Monthly Archives: February 2017

Business accelerators: A user’s manual for entrepreneurs

Does participating in a business accelerator offer a shortcut to startup success? It can help, but it’s no guarantee, according to Peter Kirby, the CEO of Factom Inc. He spent three months in 2015 under the wing of Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley accelerator program, despite a colleague’s warning that he would be wasting his time. The colleague […]

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    The ethics of New Zealand selling citizenship to tech investor Peter Thiel

The ethics of New Zealand selling citizenship to tech investor Peter Thiel

Billionaire Peter Thiel has never lived in New Zealand and has no intention of doing so. In fact, Thiel has only visited New Zealand four times. But he has New Zealand citizenship. How did he get it? Basically, he bought it.

More precisely, New Zealand’s minister of internal affairs waived the normal requirements for naturalization in Thiel’s case. You normally need to […]

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    How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

At first glance, this may seem like a trivial question but in the context of the Brazilian Amazon, heavily deforested over the last half-a-century, understanding the links between commodity prices and deforestation is important given ever-increasing demand for beef and dairy products. Tropical forests host critical biodiversity ‘hotspots’ as well as providing a range of important ecosystem services, in […]

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    Contrary to common belief, market correlations between assets are constant

Contrary to common belief, market correlations between assets are constant

The decision whether to buy a financial asset and add it to an existing portfolio depends on three main variables: (1) what is the asset’s return? (2) What is the asset’s level of risk? and (3) how well does the asset fit into my existing portfolio?

The third question is usually answered by looking at the correlation between assets. At […]

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    If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement is looking increasingly uncertain under Donald Trump as president of the United States. In case NAFTA implodes, Armand de Mestral proposes the creation of the Atlantic Free Trade Area between Canada and the United Kingdom, in a framework involving Europe and the US.

A close look at NAFTA

NAFTA has been in […]

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    The ‘Dutch disease’ reexamined: Resource booms can benefit the wider economy

The ‘Dutch disease’ reexamined: Resource booms can benefit the wider economy

Do resource booms enhance growth in a country or lead to a ‘crowding out’ of other tradable industries, such as manufacturing? Traditional theories suggest that crowding-out effects dominate. The idea is that gains from the boom largely accrue to the profitable sectors servicing the resource industry, while the rest of the country suffers adverse effects from increased wage costs, […]

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    Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century – Book Review

Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century – Book Review

Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century. Dean Curran. Palgrave MacMillan. 2016.

Find this book: 

For those lacking familiarity, possibly the most prolific social theoriser of the concept of risk was Ulrich Beck, who passed away in 2015. Dean Curran’s work, Risk, Power and Inequality in the 21st Century, ultimately aims to take Beck’s concept of ‘risk society’ and rework it – […]

Challenging the accountability agenda for NGOs

The past two decades have seen a steady increase in the number of organizations that prescribe accountability measures to improve the perception of trustworthiness of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These include GuideStar (1994), the Sphere Project (1997), the Charity Navigator (2001), the INGO Accountability Charter (2008), and the Core Humanitarian Standard (2014). This push for accountability measures reflects a wider trend in NGO self-regulation as the best means to promote good […]

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    How much more damage can the Trump government do to the Cuban economy?

How much more damage can the Trump government do to the Cuban economy?

The new Trump government is threatening to reverse the US-Cuba rapprochement begun under Obama, but how much damage would this actually do to the Cuban economy?

The announcement in December 2014 that diplomatic relations would be re-established undoubtedly marked a turning point for Cuba. Over the rest of president Obama’s second term, a series of executive actions and bilateral agreements […]

Calling all LSE blogs authors – we need your help!

Here at the LSE blogs, we’re always eager to follow up on our published posts and track the impacts that they have; whether this is mainstream media coverage, inclusion on a university course reading list, references in grey literature or in policy documentation. Much of this can be captured by link-tracking but there are inevitably cases we can’t pick […]

February 9th, 2017|LSE publicity|0 Comments|

Is religious diversity good for team performance?

