Monthly Archives: August 2017

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    Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine – Book Review

Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine – Book Review

Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine. Kaushik Sunder Rajan. Duke University Press. 2017.  

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Big pharma abusing poor girls in the developing world? Governments beholden to the global pharmaceutical market? These sorts of conjectures are commonplace in contemporary discourse in global health and political economy, and this book illustrates and explores another example. In Pharmocracy: Value, […]

Is the IMF rethinking austerity?

In an apparent break with its past practices, the IMF’s policy advice shifted towards being more open to fiscal stimulus packages during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, especially for large economies that are systemically important as growth engines for the world economy. There was evidence of an incremental change underway in the IMF’s policy paradigm and how staff […]

What are economists for?

When you meet someone at a cocktail party who learns you are an economist, the inevitable question follows, “What’s the stock market going to do?” That’s an excellent question. If, on the day I was born, my parents had invested $100 for me in Altria, the top-performing stock since then, I would be a millionaire.

Of course, most of us […]

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    Uber: How inappropriate comments can take on unforeseen significance

Uber: How inappropriate comments can take on unforeseen significance

The widely reported resignation of Uber board member, David Bonderman, following his words at an all-hands staff meeting in June 2017 offers an exemplary case of controversy in corporate ethics and culture.

I revisit the event to analyse how these remarks were treated as ethically accountable conduct, and how such conduct takes place and is seen to happen within workplace […]

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    In the absence of domestic resources, foreign cash is feeding UK startups

In the absence of domestic resources, foreign cash is feeding UK startups

For over two years we’ve been concerned about the fall in investment rounds to UK businesses. So we are pleased to see this decline abating in our analysis of equity investment activity in the first half of this year, as well as a record level of cash invested.

But, as usual, beneath the surface there are some interesting undercurrents. The fact that later-stage […]

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    Understanding the dearth of women in STEM: A look at academia

Understanding the dearth of women in STEM: A look at academia

For decades scholars and activists have been working to close the gender gap in STEM fields by focusing on the so-called “leaky pipeline.” The pipeline metaphor reflects the fact that along the educational pathway to pursuing scientific careers in STEM (the “pipeline”), disproportionately more girls and women end up “leaking” out at various stages.

Progress has been made in narrowing […]

August 15th, 2017|Cayce Hughes, Gender|0 Comments|
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    The insurance market and the failure to tell high from low risk

The insurance market and the failure to tell high from low risk

Is it really possible to tell if insurance markets are functioning effectively without too many high- or low-risk buyers of policies?

That is the challenge we address in our new research paper. The study suggests that standard tests for the twin phenomena of adverse and advantageous selection – too many or too few buyers who are likely to make a claim […]

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    Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change – Book Review

Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change – Book Review

Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change. Lee J. Alston, Marcus André Melo, Bernardo Mueller and Carlos Pereira. Princeton University Press. 2016.

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Do beliefs create fiscally sound social inclusion in Brazil? Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership and Institutional Change contributes to the modernisation ‘transition’ literature by offering a case study of Brazil’s economic and social development since […]

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    How to upgrade the UK economy to higher investment, productivity and pay

How to upgrade the UK economy to higher investment, productivity and pay

At a recent event marking the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis, the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said the UK’s banking sector could be “15 to 20 times GDP” in just a “quarter of a century”. But such proclamations beg a big question: what is the value of all this activity and wealth to the rest of […]

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    Inequality, technological change and the skill premium throughout the ages

Inequality, technological change and the skill premium throughout the ages

How do economic growth and technological change affect inequality? The skill premium (the wage of skilled labour relative to that of unskilled labour) is one good reflection of the interrelation between growth, technological change and inequality. Existing studies show that skill-biased technological change (SBTC) contributes to the rising skill premium in modern days. But few studies have been made […]

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    Beyond GDP: How social progress and competitiveness are closely related

Beyond GDP: How social progress and competitiveness are closely related

Kuwait, a small country in the Persian Gulf, holds the sixth spot on the global GDP per capita ranking, with an average per capita income of over US$ 69,000 in 2015, adjusted at the purchasing power parity. At the same time, it ranked only 34th in the World Economic Forum’s 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

New Zealand, another relatively small […]

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    The art of choosing social influencers to sample and talk about a brand

The art of choosing social influencers to sample and talk about a brand

It’s no secret that sending spices to cooking bloggers, makeup samples to YouTube-tutorial stars or the hottest headphones to pop idols is a great way to increase sales.

But how do you know which recipe maven is going to maximise your product and yield new customers? The most fabulous recipe is no help if no one sees it. A persuader […]

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    Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

One of the most important dilemmas young people face if they’ve chosen to pursue Higher Education is which subject to study. Should they study something they’re passionate about, or the subject with higher chance of good graduate employment and higher income?

For young people graduating into the aftermath of the recession and experiencing more precarious employment, lower income in real-terms […]

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    Sluggish recovery by low-income countries could be Africa’s next big challenge

Sluggish recovery by low-income countries could be Africa’s next big challenge

In April 2017, the World Bank tabled a fairly optimistic forecast for commodity prices for 2017 and 2018 anticipating: crude oil to average $55 per barrel in 2017 before nudging further north to $60 in 2018; a 26 per cent rise in the price of energy commodities (including natural gas and coal) in 2017 and a more moderate 8 […]

Slacking it? The problems of technology at work

Slack, if you have never come across it before, is an instant messaging application. As the company itself explains, it is ‘team communication for the 21st century’ and one intended to result in work having ‘less email’ and becoming ‘more productive.’ They claim that their ‘customers see an average 48.6% reduction in internal email.’ We can all relate to […]

Reading List: A Brexit Summer Reading Guide

Summer brings with it a host of reading lists on what to take away with you to while away the hours by the poolside or on the beach. The thought of a guide on what books to take away to read on Brexit might fill most people with horror. Even though Brexit negotiations are now underway, ‘banging on about […]

Are the British economy’s prospects faltering?

Until well after the turn of the year, the UK economy seemed to have shrugged off any immediate economic effects of the EU referendum. GDP growth had remained steady at an annual rate of around 2%, enabling ministers to claim the UK was the fastest growing of the major western economies; the total number of people in employment continued […]

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    Expert panel: Unemployment hurts the wellbeing of men more than that of women

Expert panel: Unemployment hurts the wellbeing of men more than that of women

Given a generally stronger social norm for men to be working in paid employment than for women, unemployment is typically worse for the wellbeing of men than women. That is the consensus finding of a survey of leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world.

But the experts are divided on whether unemployment is better for an individual’s happiness than […]

The bitcoin fork: What’s happening

Background

For the past number of years we’ve been hearing a lot about bitcoin – how the technology of a blockchain, coupled with certain restrictions and incentives for various parties, could produce a viable currency, independent of either physical collateral or the authority of a state. In many respects it would seem that bitcoin has been a success. Now when […]

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    Welfare gains from trade: Measuring the “average consumer” isn’t good enough

Welfare gains from trade: Measuring the “average consumer” isn’t good enough

No matter which statistics we look at, real growth in trade or trade to GDP ratios, there is little doubt that over the last 20-25 years we’ve seen unprecedented growth in global trade flows. The only exception was the period of the global financial crisis when global trade plummeted but even then recovery was very swift and global trade […]