Economics

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    Division, austerity and the gig economy: migration isn’t our biggest problem

Division, austerity and the gig economy: migration isn’t our biggest problem

Recent days have seen a flurry of activity and pronouncements on the status, rights and future migration prospects of EU citizens in the UK: not just the Lords’ vote to amend the ‘Brexit bill’ to ‘guarantee the rights’ of currently resident EU citizens irrespective of Brexit, but reports from the Commons ExEU and Lords EU Home Affairs parliamentary committees. That’s even before the […]

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    Keeping up with the Joneses: Superstar houses and the US mortgage frenzy

Keeping up with the Joneses: Superstar houses and the US mortgage frenzy

Built in 1927 on the eve of the Great Depression, the Palm Beach residence of President Donald Trump – Mar-a-Lago – ranks among the 20 biggest houses in the United States. At 62,500 square feet, it is about 35 times the size of the median suburban house in the country.

Analysing a large dataset of houses built between 1920 and […]

Technology may not be responsible for jobless recoveries

Since the early 1990s, the US has been plagued by weak employment growth when emerging from recessions – so called ‘jobless recoveries’. Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels look at multiple recoveries elsewhere in the world over a 40-year period to see if the same applies – and whether modern technology is responsible.

Recoveries from recessions in the United States used […]

The roles of nature and history in world development

Why do people live where they do, whether in the world as a whole or within a given country?  Why are some places so densely populated and some so empty? In daily life, we take this variation in density as a matter of course, but in many ways it can be quite puzzling.

Key drivers of the distribution of population […]

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    Strengthening private capital markets: less of the same is more

Strengthening private capital markets: less of the same is more

The financial market landscape has changed dramatically since the global financial crisis nine years ago. A key feature of today is the dominance of central banks in financial markets, especially in Europe. However, central bank activism has crowded out long-term investors (insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds).

Not only do long-term investors hold assets worth about USD 70 trillion […]

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    LSE Growth Commission: invest more in people, not only buildings and machines

LSE Growth Commission: invest more in people, not only buildings and machines

The LSE Growth Commission sets out a new blueprint for inclusive and sustainable growth that deals with the challenges facing the UK, old and new.

Based on the latest research, analysis and evidence from leading practitioners and scholars, the Commission – drawn from leading business, policy-making and academic figures – outlines the top priorities in four key areas.

Jobs and skills

In […]

We don’t need the alcohol industry for a strong economy

In 1850, the French economist Frederic Bastiat wrote the parable of a shopkeeper whose window is smashed. Aghast at the damage, the shopkeeper is consoled with the idea that at least his broken windows are good for the economy, since “Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

The alcohol industry is, in […]

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    Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

Slow economics: shifting the focus to sustainability and quality of life

This post explores the relationship between some relatively new concepts in economics – slow living, slow food, slow writing and the green economy. The goal is twofold – discussing the possibilities opened by these exciting new concepts, in terms of an increase in the quality of life combined with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, as well as ascertaining what they […]

Inflation is back

What’s at stake: After years of deflationary pressures and anaemic economic performance, inflation seems to be on the rise again, both in the US and the euro area. Does this comeback mark a return to target? Will it be sustained, and what should central banks be thinking? These are among the questions raised in the blogosphere.

Dieter Wermuth is happy […]

February 17th, 2017|Economics, Pia Hüttl|0 Comments|

Taking uninformed consumers for a ride

Let me begin with a thought experiment. Imagine you have a Platinum health plan, meaning that your insurance covers (almost) all the costs for a very large variety of treatments and diagnostic tests – in exchange, of course, for a high monthly premium. After years of paying the premium without ever needing to use medical insurance, eventually the day […]

Don’t give up on Europe as an investment destination

“Europe is uninvestable,” a fund manager declares, while carving a slice of roast lamb over dinner in Mayfair, London. “With Marine Le Pen in France, Brexit and populists all over the place, we prefer to avoid any Eurozone risk.” The other fund managers in the room nod, in silence. The case for investing in Eurozone assets has never been […]

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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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    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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    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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    The contradiction of classical liberalism and libertarianism

The contradiction of classical liberalism and libertarianism

A standard assumption in policy analyses and political debates is that classical liberal or libertarian views represent a radical alternative to a progressive or egalitarian agenda.

In the political arena, classical liberalism and libertarianism often inform the policy agenda of centre-right and far-right parties. They underpin laissez-faire policies and reject any redistributive action, including welfare state provisions and progressive taxation. […]

Brexit and its likely impact on the UK creative industry

UK Prime Minister Theresa has begun to set out her vision for Brexit. She was clear that the UK will be leaving the Single Market, but she also alluded to a possible sector-by-sector approach to trade negotiations with the EU.

Presumably this will focus on sectors of great economic relevance. The financial and automotive industries have already received much attention, […]

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    The population centres that Columbus found in 1492 persist as major cities in the Americas

The population centres that Columbus found in 1492 persist as major cities in the Americas

Does economic fortune persist in the long run? This question has been the object of intense research; while some studies find a reversal at the national level for colonised countries (Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson 2002) others show that fortune has largely persisted for thousands of years (Comin et al. 2010; Ashraf and Galor, 2013), especially in terms of populations […]

National minimum wages improve productivity

Quite unexpectedly, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, used his first Conservative Budget, in July 2015 to slash benefits for low-paid workers – and simultaneously forced businesses to pay them more. The British Government’s new National Living Wage became law on 1 April 2016. The wage starts at £7.20, increasing to £7.50 from April 2017, […]

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    Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Like many others we were frustrated about the absence of both reliable and (almost) real-time economic indicators about the true state of the economy post-Brexit. Survey data was plentifully available, but often contradicted itself, and appeared to be heavily biased towards the political leaning of the sponsor. Hence, we decided to look for a truly independent and reliable indicator, […]

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    Is financial regulation driven by ideas or by material and structural changes?

Is financial regulation driven by ideas or by material and structural changes?

Imagine a world where Milton Friedman received more encouragement in art, and less in math as a child. Young Milton might have become an artist instead of an economist – titillating the art world with absurdist depictions of “free lunches”. Without Friedman the economist, wealthy collectors would rush to buy a “Friedman” to hedge against inflation, while grumbling about […]

January 14th, 2017|Economics, Michael Lee|0 Comments|