Monthly Archives: June 2016

Some workers win, others lose from currency depreciation

“When the exchange rate rises, it gets more difficult for firms to export. The loss in international competitiveness forces firms to shed local jobs and move their activities abroad.” This line of argument is probably a good summary of how the public (and policymakers) would assess the effects of exchange rates on the economy. Recent economic research, including our […]

Post Brexit vote, a fresh look at globalisation

There were a lot of dramatic headlines over the weekend suggesting that Brexit signals the beginning of the end of globalization. Surely, it is too soon to understand all the ramifications of the British referendum. But at the same time, today is surely a good day to make the case for multilateralism. While there are plenty of reasons to […]

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    Shots fired! Why is switching between organisational practices so difficult?

Shots fired! Why is switching between organisational practices so difficult?

Imagine you work for the police and are involved in large covert surveillance of a notorious criminal. The team is experienced and includes a helicopter, cars, a high tech listening post, and over a dozen agents observing the site. Just after your team has taken positions, your subject gets shot. You can see the shooter, but are unable to […]

The UK suffers a shortage of nurses

A year ago, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) reviewed part of the country’s ‘shortage occupation list’ (SOL). The SOL features job titles and occupations with priority for Tier 2 work visas for skilled migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Migrants in such jobs do not have to earn the minimum £35,000 pay threshold that is now required […]

Too many firms ignore their abusive boss problem

Not many employees expect that fearing their boss may be part of their work experience. Yet that expectation might have better prepared scores of Atlanta school principals to work under Beverly L. Hall, the superintendent who “ruled by fear: Principals were told that if state test scores did not go up enough, they would be fired — and 90 […]

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    Cross-border venture capitalists are less patient with under-performers

Cross-border venture capitalists are less patient with under-performers

Oxstem, an Oxford biotech spin-off focusing on regenerative medicine for age-related diseases, recently raised a record £16.9 million at start-up (Ward, 2016). The money was invested by the local Oxford Sciences Innovation fund and two American venture capital (VC) investors. Why is this important?

Seed and early-stage venture capital were mainly provided by local investors in the past, as entrepreneurial […]

Personality influences individual productivity and wages

Why do some people earn more than others? Do they deserve it? We already know that workers with higher educational levels and more experience have higher salaries. Traditionally, economists have linked higher education levels to higher cognitive abilities and deeper human capital; these in turn make individuals more productive in the workplace. However, there is still a piece of […]

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    Does flopping have an upside? Business rethinks the meaning of failure

Does flopping have an upside? Business rethinks the meaning of failure

Teresa Kohl knows from failure. Her parents’ family farm filed for bankruptcy. So did her first employer, a major accounting firm. Two other companies she worked for either folded or restructured. Today, Kohl puts her experience with the downside of business life to use, earning her living by advising faltering companies on how to turn things around. She says failure, […]

The long read: What will we do in the post-work utopia?

The Refusal of Work: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work. David Frayne. Zed Books. 2015.

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams. Verso. 2015.

Find these books: 

There is today a preoccupation with the idea of ‘the end of work’: whether in chronicling the decline of permanent careers in the age […]

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    Ahead of Fed decisions, markets are more forward-looking than we thought

Ahead of Fed decisions, markets are more forward-looking than we thought

Much of the literature related to Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decisions focuses on their post-announcement effects. There is ample evidence that asset prices and volatilities only respond to “surprises” – that is, when the actual target decision differs from the market’s expectation mirroring the findings of a substantial body of work considering the effects of macroeconomic announcements.

In addition, […]

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    Egypt as No. 2: What’s next for Africa’s (new) second largest economy?

Egypt as No. 2: What’s next for Africa’s (new) second largest economy?

Perhaps the best thing about Egypt’s emergence as Africa’s second largest economy, overtaking South Africa, is that it had nothing to do with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebasing exercise ─ the periodic revision of GDP estimates, as done by Nigeria and Kenya in 2014, with a view to obtaining an up-to-date reflection of the economy and changing dynamics […]

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    Expect some re-shuffling in markets today – irrespective of the referendum result

Expect some re-shuffling in markets today – irrespective of the referendum result

There have been a number of warnings that a vote to leave the European Union on 23 June may have adverse effects on the UK stock market, both from public institutions – such as the Treasury and the IMF – and private companies in the financial sector. These predictions suggest that Brexit would reduce the expected profitability of listed […]

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    If the HR department doesn’t encourage initiative, unit leaders can

If the HR department doesn’t encourage initiative, unit leaders can

Today’s business environment is characterized by global competition, fast-paced innovation, and unpredictable changes. In this context, companies in which employees feel empowered to take initiative to anticipate and solve problems tend to outperform peers where employees simply follow rules and directions. Proactive employees will identify new competitive threats and opportunities, anticipate changes in customer expectations, and keep their knowledge […]

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    Helping colleagues brings many benefits, but it may carry a cost

Helping colleagues brings many benefits, but it may carry a cost

“Do unto others.” The Golden Rule. As children, society socializes into us the value of helping others. Indeed, from an evolutionary standpoint, such activities were necessary to ensure the survival of the tribe in a hostile world. As it pertains to the workplace, helping others is no less important.

Although few job descriptions would list “helping co-workers” as an explicit […]

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    Leaving the EU would almost certainly damage our economic prospects

Leaving the EU would almost certainly damage our economic prospects

The economic consequences of leaving the EU have naturally been a central focus of the referendum campaign. As June 23 draws near we bring together the conclusions from our research on the likely consequences, and reflect on some of the claims made.

First and foremost a vote to leave the EU would almost certainly make us financially worse off compared […]

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    What does migration have to do with England’s chances in Euro 2016?

What does migration have to do with England’s chances in Euro 2016?

Although England have performed well in Euro 2016 so far, the betting markets still put them some distance behind the favourites for the tournament, Spain, France and Germany. Why is there such a low probability of England winning Euro 2016? Of course there are many reasons but an important one has been downplayed so far: migration. Freedom of movement […]

How small bars resist smoking bans in the Netherlands

We all know that smoking is bad for you. Yet, smoking regulation remains contentious on the basis of endangering individual rights, their discriminatory potential, and, notably, due to economic considerations. Smoking bans are part of a larger agenda of tobacco control focusing on health issues and involving, on one side, various activist groups whose interests are often aligned with […]

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    In sports, as in business, limited attention affects risk-taking behaviour

In sports, as in business, limited attention affects risk-taking behaviour

People typically focus on the left-most digit of a number and pay only partial attention to other digits. This is why most prices in supermarkets are just below unit values (such as 99 cent or 3.99 pounds). In World Cup alpine ski events, this human tendency to pay only limited attention to certain digits makes athletes liable to take […]

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    Online job auctions are more successful when bids are open for all to see

Online job auctions are more successful when bids are open for all to see

The “gig” economy is here. Companies like Freelancer.com and Upwork connect millions of freelancers with employers for on-demand work. According to a national survey conducted by research firm Edelman Berland in partnership with Upwork, 34 million people in the U.S. — approximately one in three workers — now work as freelancers. Those freelancers work as software developers, graphical designers, […]

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    OK, you have collected a large amount of big data. Now what?

OK, you have collected a large amount of big data. Now what?

The amount of data that is available to organizations on products, customers, competitors, business operations, etc., is increasing exponentially. This data comes from many sources such as sensors, the internet of things, and websites to name a few. Organizations are collecting and storing large amounts of data. Most of them collect this data with hopes of using it to innovate […]