Monthly Archives: April 2018

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    The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The paradox of wanting privacy but behaving as if it didn’t matter

The increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous technologies centred on collecting and using consumer data are keeping the public discussion over privacy at centre stage. An important point of contention in that the debate focuses on the sometimes surprising nature of individuals’ privacy choices, and their relationship to the so-called “privacy paradox.” The term refers to apparent inconsistencies between people’s stated […]

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    The tale of two Germanies highlights how childcare provision benefits women

The tale of two Germanies highlights how childcare provision benefits women

Gender inequality in firms is an issue which has concerned both economists and policymakers. In spite of significant improvements in women’s career prospects, the gender pay gap still persists. One crucial component as to why women on average earn lower wages than men is parenthood. I provide evidence of the positive impact of child care policies on women’s careers and […]

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    The labour share of the national income: the role of capital in its many forms

The labour share of the national income: the role of capital in its many forms

The labour share, the proportion of the national income paid to workers, has been falling globally since the 1980s, as illustrated in figure 1. This implies that the benefits of growth are not shared equally between workers and capital owners. This is a particularly worrying phenomenon in the presence of increasing wage inequalities, as it implies that the average […]

How the Middle East oil pricing system emerged in the 1940s

How did the Middle East become both a new geographical base-point for petroleum transactions and the hub of the global pricing system?

Several giant Middle East oilfields were discovered between 1943 and 1947. Before that, the United States and the Gulf of Mexico region produced the bulk of the oil consumed in the world. Maintaining a global price equilibrium was essential for […]

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    The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

The work–life conflicts of globally distributed software developers

Consider the words of a senior manager in a global IT company:

“I think our company historically has rewarded people who are very technically competent …Those people aren’t always the best people-managers….We need people who are leaders, who … set realistic priorities and understand you are going to be most effective as an employee when you achieve a good WLB [work-life […]

Why Russia is economically weak and politically strong

A few days ago I saw a surprising statistic: the GDP of Russia is of the same order of magnitude as the combined GDP of Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2017 Russian GDP was 1 469 billion dollars (according to the International Monetary Fund). Belgium had a GDP of 491 billion dollars and the Netherlands 824 billion dollars; together $ […]

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    The Airbus case sits at the heart of the Brexit industrial equation

The Airbus case sits at the heart of the Brexit industrial equation

While an agreement on Brexit negotiations is far from being reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Brussels seems to be taking an even more aggressive stance. It recently announced its will to kick Britain out of the Galileo project after it leaves the EU. This programme is aimed at creating a global navigation satellite system for […]

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    Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality – Book Review

Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality – Book Review

Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality. F.C. Simon. Routledge. 2017.

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Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality has a misleading title!  It suggests an in-depth examination of regulatory theory explained using complex and specialised analytical language resting on wider theories of the world. It is, however, a clearly written book […]

The personal car: an idea whose time has passed?

A few weeks ago, a pedestrian was killed on the road while walking outside of a crosswalk with a bicycle. This, unfortunately, is not something papers usually report on: nearly 1.3 million people die on the road every year. Approximately one person killed every 25 seconds. This tragedy was, however, historic: the victim was hit by an Uber running in […]

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    Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

Using blockchain to make land registry more reliable in India

The word blockchain often conjures up thoughts of cryptocurrencies, of people dabbling in a seemingly dark art, making tens of millions of dollars. Blockchain was first linked to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but it is a technology that can enrich the lives of billions of people, in countless ways.

We believe it will have a huge impact in the developing world, […]

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    Digital hiring: what recruiters can see on your social media

Digital hiring: what recruiters can see on your social media

Twelve years since worldwide adoption, we now have an entire generation joining the workforce that do not remember a world before social media. Without professional experience or understanding of what companies expect to see (and not see), tomorrow’s workforce are faced with growing up and learning about the person they wish to become, publicly, traceably and ultimately, judged before […]

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    Rest and constructive thinking feed entrepreneurs’ creativity

Rest and constructive thinking feed entrepreneurs’ creativity

Creativity – the generation of new and useful ideas – is seen as essential for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs need to be creative day in and out to navigate the uncertainties, constraints and challenges that starting, growing and managing a business involves. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, once said: “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it […]

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    A decision-maker’s dilemma: search for the best option or settle for ‘good enough’?

A decision-maker’s dilemma: search for the best option or settle for ‘good enough’?

In a rapidly evolving digital world the temptation to ‘keep searching for the best’ option juxtaposed to the pressure of business to ‘choose as fast as possible’ routinely presents us with the dilemma: Is searching for the best option – being a “maximiser” – actually leading us to better outcomes compared to settling on the first good enough option […]

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    Public education benefited from oil booms in the postbellum South

Public education benefited from oil booms in the postbellum South

Natural resources are often thought as a curse, rather than a blessing. They have, for example, been found to help entrench autocratic regimes, impede female labor market involvement, and fuel both intra-state wars and internal conflicts.

Granted, natural resources typically increase local government revenue: counties or regions with oil, gas, or precious metal deposits typically can expect royalties or increased […]

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    The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

The rise of the regulator may lead to trouble for the blockchain

In 2018, regulation forms an increasingly important part of our lives. The popular media and the political sphere are increasingly in favour of more regulation – and I think we can agree that it’s rare but interesting to see the press take a pro-red tape stance. This perceived need for increased regulation is due to the fact that in […]

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    A managerial orthodoxy dominates organisational life since the Thatcher/Reagan era

A managerial orthodoxy dominates organisational life since the Thatcher/Reagan era

As organisation consultants, we have met many people, in many different fields, who are bewildered and oppressed by the apparent insanity of much of what goes on in large organisations. There are seemingly endless reorganisations and restructurings. Leaders seem to feel bound to disturb people and organisations. People are sometimes not sure what unit they are part of, or […]

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    The multiplier effect of the German government move to Berlin

The multiplier effect of the German government move to Berlin

Spatial inequality is central when analysing economic performance across regions and countries. Governments worry about wealth and prosperity concentrated in a few ‘lucky’ areas. In the UK, the dominant position of London and the absence of a sizeable contender fuels the debate on geographical rebalancing. In Denmark, the government is currently expanding a relocation policy (started two years ago) […]

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    Silicon Valley and America’s global ambition in the early 20th century

Silicon Valley and America’s global ambition in the early 20th century

Looking for an explanation of Silicon Valley’s high-tech? A key factor is hiding in plain sight: The significance of the Valley’s location in the 20th century United States. Not the latter 20th century of personal computers, video games, and a young Internet—that’s no secret. Rather, the early 20th century, when American imperial ambition fuelled technological advance and entrepreneurial activity.

Start-ups […]

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    Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes – Book Review

Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes – Book Review

This review was published as part of a March 2018 endeavour, ‘A Month of Our Own: Amplifying Women’s Voices on LSE Review of Books’. 

Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes. Diane Reay. Policy Press. 2018.

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Fees for state secondary education were abolished in 1944, over 70 years ago; however, class inequalities in UK education persist to this day. […]

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    High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US

High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US

According to the World Health Organisation, nearly 4 in every 10 dollars spent on health care in the world is spent in the US, a country with only 5 per cent of the world’s population. Even among high-income countries, we know that the US is an outlier, spending almost 18 per cent of its GDP on health, well ahead of the next highest spender, Switzerland, which spends about […]