Monthly Archives: December 2017

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    Completion of the Eurozone may not be as improbable as it once appeared

Completion of the Eurozone may not be as improbable as it once appeared

When it comes to the Eurozone, agreement is hard to find. One thing we have been agreeing on for quite a while now, however, is that the common currency remains a very long way from having the fiscal and banking unions that it arguably needs to be considered ‘complete’. The long-recognised problem in the Eurozone is simply stated: while monetary policy […]

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    What if we all governed the Internet? Or what if we didn’t?

What if we all governed the Internet? Or what if we didn’t?

Multistakeholder participation in Internet governance supports, broadly speaking, the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the development of rules, norms and other governance mechanisms that have a potential impact on the evolution and use of the Internet. Such extensive collaboration has enabled the Internet to benefit from the perspectives and input of a variety of actors relatively devoid of the potentially […]

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    In pursuit of economic security: from reciprocity to real estate

In pursuit of economic security: from reciprocity to real estate

Market liberals assume that people can look after themselves. But much of the time they cannot. Dependency on others is inevitable during motherhood, infancy and childhood, education, illness, disability, unemployment, and old age. There may be no agency, no two feet to stand on, nothing to sell, no bargaining power and limited cognitive capacity. The welfare challenge is not […]

What are we talking about when we talk about mobility?

Mobility is a polysemic notion. We here only allude to geographical mobility, understood as physical movement in a professional setting. It may refer to working in a different space than the usual one, as well as to professional trips (whether these are systematic or not). Add to that daily commuting between home and the workplace, which, according to the […]

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    Emotionally intelligent employees are a competitive advantage

Emotionally intelligent employees are a competitive advantage

In today’s hypercompetitive world, it is more important than ever to have highly engaged, committed workers. Employees with high job satisfaction and organisational commitment have higher job performance. Satisfied people are more productive. Moreover, employees with high job satisfaction and organisational commitment have lower turnover intentions. This can keep costly turnover down and help organisations retain knowledgeable, well-trained, and […]

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    Scaling impact finance in Kenya: A look at micro, small and medium enterprises

Scaling impact finance in Kenya: A look at micro, small and medium enterprises

A financial inclusion-focused entity recently engaged us to exercise due diligence on a working capital microcredit venture, with the intent of investing $1 million in equity in the business. Chief amongst the requirements was the evidence of employment creation brought about by the extension of credit to micro, small and medium enterprises. This was illuminating on two fronts. On one […]

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    Should you disclose an invisible disability in a job interview?

Should you disclose an invisible disability in a job interview?

Individuals with invisible disabilities face a dilemma when applying for work: Do I disclose my disability to the potential employer and, if so, how? This dilemma occurs because disabled applicants face potential biases that hinder perceptions of their employability: Although hiring managers might feel sorry for or pity these applicants they may not want to hire them because of […]

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    ‘Sharding’ and the search for a way to scale up blockchain

‘Sharding’ and the search for a way to scale up blockchain

Advocates of blockchain technology often expound its ability to deliver a disruptive layer of efficiency to existing industries that provide consumers goods and services. They might speak of how, by removing centralised trust from the equation of transaction verification, blockchain-based systems will provide a means of disintermediation that could save industries untold sums of capital that is otherwise lost […]

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    Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It) – Book Review

Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It) – Book Review

Find this book: 

Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It). Elizabeth Anderson. Princeton University Press. 2017.

In Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), a version of her 2015 Tanner Lectures, Elizabeth Anderson argues that modern workplaces are coercive and hierarchical institutions, a fact that is camouflaged […]

The case for ending shareholder monopoly

The UK is about to stop shareholders monopolising votes for company boards, with worker voice. Currently, asset managers control most shareholder votes in public companies. They have systemic conflicts of interest, because shareholder votes can influence companies to buy asset managers’ financial products (e.g. defined contribution pensions). But now this is changing. One small step, following government consultation, is that the Financial […]

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    Why are fewer German companies choosing to join the stock market?

Why are fewer German companies choosing to join the stock market?