Team religious diversity, the degree to which working team members differ in their religious beliefs, is a relevant factor that affects healthcare teams’ outcomes. Because of globalisation and rising labour market mobility, an increasing degree of religious diversity characterises the workforce of many organisations and the composition of work groups.

There are at least three layers through which religion can […]

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    Work improves general happiness, but are you happy while you work?

Work improves general happiness, but are you happy while you work?

Most research on happiness relies on surveys that ask people to reflect back on and evaluate their experiences ‘these days’ or ‘nowadays’. In doing so, respondents usually attach weight to events that are related to their overall sense of wellbeing or satisfaction with their lives.

These studies find consistent evidence that paid work contributes substantially to overall life satisfaction and […]

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    Crowdscanning: The future of open innovation and artificial intelligence

Crowdscanning: The future of open innovation and artificial intelligence

Imagine a future where the CEO of a manufacturing firm turns to his Chief Innovation Officer and asks: “Bob, how can we innovate on our product and save 10 per cent of production cost to stay competitive against low-cost firms?” So far this seems to be a normal conversation that occurs daily across organisations around the world. Except that ‘Bob’ is really […]

The elephant (and the donkey) in the boardroom

Firms governed by politically conservative boards of directors pay their CEOs more money than do firms with more liberal-leaning (the ideological left in the US) boards. That’s the conclusion of our new study on the impact of political ideology in the boardroom. We also find an ideological disparity in the degree to which directors weigh recent firm performance when deciding […]

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    When EU corporate bond spreads widen, recession may be around the corner

When EU corporate bond spreads widen, recession may be around the corner

Corporate bond spreads – the difference in yields between a risky corporate bond and a low-risk government bond – have significant ability to predict GDP growth rates for the largest European economies and the onset of recessions. We found that in our recent research. The study also shows that when bond spreads widen, they reduce GDP growth by a […]

Saving energy when it matters most

Unlike most other goods, electricity cannot be cost-effectively stored even for short periods. Supply must always meet demand, or you have blackouts. In addition, electricity demand is highly variable and inelastic (Ito 2014). As a result, electricity markets clear mostly on the supply side, with production ramping up and down to meet demand (Borenstein 2000, Griffin and Puller 2005). […]

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    The long-lasting and damaging influence of commissions on experts’ advice

The long-lasting and damaging influence of commissions on experts’ advice

Experts often face a dilemma when clients ask for advice on risky decisions. For example, your financial adviser might be tempted to sell you a risky investment on which he earns sales commission or other benefits – even though he thinks that a more conservative investment would suit you better. Such behaviour then collides with the ideal of giving […]

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    LSE Review of Books Guide to LSE Literary Festival (20 to 25 Feb)

LSE Review of Books Guide to LSE Literary Festival (20 to 25 Feb)

Between Monday 20 and Saturday 25 February 2017, LSE is hosting its ninth annual Literary Festival. This year’s theme is Revolutions – not only marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution, but also other anniversaries of revolutions in literature, international relations, politics, religion and science. The Festival explores the notion of ‘revolution’ in its broadest sense – encompassing rebellions, resistance and […]

February 5th, 2017|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The biggest casualty of Trump’s Mexican import tax would be ordinary Americans

The biggest casualty of Trump’s Mexican import tax would be ordinary Americans

When Donald Trump first proposed building a wall along the Mexican border, it was derided by many observers as a cheap campaign trick. If Trump did make it to the White House, the argument went, he would quickly realize that a wall spanning the Mexican border would be both impractical and prohibitively expensive.

But just days into his presidency, the […]

Is the customer king?

We love customers. Popular authors and consultants encourage organisations to satisfy them (Cockerell 2013), delight them (Curtin 2013), and even hug them (Mitchell 2003; though we predict mixed success from following this advice, based on a myriad of background factors). Overall, companies accept these recommendations wholeheartedly. We want loyal customers; we want “raving fans” (Blanchard 1993).

And yet, this singular […]