France’s Jean Van De Velde smiles at photographers as he looks for his ball in the Barry Burn on the 18th green during the final round at the 1999 British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland. Photograph: INPHO/ALLSPORT

The best golfers in the world. But are we seeing the best golf? And do we care? The Masters. Four days of convoluted, privileged preciousness h(...)

“If I ask you up front would you like to buy this [game] you would say no. But at the moment of slight arousal and interest your behaviour changes. You are invested,” says econimist Dan Ariely, who was in Dublin this week to address the StartupOnomics summit.

In the 1950s General Mills ran into problems selling its Betty Crocker instant cake mix. Nobody wanted it. The cake tasted good but the “just add wate(...)

NYSE trader: an emphasis on share prices and on meeting quarterly earnings expectations has led to destructive short-term behaviour by some chief executives. Photograph: EPA/Justin Lane

The idea that a company’s primary purpose is to enrich its shareholders is the “dumbest idea in the world”, according to high-profile GMO strategist J(...)

Stock picking: Investors often buy into a story, and forget to look for evidence to back up their assumptions.

Most of us are “predictably irrational”, to quote behavioural finance author Dan Ariely, relying all too often on a dodgy sense of intuition an(...)

Home truths: Joseph Morrin in Ballina, ‘a lovely town to live in and to visit’. Photograph: Henry Wills

I love Ballina, my home town, in Co Mayo. It is picturesque, with the beautiful River Moy running through it, and has few if any ghost estates. There (...)

At the Kilkenomics Optimistic Economics Brunch Show in Kilkenny yesterday were (from left) Bill Black, Louise Cooper and Peter Antonioni. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

“Leave the jokes alone!” warns comedian Karl Spain, after former US banking regulator Bill Black upstages him with a gag on the Friday night of Kilken(...)

Having a laugh at the Kilkenomics Festival in Kilkenny yesterday were Dan Ariely, Bill Black and David McWilliams. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

Three economists walk into a bar (okay, it’s actually a cafe) and meet a journalist. One is Dr Dan Ariely, the Israeli behavioural economist, Duke Uni(...)

Economics was never this interesting when I was at school.The line-up has been released for next month’s Kilkenomics festival, a four-day economics th(...)