, but it adds an element of immersion and serendipity. Once you are in Albert (and especially Beaumont-Hamel) you could just randomly drive around, and stumble upon cemeteries at random. It’s a bit like a morbid, poignant wine trip.

Day 1

  1. Drive to the Thiepval memorial (1hr 30 mins) – this is a great place to start because the visitor centre has a nice account of WW1 and a separate history of the Somme battlefields. My prior knowledge was limited to what I remembered from school and Blackadder. The visitor centre doesn’t go in much detail, but it fills in a few holes and lays down a nice primer. They also tend to have excellent photographs. The memorial itself is stunning
  2. Drive to the German cemetery at Fricourt (20 mins) – head north out of Thiepval towards Pozieres. Over 17,000 German soldiers are buried here, making it one of the largest German sites in the area. It provides a haunting contrast to the Allies cemeteries which are individual white stone graves. The German ones are often buried 4 per marker, which are black crosses. Not all of them are crosses though
  3. Drive into Albert and park by the basilica (10mins) – this is a good stop for lunch, and to stretch legs. Then, underneath the basilica is the Somme 1916 WW1 museum. It is housed underground, in a WW2 air raid shelter, but contains an evocative collection of WW1 memorabilia. There are numerous wax models displaying scenes from trench life. These are uncomfortable and you leave via a dark tunnel with scary sound effects.
  4. Drive to the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial (10 mins) – this takes you into actual trenches at the front line. The visitor centre explains the history of Newfoundland (which at the time was a British Dominion) and there are free tours
  5. Drive to Arras city center (35 mins) – we used the Holiday Inn Express and recommend it. There’s convenient parking and it’s right in the city centre. We walked to the Grand Place via the Place de Heros, and there’s plenty of restaurants in amongst the Flemmish style arches. We ate at Assiette ou Bouef and enjoyed it.

Day 2

  1. Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez (15mins) – one of the biggest British cemeteries and immaculately kept. It also has the advantage of having a Polish and Czechoslovakian cemetery nearby, and a stunning but fleeting view of the Vimy memorial on the road in
  2. Drive to the Canadian National Memorial at Vimy (11 mins) – a real highlight of the trip. Head to the memorial first and walk around. You need to get back into the car to go on to the visitor centre. You can get a pass to allow you to explore the preserved trenches, and look at the bomb craters. There are also guided tours each hour, on the hour, and these provide access to an underground tunnel system
  3. Drive back to base (1 hr 40mins) – there are several routes to take, we went via Hesdin. You could make it back for lunch, but we stopped on the way at Chez Nathalie in Labroye. There wasn’t really a menu, just a few specials. They were all authentic and hearty.

Coach

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I am a UEFA qualified soccer coach and a non league scout.

Positions

  • 2005, Head Coach: The Royal Pigeons, Vienna Youth, u10s
  • 2003-2004, Team Manager: Ashville Colts, u10s
  • 2001-2004, Head Coach: Hills Soccer, Wirral

Qualifications

  • UEFA B Coaching Certificate
  • First4Sport Level ‘2’ Certificate in Coaching Football
  • FA First Aid Certificate

Fulbright


I spent September 2011 – December 2011 as Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at San Jose State University. This page provides a list of some of the public activities I took part in. Personal photos of the trip are at Flickr.

9/12 Meeting at Independent Institute, Oakland

9/21 “The problem with shock therapy is not enough volts: Why Russia needs more powerful oligarchs” David S. Saurman Provocative Lecture Series, San Jose State University

9/26 “Why Market Monopolies are OK”, Civil Society Institute, Santa Clara University

9/30 “Whistleblowing and the knowledge problem”, College of Business, San Jose State University

10/3 Attendee of the “Monetary Policy Workshop”, San Francisco Federal Reserve

10/7 “The Financial Crisis in the U.K.:  Uncertainty, Calculation, and Error”, Department of Economics Friday Workshop, San Jose State University

10/11 Fulbright Visiting Scholars Luncheon, Stanford University Faculty Club

10/11 Hoover Institution archives, Stanford University

11/10 “Why whistleblowing protection fails and what to do about it” Lucas Graduate School of Business, San Jose State University

11/16 “The role of ignorance in economic crises: The UK experience during the great recession” Cal State East Bay

Textbooks

This is just a list of textbooks that I’ve taught from, and like:

Principles:

  • Principles of Economics, N. Gregory Mankiw
  • The Economic Way of Thinking, Paul Heyne, Peter Boettke, and David Prychitko
  • Modern Principles of Economics, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok

Advanced:

  • Microeconomics, Andrew Schotter
  • Advanced Macroeconomics, David Romer

Managerial:

  • Managerial Economics, Luke Froeb and Brian McCann
  • A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics, David Moss

Markets for Managers: A Case Method Seminar

For my textbook see here.

