Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ten must-read books on gender in the workplace

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Unexplored Dimensions of Discrimination. Tito Boeri, Eleonora Patacchini and Giovanni Peri (eds). Oxford University Press. 2015.

What mechanisms serve to maintain the gender pay gap and other forms of discrimination in the labour market? This book provides a comprehensive, empirically-driven interrogation of various facets of discrimination through data obtained from the USA, Spain and Italy. Ria Ivandic welcomes it for opening […]

January 31st, 2016|Book Review, Gender|0 Comments|
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    Recessions associated with banking panics tend to be longer and deeper

Recessions associated with banking panics tend to be longer and deeper

As the banking crisis of 2008 erupted, policymakers and economists alike asked:  How different is this crisis from previous ones? The United States — perhaps the epicenter of the 2008 crisis — had not been afflicted with a major banking crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, rendering the post-crisis outlook particularly uncertain.

Yet, prior to the 1930’s, banking […]

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    Boards with many female directors take as many risks as more male-dominated ones

Boards with many female directors take as many risks as more male-dominated ones

Although companies are increasingly under social and legislative pressures to increase female representation in their boardrooms, research is far from conclusive with regards to the economic consequence of the increase in boardroom gender diversity.

An often-cited notion is that female directors may discourage risky firm policies. For example, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and former Finance […]

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    While Bitcoin is virtual, the rewards and risks are very real

While Bitcoin is virtual, the rewards and risks are very real

Technology and finance have always gone together. So what’s new this time around? Virtual currencies are part of a broader tech revolution that is driving fundamental change in the global economy.

While the money is virtual, the rewards and the risks are very real. It boils down to this: how best to encourage financial innovation while regulating to protect consumers […]

Are firms with offshore headquarters worth more?

Over the last two decades, an increasing number of companies have chosen to register or establish subsidiaries in offshore financial centres. OFCs are characterized by low taxation, flexible regulations, and secrecy policies (see Fig 1 for the list of OFCs, ranked by Offshore Attitude Index). Many companies with subsidiaries offshore are market icons, such as Google Inc., Apple Inc., […]

Socially connected fund managers share investment ideas

Despite the important role professional money managers play in financial markets, and decades of academic study, relatively little is known about how they generate investment ideas. Some choices are likely driven by information gathered through connections to particular firms. Previous research has shown that managers invest in companies headquartered nearby and in companies to which they are linked through […]

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    Should people who discover a software vulnerability make the information public?

Should people who discover a software vulnerability make the information public?

Despite the best efforts of software developers, we continue to discover mistakes in IT products. Often these mistakes are security vulnerabilities that, unfortunately, attackers can exploit to steal information or to disrupt operations. What should we do when these mistakes are found?

Ideally, we could keep these mistakes secret until they are corrected and all the users have installed the […]

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    When firms increase advertising spending, their stock prices climb in tandem

When firms increase advertising spending, their stock prices climb in tandem

Recent research has found that advertising has an important impact on the liquidity and breadth of ownership of stocks. This is intriguing as advertising is intended to increase the awareness of a firm’s products rather than its securities. Nevertheless, there appears to be a spillover effect. In a recent paper, I start by providing evidence of the spillover effect […]

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    Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations – Book Review

Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations – Book Review

Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg. Cambridge University Press. 2015.

Climate policies are rooted in the commonplace assumption that we can have economic growth without causing dangerous climate change. From this perspective, it is misguided to think of climate change as either a right-wing or left-wing issue — climate change can be […]

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    Obamacare providers are too loosely affiliated for bonuses to be effective

Obamacare providers are too loosely affiliated for bonuses to be effective

The US healthcare delivery system is famously inefficient, but the causes of its inefficiency are poorly understood. One widely discussed potential source of inefficiency is fragmented care delivery. Fragmentation occurs when health care delivery is spread across an excessively large number of weakly coordinated providers, leading to high costs and low quality. These inefficiencies are most apparent for patients […]

Why those water cooler chats may be good for your career

Should you be spending time at work interacting with your colleagues? In my recent working paper “Learning Spillovers in the Firm,” I show that the answer to this question is yes.  Specifically, I show that learning from more educated colleagues is an important determinant of wage growth.

To show this, I first put together a unique data set, matching all Swedish workers […]

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    Nigeria in 2016: walking a tightrope between slowdown and inflation

Nigeria in 2016: walking a tightrope between slowdown and inflation

Every so often we have an event that steals the headlines for what it was not about and such was the case for Christine Lagarde’s four-day visit to Nigeria in January 2016. The IMF Managing Director sought to disabuse widespread speculation that Africa’s largest economy  ($ 500.0 billion in GDP size) was out to secure bailout in view of […]

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    To fight the slow pace of gender equality in the workplace, attack the root cause

To fight the slow pace of gender equality in the workplace, attack the root cause

McKinsey reveals in its annual Women Matter reports that even companies doing all the “right things” to achieve gender diversity get disappointing results. The reports blame company cultures that fail to address underlying “mindsets,” which are “invisible, unconscious, and in the way.” McKinsey correctly identifies the cause, unconscious ways of thinking – or gender bias. To achieve and sustain gender […]

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    The economic value of personal data for online platforms, firms and consumers

The economic value of personal data for online platforms, firms and consumers

The European Union’s Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person or data subject. Personal data can be viewed as an economic asset generated by the identities and behaviours of individuals which is traded in exchange for higher quality services and products. The amount of personal data stored is […]

There may be some truth to the ‘gay jobs’ stereotype

There is an unusually high concentration of gay or lesbian workers in certain occupations. For example, both gay men and lesbians and are overrepresented in psychology, law, social work, and university teaching. And there are real occupational patterns behind some popular stereotypes, from the gay flight attendant to the lesbian truck driver.

Where does this kind of occupational segregation come […]

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    Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism – Book Review

Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism – Book Review

Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism. Judy Wajcman. The University of Chicago Press. 2015.

The Apple Watch makes its commercial debut today. Prices start at US $349 and rise sharply up to an eye-watering $10,000+ for a solid gold edition. Like the iPhone was not the first smartphone and the iPad was not the first tablet, the […]

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    To explain the continued dominance of the dollar in global finance, look to the infamous 1%

To explain the continued dominance of the dollar in global finance, look to the infamous 1%

2015 turned out to be a good year for Compton rap artist Kendrick Lamar. His album To Pimp a Butterfly debuted at the top of the charts, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 58th Grammy Awards. If critical acclaim and commercial success weren’t enough, President Obama declared one of the album’s […]

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    In a recession, large firms are more likely than SMEs to resort to personnel cuts

In a recession, large firms are more likely than SMEs to resort to personnel cuts

Contributing to 99 per cent of British business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered to be the engine of the economic growth and are critical to rebuilding the British economy from the recent financial crisis. However, they are also particularly vulnerable to a volatile economic environment and more likely to experience churn even in a stable economy. In response […]

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    The individual style of audit partners influences how firms are rated

The individual style of audit partners influences how firms are rated

We examine the persistence and economic consequences of variations in reporting style across audit partners in individual engagements. Based on an analysis of audits performed over a six-year period by the Swedish subsidiaries of the Big 4 accounting firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PwC), we find that:

aggressive or conservative reporting is associated with the particular engagement partners […]

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    To change your professional behaviour, you need outside stimulus

To change your professional behaviour, you need outside stimulus

In my 35 years as an executive coach, I have seen some of the world’s most powerful leaders struggle with changing their behaviour. I have come to believe that no one, no matter how determined or passionate, can do it without structure. You might wake up every morning sure that you will spend your day listening better, being more […]