Monthly Archives: May 2018

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    Corporate social responsibility and the dehumanisation of people

Corporate social responsibility and the dehumanisation of people

One of the hallmarks of moral and ethical progress in the world of business has been the increasing recognition of just how embedded organisations are in the wider social, cultural and physical environments that they occupy. It might seem a trite notion to many now, but the idea that firms influence – and are influenced by – the wider […]

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    Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

The problem with the future is that it is not here yet. Virtually every aspect of our lives is in a state of flux. While change may have always been a constant, several factors come together to make this an industrial revolution of a fundamental kind. Every profession is having to grapple with existential questions as well as questions […]

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    News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World – Book Review

News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World – Book Review

News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. An Nguyen (ed.). Bloomsbury. 2018.

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In 1954, Darrell Huff published How to Lie with Statistics, a tongue-in-cheek guide for those wanting to use numbers to deceive. The book, now widely distributed to first-year university statistics students, outlines how statistics can confuse and muddle both writers and readers. The […]

May 20th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    When the IMF and the EU don’t see eye to eye on economic policy

When the IMF and the EU don’t see eye to eye on economic policy

The recent IMF and World Bank Spring meetings with finance ministers and central bankers are one key forum where the IMF performs its mandated role as conduit of international economic co-ordination, and its self-appointed role as global arbiter of ‘sound’ economic policy. Christine Lagarde recently set out the IMF’s policy priorities, offering some pointed messages for European policy-makers about […]

May 19th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Climate change: extreme heat will decrease rural employment and increase migration in Mexico

Climate change: extreme heat will decrease rural employment and increase migration in Mexico

Climate change is predicted to bring increased incidence of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and changing precipitation patterns. A growing body of literature suggests that the economic costs of climate change may be substantial and far-reaching, impacting agriculture, mortality, labour productivity, economic growth, civil conflict, and migration. Until recently, however, the literature has remained relatively silent […]

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    How much attention do investors pay to rounding in earnings forecasts?

How much attention do investors pay to rounding in earnings forecasts?

Evidence exists that investors are subject to attentional constraints when making economic decisions and as a result focus on subsets of publicly available information that are more salient, i.e. that tend to stand out and are easier to process. Selective attention to salient stimuli can be economically justified if time and attention are costly.

A large literature to date examines […]

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    Zombie firms: kept alive at the expense of investment, employment and productivity

Zombie firms: kept alive at the expense of investment, employment and productivity

With the global economy stuck in a low growth trap, it is crucial to understand the factors behind the weak recovery in potential output growth, and particularly the barriers to productivity growth. In our recent research, we show that this dynamic can be partly understood in terms of the increasing survival of zombie firms – i.e. those firms that […]

May 16th, 2018|Economics|1 Comment|
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    The quality of financial information explains why stocks and bonds co-move

The quality of financial information explains why stocks and bonds co-move

The sensitivity of corporate bond returns to changes in the value of equity is a fundamental input for portfolio asset allocation. Since imperfect correlation of asset returns is a key assumption in portfolio theory, stock-bond return co-movement is important to determine the diversification benefits of bonds, and to hedge common exposures across the two asset markets. Because bonds exhibit […]

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    Investment in education can counter the economic impact of an older population

Investment in education can counter the economic impact of an older population

Population ageing is one of the most important economic and social challenges in the twenty-first century. With increasing life expectancy and falling fertility, the populations of most countries are growing older. Large cohorts are being replaced by relatively smaller but better educated young cohorts, resulting in substantial shifts in the workforce and its age and education composition.

Although these demographic […]

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    Political ideology influences how we do business and whom we want to work with

Political ideology influences how we do business and whom we want to work with

After the bruising and contentious 2016 US presidential election and the subsequent controversies of President Donald Trump’s first year in office, it’s not surprising that Americans’ evaluations of members of the opposite political party have reached an all-time low. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 45 per cent of Republicans and 41 per cent of Democrats think the other party […]

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    What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

We often blame the behaviours of those who have power and abuse it on the individual and his or her personality. That is, we make what psychologists call a dispositional attribution. But there is more to individual and personality differences when it comes to understanding the behaviour of those in power. In fact, what is often occulted are the […]

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    Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas – Book Review

Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas – Book Review

Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas. Laura Empson. Oxford University Press. 2017.

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Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas casts light upon leadership, its impact on the trajectory of professional organisations and, most importantly, the power and politics within them. The book has two interlinked strengths. Firstly, Laura Empson, the author, was an investment banker and a […]

May 13th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The market failures that keep us from dealing effectively with superbacteria

The market failures that keep us from dealing effectively with superbacteria

There have been bacteria on this planet for at least the last 3.5 billion years. For the entirety of our species’ existence we have relied on bacteria to aid us in breaking down food, whilst being helpless to guard against their wrath whenever we had a bacterial infection. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that more powerful microscopes lead […]

May 12th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|

Which eco-labels deliver what they promise?

With more than 450 eco-labels worldwide, consumers have greater access to information about which products offer superior environmental attributes. However, consumers often do not know the meaning behind a particular eco-label. For example, the European Union (EU) Flower is Europe’s most widely recognised eco-label. Yet 40 per cent of United Kingdom residents state that they do not know its meaning. Fewer consumers understand the “rules,” […]

May 11th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|

Polish immigrants stimulate innovation in Germany

Even in an immigration system that is not based on skill selection, immigrants have positive innovation effects. They are directly engaged in patenting activities but they also have positive spillover effects on inventors already living in the country. With this finding we contribute to the ongoing public debate on the costs and benefits of immigration.

Immigration policy has been an […]

May 10th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Over 100 countries still bar women from working in specific jobs

Over 100 countries still bar women from working in specific jobs

Two years ago, I told you that gender equality is a critical component of economic growth. I talked about the consequences of laws that facilitate or discourage women from entering the labor force. This was the 2016 edition of Women, Business and the Law, a World Bank Group product that identifies barriers to women’s economic participation and tracks progress […]

May 9th, 2018|Gender|0 Comments|
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    Why the Bank of England should stay put and not raise rates now: the view of leading economists

Why the Bank of England should stay put and not raise rates now: the view of leading economists

Ahead of the May 2018 interest rate decision of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, more than two-thirds of leading economists surveyed by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) agree that in a period of great uncertainty and after a prolonged period of weak real wage growth, monetary policy-makers can afford to wait for greater certainty about real wage […]

Where is the internet headed?

Over the past few months, you’ve almost certainly heard someone lament the state of the internet.

It might have been a friend or family member, who learned the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica breach was worse than originally thought. Or maybe it was Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who recently acknowledged his platform had been compromised by bots and trolls. Or perhaps […]

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    Rising US income inequality: the disproportionate gains of the highest earners

Rising US income inequality: the disproportionate gains of the highest earners

The increase in U.S. income inequality since 1970 largely reflects gains made by households in the top 20 per cent of the income distribution. Estimates suggest that households outside this group have suffered significant losses from foregone consumption, measured relative to a scenario that holds inequality constant. A substantial mitigating factor for the losses has been the dramatic rise […]

May 7th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research – Book Review

Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research – Book Review

Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research. Yaniv Hanoch, Andrew J. Barnes and Thomas Rice (eds). Routledge. 2017.

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If there is an area where behavioural economics can have an impact on individual wellbeing, it is health. Traditional economic concepts – spanning from consumption and investment reasons for a ‘demand for health’, the assumption that […]