This proposed seminar is aimed at junior faculty teaching on general management programs. It shows attendees how to teach using the case method, and provides content for market-focused courses. If satisfactory progress is made attendees will then become licensed to utilise the classroom material in their own courses, and have access to ongoing support and follow up workshops.

Resources

  • Proposal for a Licensed Course – email me
  • Toward a Pedagogical Manuel – email me
  • Course Map

Schedule

Day 1

Introduction to participant-centred learning

  • 9:00am – 10:30am | Session 1: A negotiation exercise
    • Malhotra, Deepak, “Hamilton Real Estate”, Harvard Business School Case Nos. 9-905-052 and 9-905-053
  • 11:00am – 12:30pm | Session 2: A classroom simulation
    • Holt, Charles A., and Sherman, R., (1999) “A Market for Lemons”, Journal of Economic Perspectives

The Case Method

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm | Session 3: Competitiveness
    • Sölvell, Ö and Porter, M,  ”Finland and Nokia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9‐702‐427
  • 4:00pm – 5:30pm | Session 4: Public Finance
    • “Rovna Dan: The Flat Tax in Slovakia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9-707-043, March 2010

Day 2

Create your own teaching notes

  • 9:00am – 10:30am | Session 5: Prediction markets
    • Coles, Peter, Lakhani, Karim and McAfee, Andrew, “Prediction Markets at Google” Harvard Business School Case No. 9-607-088, August 20, 2007
  • 11:00am – 12:30pm | Session 6: Market-Based Management (R)
    • Weston, Hilary A., “Automation Consulting Services”, Harvard Business School Case No. 9-190-053, November 2000

Create your own cases

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm | Session 7: La Marmotte
    • Evans, Anthony J., La Marmotte, January 2012
  • 4:00pm – 5:30pm | Session 8: TBD
  •  

 

Course Map

This is a list of 80 minute sessions that I regularly teach across various general management programmes. They are a combination of lectures (denoted with an *), cases, and simulations. Many of the Harvard cases have detailed Teaching Notes, but feel free to contact me if you’d like to see my own versions. Up to date versions of my own cases, are available here.

Microeconomics I

  • Incentives matter*
  • Max U
    • Maximilian Untergrundbahn, January 2013
  • Incentive design
    • Incentive Design, February 2011
  • Understanding cost
    • Malhotra, Deepak, “Hamilton Real Estate”, Harvard Business School Case Nos. 9-905-052 and 9-905-053
  • Cost curves
    • La Marmotte, January 2012
  • Economies of scale
    • “Dogfight over Europe: Ryanair (A)” Harvard Business School case no. 9-700-115, November 21st 2007
  • Market equilibrium
    • Holt, Charles A. “Classroom Games: Trading in the Pit Market.” Journal of Economic Perspective. 10 (Winter 1996) 193-203
  • Markets in everything
    • “I’ve got debts, please buy my kidneys” The Times September 27th 2009
  • Price discrimination
    • An Economist’s Passage to India, February 2012
  • Price techniques
    • Wembley Stadium, July 2012
  • Competition and the market process*
  • CC Simulation
    • CC Simulation, March 2012

Microeconomics II

  • Game theory*
  • Oligopoly
    • Beckman, Steven R., “Cournot and Bertrand games” Journal of Economic Education, Vol.34, No.1, pp.27-35
  • Auctions
    • Hild, M., Dwidevy, A., and Raj, A., (2004) “The Biggest Auction Ever: 3G Licensing in Western Europe”, Darden Business Publishing
  • Capital theory*
  • Adverse selection
    • Holt, Charles A., and Sherman, R., (1999) “A Market for Lemons”, Journal of Economic Perspectives
  • Signalling*
  • Internal markets
    • Wessen, R.R. and Porter, D., “The Cassini Resource Exchange” Ask Magazine 16, Fall 2007, p. 14-18
  • Prediction markets
    • Coles, Peter, Lakhani, Karim and McAfee, Andrew, “Prediction Markets at Google” Harvard Business School Case No. 9-607-088, August 20, 2007
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
    • Weston, Hilary A., “Automation Consulting Services”, Harvard Business School Case No. 9-190-053, November 2000
  • Market-Based Management (R)
    • Finegan, J., “Pipe Dreams” Inc.com Magazine, August 1994
  • The firm
    • Coase R.H., “The Nature of the Firm” Economica, New Series, Vol. 4, No. 16. (Nov., 1937), pp. 386-405
    • Hayek, F.A., “The Use of Knowledge in Society” The American Economic Review, Vol. 35, No. 4. (Sep., 1945), pp. 519-530

