Monthly Archives: November 2015

Maritime shipping must come to grips with its CO2 emissions

Maritime shipping is the transmission belt for the global economy, carrying 90 percent of global trade. It plays a fundamental role in the growth of the world economy. However, it is also a major contributor to global environmental change through a diversity of issues from oil spills, CO2 and other air emissions, to invasive species, disposal of hazardous material […]

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    New economics of climate change action challenges ‘costly burden’ arguments

New economics of climate change action challenges ‘costly burden’ arguments

As representatives from more than 190 countries gather in Paris to negotiate an international deal to tackle climate change it is timely to reflect on the evolving economic rationale for international climate cooperation.

A central conclusion of the 2006 Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change was that the global costs of failing to act on climate change would […]

Asian Imperial Banking History – Book Review

Asian Imperial Banking History. Hubert Bonin, Nuno Valerio, and Kazuhiko Yago (eds.). Pickering & Chatto. 2015.

At the peak of the Victorian age, the young, Mumbai-born Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote: “What else are we working in this country (India) for? For what else do the best men…die from overwork, and disease, if not to keep people alive in the first place and […]

Christmas spending isn’t good for the economy

Many of us harbor secret frustrations with the holiday season. Most common is the obligation to buy gifts. It looms over us like the sword of Damocles. We dread the inevitable shopping fiasco and despise Black Friday. We hate not knowing what to get, or buying for people who already have more than they need. One of my students […]

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    There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

“Unsustainable” is how the Chancellor described the size of the state in Britain in the latest Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A similar description was given by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about government spending in the European Union, notably on welfare.

But, actually, there isn’t an “optimal” size for the state. Looking around the world, government spending as a […]

The dark side of corporate social responsibility

As firms encounter intensive pressure from consumers, community groups and NGOs — while simultaneously facing heightened competition in the global economy — they are increasingly compelled to acknowledge the demands for corporate social responsibility (CSR). Despite the increase in this type of activity, controversy exists as to whether CSR can improve the interests of both internal and external stakeholders.

It […]

Spending review brings good news for science

In the government’s recent Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne had surprisingly good news for UK researchers and UK businesses. ‘In the modern world, one of the best ways you can back business is by backing science’, he said. ‘That’s why, in the last Parliament, I protected the resource budget for science in cash terms. In this Parliament, I’m protecting […]

When the business community unites as a lobbying force

The capacity to build alliances with other firms and to stymie the competition from rival groups is a key aspect of business activity. However, the competition across different groups is not limited to the marketplace. It often extends to the political arena. Business activity is the target of many contemporary regulatory policy efforts. The reverse is also true: firms frequently […]

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    Lower restrictions for start-ups to list on stock exchanges have mixed results

Lower restrictions for start-ups to list on stock exchanges have mixed results

Firms can finance their activities by selling their stocks in public equity markets, thus becoming public companies. An initial public offering (IPO) is the first time a company issues stocks to raise capital. In general, since these companies have limited access to external finance, it is expected that raising capital through an IPO will help them invest in growth […]

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    Healthcare competition can improve management quality and save lives

Healthcare competition can improve management quality and save lives

Throughout the world, the share of national income absorbed by healthcare seems to rise inexorably. Technological progress, rising citizen expectations and an ageing population have all helped to propel this escalation in costs. In the United States, almost one dollar in every five is spent on health. In an era of budgetary austerity, policy-makers have been searching desperately for […]

A quiet revolution is transforming business schools

There is a quiet revolution going on in business schools. Some call it the “transition to predictability” others call it “causal based research”. A few business schools are transitioning from explaining success to predicting success. This is happening because of the way science naturally evolves, and it has major implications for you and your career. Broadly, scientific development comes […]

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    How can countries protect their banks against international contagion?

How can countries protect their banks against international contagion?

Financial crises which turn global pose risks for domestic banking sectors, sometimes escalating to fully-fledged domestic banking crises. Regulatory policy aims to reduce the probability of the spread of risk to the domestic financial sector and to prevent banking crises during periods of stress. Doing this effectively requires an understanding of how crises spread — what are the transmission mechanisms, […]

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    A clear growth strategy would steer the UK away from short-term solutions to its productivity puzzle

A clear growth strategy would steer the UK away from short-term solutions to its productivity puzzle

Productivity growth is the only way to achieve sustainable improvements in living standards. Yet since the financial crisis in 2008, UK productivity growth has been stagnant. We are now 14 percent below the level that would have been achieved if pre-crisis trends had continued (Figure 1).
Figure 1: UK productivity growth – GDP per hour worked

Source: Whole Economy GDP per […]

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    Conceptualizing Capitalism: Institutions, Evolution, Future – Book Review

Conceptualizing Capitalism: Institutions, Evolution, Future – Book Review

Conceptualizing Capitalism: Institutions, Evolution, Future. Geoffrey M. Hodgson. University of Chicago Press. 2015.

When someone mentions the concept ‘capitalism’, what do you think? Is it only made up of markets or the private ownership of the means of production? Is it a system where state involvement is preferably less? Where do you locate labour in a capitalist system? Is capitalism […]

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    India is trying to become a global economic power with an uneducated and unhealthy labour force

India is trying to become a global economic power with an uneducated and unhealthy labour force

SC: You have said that looking at the end point of a debate is not an ideal way of understanding the wider discussion. This seems relevant in relation to economic policy today, where developing countries aspire to high and continuous growth. What’s your view on the current Indian government’s manner of pursuing growth?

AS: Let me make a clarification first. […]

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    As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

By and large, the world is caught in a phase of global economic transition: the possibility of the US and Europe exiting the zero-interest-rate terrain lurks in the horizon, despite seeming remote in the recent past; in China, the government is attempting to rebalance growth from over-reliance on exports as aggregate growth moderates toward the 6-to-7 percent band in […]

Leadership in three words: leaders change things

‘Leadership produces change. That is its primary function,’ observes Harvard Business School’s John Kotter. Former CEO and author Larry Bossidy puts it like this: ‘The leader’s job is to help everyone see that the platform is burning, whether the flames are apparent or not. The process of change begins when people decide to take the flames seriously and manage by […]

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    When managing risk, overconfident managers don’t always follow the fundamentals

When managing risk, overconfident managers don’t always follow the fundamentals

Why and how firms hedge has been an area of interest in corporate finance for a long time. The traditional notion of hedging is matching one risk with an opposing risk. Gains on the hedge offset the losses on the position otherwise exposed to price uncertainty, making the resulting cash flow volatility lower. The traditional theories of corporate risk […]

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    How can firms manage multi-ethnic workforces in countries with violent ethnic conflicts?

How can firms manage multi-ethnic workforces in countries with violent ethnic conflicts?

The recent terror attacks in Paris have triggered a renewed debate on the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and/or multi-religion society in Europe. A multi-ethnic society inevitably creates multi-ethnic workplaces, hence ethnic diversity is rapidly increasing in all parts of business, both in domestic and international operations. What do we know about the implications of multi-ethnic workplaces in the face of violent […]

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    Friday timing plus social media multipliers may mean Paris attacks have more impacts on markets

Friday timing plus social media multipliers may mean Paris attacks have more impacts on markets

Until recently, the lamentations (right, wrong or simply irrational) of the world’s discontent were only a nuisance to the status-quo. The proliferation of social media, however, has facilitated the dissemination of irrational ideas. A notion which required generations to gain traction is now instantaneously impressed on the minds of numerous, ready and willing subjects throughout distant lands. As a […]