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Hatch, Match and Dispatch - 5. Nine Lives
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12/08/2011

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 12 August 2011

In More or Less this week:

England's riots

Can numbers tell us what caused the violence? We look at claims that cuts caused the trouble and we suggest other explanations - including the possibility that simple demographics made the unrest more likely.

Sovereign debt

Who do indebted nations actually owe? We explain with the help of Adam Davidson, co-host of US National Public Radio's 'Planet Money' show.

Disability payments

Recently the Department for Work and Pensions published statistics about Employment Support Allowance, or ESA. The numbers prompted headlines like this one: 'The shirking classes: Just 1 in 14 incapacity claimants is unfit to work'. But is that really what the statistics told us? (Short answer: no.)

When to buy a lottery ticket

At what time should you buy a lottery ticket to have a greater chance of winning than of dying before the draw?

Producer: Richard Knight.

  • MORE FROM THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

    MORE FROM THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

    The recent riots have shown that verifying sources can be a tricky job. The OU's Tony Hirst asks how can we make effective use of social media as a reliable news channel?

    Riot mapping and social media
  • FROM THE ARCHIVE

    FROM THE ARCHIVE

    Last year we examined a widely quoted figure that only 1 in 10 police officers are available to respond to incidents at any one time. Could it really mean that while 1 officer is out fighting crime the other 9 are holed up in the office?

    Police Numbers 01 October 2010
  • 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

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Broadcasts

Free downloads

  1. Image for More or Less: Behind the Stats

    More or Less: Behind the Stats

    Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But…

  2. Image for Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford – in the company of Malcolm Gladwell, David Kilcullen and Gillian Tett – uses key…

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