Conference to say French are les miserables

A DIVERSE agenda at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference, where the opening plenary will be chaired by outspoken senior Bank of England executive Andy Haldane, and lunchtime chatter is likely to include whether the French truly are les miserables.

In between the three coffee, lunch and dinner breaks, researchers at today’s conference will be presenting findings that include the French being forlorn and that giving children pocket money may turn them into less financially-savvy adults.

Apparently France’s education system and cultural mentality are to blame for the French being less happy than their wealth would suggest.

Frenchies who live outside France report lower happiness than the natives, while immigrants who move to France report greater happiness than their native counterparts – or so says the research by professor Claudia Senik, who will today report her finding that “there is something in the culture that makes French people miserable”.

Also on the agenda is how pocket money discourages children from saving. Sarah Brown and Karl Taylor argue that chore-free handouts may make youngsters more likely to splash their cash as adults, compared to those who work hard to earn their pocket pennies.