Economics

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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 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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    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 […]

Regulators can’t keep up with offshore tax havens

Apple CEO Tim Cook took great umbrage when a U.S. senator chided him in 2013 for seeking “the holy grail of tax avoidance” by shifting profits to Irish shell subsidiaries. “We pay all the taxes we owe – every single dollar,” Cook retorted. “We don’t stash money on some Caribbean island.”

True enough. The island where the tech giant parked […]

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    Brexit and the new localism: how to leverage the competitive advantages of UK cities

Brexit and the new localism: how to leverage the competitive advantages of UK cities

As Brexit negotiations enter a delicate phase, it is urgent to think about innovative ways in which Britain can strengthen its economic position while staying true to the political imperative to “take back control” from the European Union. The answer lies in more radical and far-reaching efforts to realise the market and civic potential and leverage the distinctive competitive […]

How The Economist has portrayed austerity since 1945

“The unpalatable truth is that austerity lies ahead, whoever wins at the polls and whatever the parties say before then.” This is how the The Economist addressed the state of British public finance ahead of the 2010 General Election. There simply was no alternative to austerity, and the UK public sector had to be put “on a prolonged harsh diet”.

As journalism scholars have […]

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    Is it labour or capital owners who bear the burden of corporate taxation?

Is it labour or capital owners who bear the burden of corporate taxation?

The incidence of corporate taxation is a key issue in tax policy debates. According to surveys, most people think that capital owners bear the burden of corporate taxation. Since capital owners usually have high incomes, this suggests that the corporate tax is highly progressive. Business lobbyists challenge this view and argue that the tax reduces investment so that labour […]

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    Should schools bother with modern human resources management?

Should schools bother with modern human resources management?

For decades, private sector firms have been aware of the benefits they can derive by investing in the management of their employees. Incentivising employees through individual and group performance pay allows firms to attract the best talent and increases worker effort. Fostering employee ‘ownership’ of the production process through team-working, initially pushed by Japanese manufacturing firms like Toyota, are […]

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    Britain could be excluded from EU decision-making bodies during the Brexit transition

Britain could be excluded from EU decision-making bodies during the Brexit transition

There is one aspect of Britain’s proposed transition out of the European Union that risks being overlooked. Britain – its government, businesses and individuals such as academics, NGOs and researchers – could be excluded from EU decision-making bodies, agencies and expert groups from 29 March 2019 during the transition period. As others have already said, Britain risks becoming a rule-taker, […]

The trade impact of the transatlantic telegraph

How do exporters gather information about overseas markets and forecast consumer demand for their products? What do they do if technology suddenly makes it possible to get access to better and more timely information? And what is the overall impact on prices, market integration and trade flows? These are challenging questions in the modern world of the internet and […]

Do apprenticeships increase earnings?

Is there an earnings differential for starting an apprenticeship over and above the pay of young people who have already had a full-time school or college-based education? Our research looks at people who finished their GCSE exams in 2003 and who were therefore 28 years of age in 2015. We use administrative data to follow them from 2003 through […]

How poor is poor? The many dimensions of poverty in the UK

Poverty is an on-going problem facing all societies, and there are many different ways of exploring the issue. On the one hand, there is concern with inequality, including the drivers behind the unequal allocation of advantage vs. disadvantage. On the other hand, there is concern with measurement and definition. In the latter case, poverty defined in relative terms implies […]

Forging a new UK-wide agricultural framework post-Brexit

Agriculture is one of those areas currently both devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and subject to European policy-making. If nothing else were done, these competences would revert to the devolved territories, with little by way of overall UK policies. The EU Withdrawal Bill proposes that these, like other ‘retained EU competences’, should come back to Westminster, with […]

What might be behind Trump’s tariffs on steel imports?

Last Thursday President Trump acted to impose 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminium. This action followed an investigation under Section 232 of the 1962 US Trade Expansion Act by the US Commerce Department of whether imports were endangering US national security. The European Union’s response to this action, and that of other […]

What is at stake for the UK economy 

This is one of the most uncertain periods for the UK for a long time. Brexit is clouding the horizon, keeping both investment and productivity low. On the face of it, the economy has proved reasonably resilient since the referendum, which is hardly surprising given the very strong economic growth in our main trading zone of Europe as well […]

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    Analysing the distributional effects of higher education funding reforms in the UK

Analysing the distributional effects of higher education funding reforms in the UK

Over the last two decades, the financing of higher education in England has been transformed. The system has gone from one that offered free-of-charge, full-time undergraduate studies to being one of the most expensive in the OECD. The amount of direct public expenditure on higher education has been reduced from 80 per cent to around 25 per cent (see […]

The Irish border: no technology is smart enough

The past two weeks of the Brexit cycle has once again seen Ireland at the centre of the Brexit debate following key publications and speeches from both the UK and the EU.

On Wednesday 28 February, the EU stirred debate with the publication of its draft Withdrawal Agreement. This 120-page text aims to provide a legal underpinning to what was […]

We may be underestimating the gains from globalisation

Recent research has shown that international trade can lead to job losses in some sectors and areas within a country and gains in others, and it can also affect the countrywide level of wage inequality across workers. These side effects of globalisation have fuelled populist responses in Europe and the United States, with political leaders promising to stop global […]

The EU should defend the World Trade Organisation

The decision by the Trump administration to protect the US steel industry is by no means new. The Obama White House followed previous administrations in imposing anti-dumping duties to protect US steel against ‘unfair’ import competition from certain suppliers for certain products. In 2002 the Bush government introduced temporary safeguard measures to protect US steel from all imports of […]

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    The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

The media market and the battle for increasingly rare exclusive eyeballs

The battle for ‘exclusive eyeballs’ among media platforms explains the sharp decrease in advertising revenues for mainstream media over the last 10 years. Remarkably, the battle also generates more media diversity, since it becomes more profitable for media platforms to differentiate themselves to reach new audiences. This may result in greater polarisation and less duplication of content for the […]