Economics

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    The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

In Uganda, only 32 per cent of school children are literate in their mother tongue. They grow up in one of the country’s 65 ethnic tribes, each of which has its own language. But from their fourth year at primary school they are taught in the country’s official language, English. Yet research shows that to achieve their full potential […]

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    Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

In a recent article in The Political Quarterly Alan Ware claimed that for most students, higher education was not worth the cost. He claimed that there is no “need” for higher education, that higher education does not result in higher earnings, higher education does not impart useful skills, nor does it facilitate social mobility. In a recent article in The Political Quarterly I evaluated Ware’s claims and […]

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    In Michael Gove’s agricultural utopia, Britain would ‘compete at the top’ after Brexit

In Michael Gove’s agricultural utopia, Britain would ‘compete at the top’ after Brexit

Michael Gove is a man who knows when to pick a fight, and when to make friends. Unlike his tenure in the Department for Education when he took on the ‘vested interests’ of the teachers’ unions and others to implement radical reforms to the education system, his time as Environment Secretary so far has been characterised by a surprisingly […]

Hong Kong’s once-vibrant economy has “gone sideways”

For all its political resonance, the British handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 merely ratified a long-standing economic reality. Since the late 1970s, when the People’s Republic began its transformation to a market-based system, Hong Kong’s economy has been deeply intertwined with the mainland. As China’s manufacturing muscle powered the country into the front rank of the […]

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    The wage that’s not for living: the problem with the “National Living Wage”

The wage that’s not for living: the problem with the “National Living Wage”

The British government has spent the past year heralding the latest increase in the rate of the “National Living Wage”, set at £7.50 an hour as of the 1st of April 2017, arguing that it will both increase the spending power of low-paid workers as well as rescuing millions from the effects of in-work poverty. However, while efforts to […]

February 1st, 2018|Calum Carson, Economics|1 Comment|
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    Bad choice design can be particularly harmful for less educated individuals

Bad choice design can be particularly harmful for less educated individuals

Imagine you receive a phone call from someone who says they represent your bank. You are eligible to receive some free gifts, they say: gas coupons, airline savings vouchers, hotel accommodations. To get these free gifts, you simply need to verify your bank account number: they read the first nine digits and you just need to read the rest […]

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    Labour market institutions still matter in the knowledge economy

Labour market institutions still matter in the knowledge economy

The last forty years have seen a pervasive rise in income inequality across the advanced democracies of Western Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. This has occurred alongside major structural change, which has seen these economies transition from Fordism – an economic system built around the mass production and consumption of standardised consumer goods, supported by collective bargaining, […]

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    Financial crises, corporate scandals and blind spots: who is responsible?

Financial crises, corporate scandals and blind spots: who is responsible?

According to the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the main causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2009 were failures of corporate governance and policy, including widespread failures in financial regulation and supervision, lack of transparency, poor preparation by the government, and systemic breakdown in accountability. The Commission concluded that the crisis was avoidable.

In their book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of […]

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    Economists think Trump harmed the world economy, but not that of their country

Economists think Trump harmed the world economy, but not that of their country

On November 8th 2016, I was in Mexico City having dinner with a group of people. Suddenly, the person sitting across from me started receiving an unconscionable number of emails, messages, and calls on two devices simultaneously. As the polls from the American presidential election became public, this person had to leave the dinner to field the incoming flow […]

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    Confronting the macroeconomic challenges of the fourth industrial revolution

Confronting the macroeconomic challenges of the fourth industrial revolution

“The fourth industrial revolution – isn’t that an IT thing? We have a Minister for Digital looking at it”, said a policymaker. “Yes, it is changing business models which is why we are fostering an ecosystem for start-up innovation”, said another minister.

The implications of the current wave of technological change at a mechanical and commercial level are fairly well-understood. […]

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    An up-to-date account of economic inequalities in Britain since 2008

An up-to-date account of economic inequalities in Britain since 2008

Income growth in the UK has been weak since the financial crisis. It is a trend which seems likely to continue through to the early 2020s. But in overall terms, this has not been accompanied by a worsening of income inequalities. Official data from the DWP indicate a broad stability in the inequality of disposable household income, equivalised (i.e. weighted) for […]

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    Lessons from the 1890s to realign innovation and finance in post-Brexit Britain

Lessons from the 1890s to realign innovation and finance in post-Brexit Britain

There is increasing consensus among political and economic commentators that the UK economy is in significant need of rebalancing. The gulf between the finance-based London economy and former manufacturing regions was thrown into sharp relief by the Brexit vote, reinforcing the momentum for the so-called “Northern Powerhouse” and “Midlands Engine” initiatives and, to underpin a new focus on regional […]

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    The French art market under the Nazi boot: looking for discreet assets

The French art market under the Nazi boot: looking for discreet assets

The French art market during the Occupation has been the subject of numerous publications that mostly focused on the fate of looted artworks, with limited attention given to the art market itself.

Using an original database of paintings sold at Hôtel Drouot, the main French auction house at the time, I recreate an art market price index for the period […]

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    When white working-class men feel society no longer values them

When white working-class men feel society no longer values them

The Brexit referendum exposed deep political divisions within British society, and more than a year after that vote, those divisions show no signs of disappearing. Although the Leave campaign was carried to victory on the back of a broad coalition, one of its striking features was high levels of support for Brexit among white working-class men without a college […]

Exposure to innovation influences who becomes an inventor

Relatively little is known about the factors that induce people to become inventors. Using data on the lives of over one million inventors in the US, this column sheds light on what policies can be most effective in increasing innovation. In particular, it shows that increasing exposure to innovation among women, minorities, and children from low-income families may have […]

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    Devising new ways to make local retail contribute to urban vibrancy

Devising new ways to make local retail contribute to urban vibrancy

In most of the Western world, local independent stores are becoming ever more rare. Retail is increasingly dominated by large players  —  big retailers, global franchises and digital giants like Amazon. As a result, urban activities are less diversified, a sort of “drainage of the soil” in some areas and more urban exodus from left-out mid-sized cities.

Blaming big retail […]

Brexit readiness score update: UK gets 22 out of 100

In the past three months the possibility of an orderly Brexit has increased markedly. In particular, the European Union and United Kingdom have negotiated a transition period lasting two years. And several thorny issues around the treatment of EU citizens in the United Kingdom have been clarified.

The inaugural Brexit Readiness Score gave low grades on the preparedness of the […]

Why economists are relaxed about bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies have been a staple of news headlines in 2017. As the price of one bitcoin has risen 12-fold in sterling terms during the course of 2017, the number of Google searches for bitcoin has increased 14-fold. There are now more than 2,000 cryptocurrency ATMs across the globe, with the United States (1,107), Canada (293), the UK (97) and […]

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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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    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 […]