Macroeconomics I

  • Public finance
    • “Rovna Dan: The Flat Tax in Slovakia”, Harvard Business School case no. 9-707-043, March 2010
  • Monetary policy I*
  • Monetary policy II
    • “The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank” Harvard Business School case no. 9-711-049
  • Fiscal policy*
  • The Great Depression*
  • International economics
    • Josko Joras (A), December 2012
  • Signal extraction [WIP]

Macroeconomics II

  • Growth theory
    • Solow, R., (1956) “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70(1):65-94
  • Dynamic AD-AS model*
  • ISLM*
  • Behavioural finance
    • “Sun: A CEO’s Last Stand”, Business Week, July 26th 2004
  • EMH*
  • Banking crises
    • Diamond, D.W., and Dybvig, P.H., (1983) “Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity”, Journal of Political Economy, 91(3):401-419
  • Currency crises
    • “Currency Crises” Harvard Business School case no. 9-799-088
  • Debt crises
    • Blustein, P., “And the Money Kept Rolling In” Public Affairs, 2005 (pp.39-60)
  • Transition I*
  • Transition II*
  • Public choice*
  • Global prosperity*
  • MPC Simulation
    • MPC Simulation, , December 2012
  • ECB Simulation
    • ECB Simulation, March 2011
  • Wiggle room
    • The Balkan Wiggle-Room Index, December 2012
  • Scenarios*

The Evans Rule

Once you have X publications make a list of your best Y articles. Put it on your website. The Evans Rule of Publications is to only publish future articles that you expect to replace ones on that list.

As a Junior Faculty member X=Y. If there is a “publish or perish” culture then Y->X. However the Evans Rule applies to those wishing to make a tradeoff between quantity and quality. As you develop more autonomy over your publication goals, Y can fall. Note that this doesn’t mean your best “hits” – it is your subjective judgment about the quality of the paper, regardless of where it is published.

For me X=20 and Y=8. Here are my selection (in chronological order):

 

EU Debt Write Off

This page presents the results of a simulation conducted by students at ESCP Europe Business School. The aim was to uncover the amount of interlinked debt between Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Britain, France, and Germany; and then see what would happen if they attempted to cross cancel obligations.

The results were astounding:

  • The countries can reduce their total debt by 64% through cross cancellation of interlinked debt, taking total debt from 40.47% of GDP to 14.58%
  • Six countries – Ireland, Italy, Spain, Britain, France and Germany – can write off more than 50% of their outstanding debt
  • Three countries – Ireland, Italy, and Germany – can reduce their obligations such that they owe more than €1bn to only 2 other countries
  • Ireland can reduce its debt from almost 130% of GDP to under 20% of GDP
  • France can virtually eliminate its debt – reducing it to just 0.06% of GDP

For more information download the full report: The Great EU Debt Write Off (.pdf)

Images by Soapbox


The idea

The idea is very simple – if Portugal owes Ireland €0.34bn of short term debt, and Ireland owes Portugal €0.17bn, we can write off Ireland’s obligations and leave Portugal with a reduced debt of €0.17bn.If you are both a debtor and a creditor you do not need money to settle claims. Rather than require additional funds to deal with choking debt, why not write it off?
The diagrams above show the before and after situation, based on analysis done by students. The simulation itself took place on May 17th 2011 and involved three separate trading rounds.

Main data sources


Resources for instructors

If you would like to replicate this simulation in your classroom, email me for a zip file. It includes:

  • All of our data (including sources and notes)
  • The starting positions for each country
  • The results table to provide real time information to students
  • A summary sheet for students to complete each round
Please let us know how you get on!

Further reading


Media coverage

 


For more details or media enquiries please contact Anthony J. Evans.