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15/04/2011

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 15 April 2011

In the last series we looked at what changes to the tuition fee system in England will cost students. In this programme we examine the other side of the equation: how much will the changes cost the taxpayer? Could the Government be on the hook for more than it thinks?

The US Supreme Court recently issued a judgement on what might seem an unlikely subject: the uses and abuses of statistical significance testing. We explain why it matters.

It seems not a week goes by without a politician claiming to be progressive - or claiming that the other guy is regressive. Everyone seems to assume that progressivity in the tax system is self-evidently a good thing. But is that always true?

This week we were told that inflation has fallen by all measures but with the biggest drop shown in the Consumer Prices Index. What exactly is the difference between CPI and RPI? It's not - as most journalists report - all about housing costs.

Producer: Richard Knight.

  • MORE FROM THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

    MORE FROM THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

    A lawsuit over a cold remedy has forced the US Supreme Court into deciding what might be statistically significant.

    Statistically significant: The US Supreme Court takes a view
  • FROM THE ARCHIVE

    FROM THE ARCHIVE

    In December 2010, we looked at the numbers behind the increase in the cap on undergraduate tuition fees in England. We also checked the sums behind the claim that "Just one British black Caribbean student was admitted to Oxford last year".

    Listen to the programme
  • FOLLOW TIM HARFORD ON TWITTER

    FOLLOW TIM HARFORD ON TWITTER

    Author of The Undercover Economist; Financial Times columnist; presenter of More or Less, Radio 4.

    Tim Harford's Twitter feed
  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

    SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

    Don't miss an episode of More or Less by subscribing to the free podcast. Alternatively, you can catch up via the BBC iPlayer.

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Broadcasts

Free downloads

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    More or Less: Behind the Stats

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