Monthly Archives: May 2016

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    History shows that Greece is able to implement meaningful reform

History shows that Greece is able to implement meaningful reform

Greece is heading for another showdown with its creditors. With a major bond payment due in early July, expect another round of arguments on the need for structural reforms from the one side and the necessity of debt relief from the other; and rest assured that the creditors’ preferred background tune “Grexit” will also be playing this summer, though […]

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    Don’t try to convince your employees to become environmental advocates

Don’t try to convince your employees to become environmental advocates

Improving environmental performance remains a key concern for many organisations, with consumer and NGO expectations regarding sustainability increasing. Whilst much attention has focussed upon adopting new technologies, supply chain innovations and production efficiencies, there has been a growing appreciation of the role that individual employees may play in reducing the environmental impact of an organisation’s activities.

Organisations and academics have […]

The future role of unconventional monetary policy

Quantitative easing is called ‘unconventional monetary policy’, but monetary policy could get much more ‘unconventional’. Things like ‘helicopter money’, abolishing currency and negative nominal interest rates have entered the public policy debate. This column reports the views of leading experts on the future role of unconventional monetary policy, and what might be called ‘unconventional unconventional monetary policies’. Opinions are […]

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    Banks’ cautious approach to financial startups has matured

Banks’ cautious approach to financial startups has matured

Financial Technology (FinTech) has been one of the fastest growing tech sectors during the past two years. Interest in the sector has led banks, investors, regulators and policymakers alike to interact with FinTech start-ups to better understand what drives their success. This has emerged as an on-going process – the difficulty comes from the fact that similarly to the […]

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    As China uses less coal, its emissions of CO2 may be past their peak

As China uses less coal, its emissions of CO2 may be past their peak

Something quite remarkable is happening in China. The country’s coal use grew at more than eight per cent per year between 2000 and 2013. But, in 2014, coal use barely grew at all and then it actually fell by more than three per cent in 2015.

Figure 1: Chinese coal consumption, 1990–2015

Source: China National Bureau of Statistics

This drop in coal consumption […]

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    Immigrants could well be Denmark’s new disruptive innovators

Immigrants could well be Denmark’s new disruptive innovators

Recently, I had the honour to analyse the challenge of immigration and refugees at the Danish National Association of Economists and Lawyers (Djøf). For quite some time there has been a political debate on what to do with immigration and refugees both in Denmark and Europe. What should we do with them? Let them in? Not let them in? […]

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    Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – Book Review

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – Book Review

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Amy Cuddy. Little Brown. 2015.

Find this book: 

During her sophomore year of college, Amy Cuddy was the victim of a car crash in which she sustained a traumatic brain injury. Due to the nature of the damage, no one could tell her which brain functions would be affected and for how […]

Small government is not a cure-all for entrepreneurship

At the Olympic Games, or when we see the GDP ranking of countries, or any other global comparison of countries, we tend to first look for the performance of the country we are from, live in, or have other ties to in the hope that this country has performed well against its global competition. Rankings of the level of […]

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    Chinese managers used to state control have a hard time acting as capitalists

Chinese managers used to state control have a hard time acting as capitalists

China has undergone a series of reforms to make the economy more market oriented, with a major step being the 1999 Securities Law that established rules for stock markets and listed firms. Along with the market reforms, the state also engaged in firm reform, where key element were allowing easier founding and growth of firms with no state ownership, […]

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    India needs to sophisticate and diversify its manufacturing exports

India needs to sophisticate and diversify its manufacturing exports

The expansion of India’s exports of services between 1990 and 2013 has been nothing short of spectacular, putting India on a par with the world’s high-income economies in terms of service-product sophistication and as a share of total exports. This has created unique opportunities for continued growth. By contrast, when it comes to exports of manufactured goods, India has […]

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    Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Which markets have the greatest potential for bitcoin adoption?

With over $250m of venture capital invested in bitcoin startups to date, much is at stake in understanding which markets will prove most fertile for bitcoin. In addition, many governments and regulatory agencies are seeking to better understand the economic opportunities presented by bitcoin along with the perceived risks.

The new Bitcoin Market Potential Index […]

How can the wood industry communicate its sustainability?

The efficiency of environmental communication should be built throughout business practices. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (www.luke.fi) has studied this issue by interviewing companies in the Nordic woodworking industry and by analysing recent developments in environmental performance measures.

Wood is a renewable raw material, and thus the environmental performance of wood product companies has the potential to give them a […]

Why immigration is no reason to leave the EU

Many British people are concerned that high levels of immigration have hurt their jobs, wages and quality of life. This anxiety is understandable as workers have had a rough ride in recent times. Allowing for inflation, average wages fell by 8 to 10 percent in the six years after the global financial crisis of 2008. Such a sustained fall […]

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    Gut feeling plays an important role in early-stage investors’ decisions

Gut feeling plays an important role in early-stage investors’ decisions

Early-stage investors make decisions to provide seed money to a startup based on the slimmest of information about the business. Even when they conduct in-depth due diligence, they receive very little tangible data on the product or service (because there is often not yet even a prototype) and they do not formally assess the market growth possibilities (because the […]

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    GDP per capita: from measurement tool to ideological construct

GDP per capita: from measurement tool to ideological construct

National accounting techniques, developed in the US, Europe and Australia in the inter-war period, and considerably sophisticated since, have become the cornerstone of much research and accepted wisdom both in contemporary global development debates and in economic history. In particular, GDP per capita has become the tool/yardstick of choice in most work that considers comparative levels of economic growth […]

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    Women are more likely than men to be appointed CEO of firms in crisis

Women are more likely than men to be appointed CEO of firms in crisis

Mounting evidence suggests that women leaders impact their organisations in positive ways. From innovation and profitability to consumer outreach and social responsibility, firms that promote women to top positions reap significant benefits. We also know a great deal about the factors that limit women’s advancement. But what about women who overcome the odds and ascend above the glass ceiling? […]

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    Robots are a long way off replicating human will and imagination

Robots are a long way off replicating human will and imagination

Upon checking into the Henn-na Hotel near Nagasaki in Japan, guests are greeted by an impeccably dressed, well mannered, multilingual receptionist who recognises them on sight. She’s incredibly efficient at her job, she’s always on time and has no problem staying late without overtime pay. In fact, she never asks for any pay at all. Why? She’s a robot.

The […]

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    Management control systems have evolved to address the need for innovation

Management control systems have evolved to address the need for innovation

Innovation is the adoption of an idea or behaviour pertaining to a product, service device system, policy or programme that is new to the adopting organisation. Innovation has been recognised as a significant aspect of corporate survival. This has become particularly apparent in recent years as firms are increasingly operating in highly competitive markets where technologies are constantly developing, […]

The Politics of Inclusive Development – Book Review

The Politics of Inclusive Development: Policy, State Capacity and Coalition Building. Judith A. Teichman. Palgrave Macmillan. 2016.

The Politics of Inclusive Development: Interrogating the Evidence. Sam Hickey, Kunal Sen and Badru Bukenya (eds). Oxford University Press. 2015.

The age of ‘best practice’ is over. The time of politics has come. Rather than identify and rollout effective policies, we need to understand […]

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    Subsidies don’t guarantee success for the volatile solar power industry

Subsidies don’t guarantee success for the volatile solar power industry

In my book Emerald Cities, I wrote enthusiastically about the connections that cities were making between sustainability and economic development—transforming building materials suppliers into green building suppliers and producing streetcars and electric vehicles and biodiesel among others. Many of the examples were in renewable energy, particularly photovoltaic (PV) solar panel production.

The story started in Freiburg—one of several cities whose […]