An article by Kathleen Kahle and René M. Stulz on LSE Business Review analyses the shrinking number of public corporations in the US. We  find this phenomenon also in Germany. In our study, we find a decline in the number of listed companies in Germany driven by a decline in initial public offerings (IPOs) and an increase in delistings:

While […]

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    Accounting played a central role in the rise of financial capitalism as we know it today

Accounting played a central role in the rise of financial capitalism as we know it today

Since the pioneer writings of Weber and Sombart, the debate on the nexus between accounting and the rise of capitalism has caused a lot of ink to flow. Literature on the subject has focused on assessing the capacity of the double-entry form to promote “rational” decision-making based on profit calculation. While the classical approach, drawing on Weber and Sombart’s […]

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    To overcome gender bias, objective performance metrics are not enough

To overcome gender bias, objective performance metrics are not enough

It has been well established that men and women experience differences in access to social and financial capital, hiring outcomes, and performance evaluations more generally. One commonly cited explanation for these observed gender differences has to do with a lack of objective information. Specifically, in the absence of concrete information about quality or expected performance, evaluators have been found […]

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    Alex Kong: ‘There are 1.6 million unbanked working adults in the UK’

Alex Kong: ‘There are 1.6 million unbanked working adults in the UK’

The use of new financial technology, or fintech, promises a number of benefits to consumers, including cost reduction and increased convenience in the way banking services are provided. Another, less often discussed, advantage is the possibility of financial inclusion. Alex Kong, founder and CEO of TNG, estimates that there are two million people around the world who do not […]

December 6th, 2017|Alex Kong, The Web Series|Comments Off on Alex Kong: ‘There are 1.6 million unbanked working adults in the UK’|

The value of investing in historic buildings

In many countries, vast amounts of public money are invested to preserve historic buildings. In the Netherlands, for example, total public expenditures on renovation subsidies have been more than a billion euros since the 1970s. In Britain, more than 45 thousand buildings are listed, which imply that they are eligible for substantial subsidies, e.g. via tax reliefs. One important […]

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    Mitchell Baker: ‘The internet was designed not to be owned by any one person’

Mitchell Baker: ‘The internet was designed not to be owned by any one person’

On 14 December the US Federal Communications Commission will vote on its chairman’s proposal to kill net neutrality, the principle on which the internet was built. Anyone can create a website, which can be seen at the same download speed as any other site. If the FCC’s chairman has it his way, the internet will look more like cable TV, in which […]

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    Design brands adjust their retail strategy to consumers’ personalities

Design brands adjust their retail strategy to consumers’ personalities

The luxury market is one of the most rapidly expanding industries around the world. Despite the financial crisis in 2008, the market for personal luxury goods has grown three times in size over the last 20 years. The industry has undergone, over the last decade, two major changes that have reshuffled the luxury landscape.

First, there has been an evolution […]

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    Adizah Tejani: ‘We need a mindset shift to understand the possibilities of open banking’

Adizah Tejani: ‘We need a mindset shift to understand the possibilities of open banking’

When the EU regulation known as the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) takes effect, in January 2018, banks will be required to open their businesses to outside service providers. That includes offering these outsiders access to application programming interfaces (APIs), which are the digital protocols that allow third parties to build apps linking to a business. In the UK, […]

Digitalisation of work: blessing for some, curse for others

It is a commonplace that we live in the age of disruption. The latest trend towards digitalisation is set to accelerate changes in the workplace and transform the labour market perhaps irreversibly. Current debates on the digitalisation of work concern the extent and degree to which advanced technology such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithmic decision-making could […]

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    Once Upon an Algorithm: How Stories Explain Computing- Book Review

Once Upon an Algorithm: How Stories Explain Computing- Book Review

Find this book: 

Once Upon an Algorithm: How Stories Explain Computing. Martin Erwig. MIT Press. 2017.

Most of us enjoy listening to stories. They can serve as mnemonic devices as well as teach us about and perhaps even change our lives, lives which are increasingly fast-paced and much more digital than they once were. Whilst stories can have a transformative […]