Monthly Archives: October 2015

A positive international image helps countries export more

Do countries do well by doing good? More precisely, does a country admired by others reap any benefit? My research indicates that the answers to these questions is “yes” and “yes”. I have taken advantage of a quantitative measure of soft power to show that a country sells more exports to nations that perceive it to be a force for good, holding […]

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    Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World — Book Review

Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World — Book Review

Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World. Neil M. Coe & Henry Wai-Chung Yeung. Oxford University Press 2015.

It is commonly asserted that a third or more of world trade is between corporations, and a further third is within their global supply chains (intra-firm trade), suggesting the majority of economic activity in the international realm is overseen […]

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    Oil booms attract mostly men, but women flock to newly created service jobs

Oil booms attract mostly men, but women flock to newly created service jobs

Across the world, there are big differences in the extent to which women are involved in the labour force compared with men. In 2005, for example, female labour force participation rates stood at 68% in the United States, 53% in Indonesia and less than 20% in Saudi Arabia. These differences have serious consequences: women enjoy substantial benefits when gainfully employed; […]

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    The world needs to stop relying on linear business models that produce waste

The world needs to stop relying on linear business models that produce waste

The industrial revolution 200 years ago created what we call a linear economy. Ever since, we have been relying on such a model to achieve economic growth, and standards of living have improved significantly. But we pay a high price for it. In this type of “take, make and dispose” economy, companies operate with blinders on and industries function […]

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    Volkswagen affair: global coordination is needed to enforce ethical corporate behaviour

Volkswagen affair: global coordination is needed to enforce ethical corporate behaviour

DECEIT, FRAUD, REGULATORY EVASIONS, WINDOW DRESSING: words that have become far too familiar in business news headlines. The Volkswagen emissions scandal is the latest example of disingenuous corporate malpractice that has already had far-reaching consequences for the ordinary customer, shareholder, and any other stakeholder directly or indirectly impacted by the actions of a few.

The outrage against the VW Group […]

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    World Bank calls for changes in laws that hinder women’s participation in business

World Bank calls for changes in laws that hinder women’s participation in business

It’s no secret that gender equality is smart economics. If women played the same role in labour markets as men, as much as US$28 trillion could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. Worldwide, women own or operate 25 to 33 percent of businesses, and they grow faster than those owned by men. It should be obvious that […]

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    Companies face special challenges when employee departures pick up speed

Companies face special challenges when employee departures pick up speed

“Do I have the staff to get the job done today?!” This is a critical question that is not necessarily answered by looking at the company’s average rate of employee departure, or turnover rate. Though annual turnover rates will remain an important metric in evaluating the overall health of an organisation’s human capital management system, our research suggests it may […]

Is health insurance competition good for consumers?

The dream of many a start-up is having Google or Facebook locked in a bidding war for its technology. Publishers, record labels, and television studios enjoy having both Apple and Amazon competing for their content. And, more generally, competition among buyers leads to higher prices for a seller. But when that seller is a hospital or physician group negotiating […]

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    On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West — Book Review

On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West — Book Review

On the Commodity Trail: The Journey of a Bargain Store Product from East to West. Alison Hulme. Bloomsbury. February 2015.

‘Euro shop’, ‘pound shop’, ‘dollar store’. The name varies but the premise is the same: commodities sold at low prices. For many the relationship with the ‘bargain’ shop is fraught by love and loathing.  Loathing is prompted by the cheap nonessentials, […]

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    What really happens to smaller businesses in a global financial crisis?

What really happens to smaller businesses in a global financial crisis?

The global financial crisis that unfolded in 2008, and the economic recession it subsequently caused, led to a huge increase in UK unemployment and a large contraction in the general level of demand for goods and services. Our news was dominated by large numbers of lay-offs and job losses in monolithic firms that are household names to us. Against […]

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    Self-employment attracts people with an optimistic personality

Self-employment attracts people with an optimistic personality

Bearing in mind that only some 50 percent of businesses survive their first five years, what sort of person does it take to start one? The answer: an optimist. Still, other answers are possible. The returns to success may be so great that the gamble is worthwhile, especially as the autonomy experienced by entrepreneurs is part of the attraction. […]

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    The presence of foreign multinationals in the UK boosts innovation by domestic firms

The presence of foreign multinationals in the UK boosts innovation by domestic firms

The importance of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the global economy has become increasingly apparent over time, framing the debate about their impact on the recipient economies. Countries fiercely compete to attract MNEs in light of the expected benefits that may stem from their presence and operations, despite the lack of consensus in the academic literature […]