Monthly Archives: December 2016

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    The big factors affecting life satisfaction are all non-economic

The big factors affecting life satisfaction are all non-economic

Wisdom love happiness courage tranquillity peace, by woodleywonderworks, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
In 1961, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organised a conference on human capital that propelled education into the centre of policymaking worldwide. This month, the OECD and the London School of Economics (LSE) are holding a conference on subjective wellbeing that they hope will usher in […]

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    The media and policymakers don’t realise that the role of trade unions has expanded

The media and policymakers don’t realise that the role of trade unions has expanded

Teachers, college lecturers and DWP staff on strike, by Roger Blackwell, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
When we think about trade unions there are various images that come to mind. Normally these relate to forms of collective action and strikes, the late night negotiations with employers over pay increases, and the political role they play as in the current internal Labour Party […]

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    Economic Governance in Europe: Comparative Paradoxes and Constitutional Challenges – Book Review

Economic Governance in Europe: Comparative Paradoxes and Constitutional Challenges – Book Review

Economic Governance in Europe: Comparative Paradoxes and Constitutional Challenges. Federico Fabbrini. Oxford University Press. 2016.

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Towards a ‘More Perfect Union’? 
This book by Federico Fabbrini closes by quoting Mario Draghi’s reference, during a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in October 2013, to the need to create ‘a more perfect Union’. The notion recalls the Preamble of […]

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    The Brexit-Trump era calls for a fundamental rethink of capitalism

The Brexit-Trump era calls for a fundamental rethink of capitalism

G20 April 1st, by Jonny White, under a CC BY 2.0 licence
The election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote in the UK have both been widely interpreted as a revolt of the economically ‘left behind’: a protest by working class voters at the impact of globalisation on their jobs and living standards. In neither case is this the whole […]

Management teaching promotes inequality

Hult International Business School, by Jay Cross, under a CC-BY-2.o licence
The burgeoning economic inequality between the richest and the poorest across the world is a cause of concern for social, political, and ethical reasons. In 2016 the Oxfam Davos report revealed that 62 people only own the same as half of the world, representing an increase of 38 per cent […]

Ride-sharing apps really reduce drunk driving fatalities

Girl waving, by Unsplash, under a CC0 licence
Ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft have sparked a host of policy debates over the last half decade. Detractors argue that these firms put the public and consumers at significant risk. Advocates have argued that such services provide customers with a much needed service that circumnavigates the bureaucratic processes of licensed […]

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    How firms decide whether to use in-house or external lobbyists

How firms decide whether to use in-house or external lobbyists

Lobbying in the EU – Greens/EFA conference 2014, by greensefa, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
A great range of firms across diverse industries use knowledge workers such as IT personnel, managers, and lawyers. Firms sometimes hire them internally and sometimes outsource their services. How do they choose one versus the other?

In my job market paper, I answer this question using US federal lobbying data. The […]

Social finance: a new frontier for development in Indonesia

Jakarta – Gatot Subroto, by Dino Adyansyah, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Introduction

It is estimated that Asia Pacific countries face an annual development financing shortfall of about $44 billion. So if development challenges are to be tackled effectively, the slack in finances needs to be picked up by the private sector. This would bring market incentives for financial gain closer to public […]

Can data sharing improve public services?

Ball, by geralt, under a CC0 licence
It is easy to see the appeal of data-sharing as means of fixing problems with the delivery of public services. Take data set X held in one part of government, share it with a different part of government that has another data set Y. Combine data sets X and Y and use the […]

Can current offshore wealth management centres survive?

HDR – Panama City, Panama, by Matthew Straubmuller, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Will all existing financial and wealth management centres survive? Are tax-free secrecy havens (the “offshore world”) a feature of the past? Is there room for entry of new locations looking to establish themselves or to diversify into offerings that have brought past success to their competitors? Or is being […]

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    People avoid calling in sick if that adds to their colleagues’ burden

People avoid calling in sick if that adds to their colleagues’ burden

Network knot, by 4941, under a CC0 licence
Economists have traditionally modelled human behaviour by assuming individuals maximise their personal happiness subject to some form of constraint, budgetary or otherwise. They tended to say relatively little about the effect of relationships between family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. Such neglect reflected perhaps not an ignorance of the importance of such […]

How we treat those who are excluded from the world of work

UK Job Centre, by J J Ellison, own work, under a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
I, Daniel Blake, the prize-winning film directed by Ken Loach, mounts a powerful and moving challenge to the way vulnerable people are treated in Britain’s welfare system. Predictably, Iain Duncan Smith who as Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) […]

When a psychologist’s true calling is social activism

Small section of the crowd, London G20 protests April 2009, by Kashfi Halford, under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 licence
It all started at the LSE in 1972. I’d just successfully completed a post graduate diploma in social policy to add to my degree in psychology and felt troubled. My degree had mainly covered behaviourism, new research on sensory perception and a sneering glance […]

Charity Sucks – Book Review

Charity Sucks. Iqbal Wahhab. Biteback Publishing. 2016.

Find this book: 

Charity Sucks is a part of a Biteback series, named ‘Provocations’, intended as polemics on hot-button topics. While claiming to be ‘sharp, intelligent and controversial’, this book falls wide of the mark. It contains a single overarching theme – that businesses can deliver social welfare and that charity cannot – but […]

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    There’s no inevitable negative effect of immigration on life quality in the UK

There’s no inevitable negative effect of immigration on life quality in the UK

Many people think that migrants take jobs away from citizens, reduce wages or both. Others argue that immigrants benefit the economy because they take risks and start businesses.  In three short videos below Alan Manning explains how migration affects your job prospects, presents the data from the UK and the world, and gives insights on managing migration in light […]

How to put cities at the heart of EU clean energy plans

Color of green (bike parking at Bologna station), by DaiLuo, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Four trends are reshaping the European energy system. Decarbonisation and digitalisation are leading to decentralisation and convergence. Thanks to strong public policy decisions, decarbonisation is reshuffling the European energy mix. Meanwhile, innovation in digital technologies is enabling disruptive changes in the management of energy systems. This is […]

Redesigning Argentina’s economic landscape

Buenos Aires, la ciudad contada, by Hernán Piñera, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence
Most people know Argentina as the land of tango, Malbec, and some of the greatest soccer players of all times. But Argentina is also famous for being home to some of the most diverse and extreme landscapes of the world—from subtropical rainforests and Iguazu Falls in the north to the […]

Does raising the National Living Wage make economic sense?

Construction worker, by skeeze, under a CC0 licence
With ongoing governmental debate on the nature of Brexit, there is as yet no certainty on its precise impact. Still, there is wide speculation that any kind of Brexit will have negative consequences: the HM Treasury, for instance, has declared that a Brexit of any kind will make us ‘permanently poorer’. Given […]

Stagnant wages fuel revolt against globalization

Clothing factory, by Jones Management, own work, under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 licence
The epicenter of the political earthquake that struck the United States on Nov. 8 ran through heartland states dominated by voters who told interviewers they felt left behind by the forces of globalization and technological change. Donald Trump promised to change all that: “The forgotten men and women of […]

December 1st, 2016|Economics, Ken Fireman|1 Comment|