Economics

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    Expert panel: Unemployment hurts the wellbeing of men more than that of women

Expert panel: Unemployment hurts the wellbeing of men more than that of women

Given a generally stronger social norm for men to be working in paid employment than for women, unemployment is typically worse for the wellbeing of men than women. That is the consensus finding of a survey of leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world.

But the experts are divided on whether unemployment is better for an individual’s happiness than […]

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    Welfare gains from trade: Measuring the “average consumer” isn’t good enough

Welfare gains from trade: Measuring the “average consumer” isn’t good enough

No matter which statistics we look at, real growth in trade or trade to GDP ratios, there is little doubt that over the last 20-25 years we’ve seen unprecedented growth in global trade flows. The only exception was the period of the global financial crisis when global trade plummeted but even then recovery was very swift and global trade […]

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    How the rise of the service sector boosted the demand for women workers

How the rise of the service sector boosted the demand for women workers

The rise in female participation in the workforce has been one of the most remarkable changes in the labour markets of high-income countries since World War 2. In the U.S, for example, the employment rate of women has more than doubled from about 35 per cent in 1945 to 77 per cent at the end of the 20th century, […]

Measuring happiness across the ages

The ESRC-funded CAGE centre has a broad remit that includes the study of national subjective wellbeing, commonly called ‘happiness economics’, as one of its key themes. A team of researchers at CAGE, including myself, Thomas Hills (a psychologist) and Eugenio Proto (an economist) have developed a measure of national happiness stretching back hundreds of years.

Measuring long-term happiness

Happiness has long […]

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    Unemployment, reliance on factory jobs and low income explain the Brexit vote

Unemployment, reliance on factory jobs and low income explain the Brexit vote

The UK referendum on EU membership in June 2016 represented a key moment for European integration, and one that academics and political observers are still seeking to understand and explain. In the days running up to the referendum, bookmakers and pollsters had predicted that the ‘remain’ side would win, and, afterwards, many observers were left puzzled about just who […]

With Brexit, inward investment will fall in the UK

Both in the run up to the referendum, and since the UK voted to leave the EU, there has been a good deal of speculation over the likely impact on inward FDI into the UK. In a timely recent piece for Columbia FDI Perspective, Laza Kekic suggested that UK inward investment will remain robust post Brexit. We beg to differ.

Japanese […]

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    When expectations of technological change in the economy are noisy signals

When expectations of technological change in the economy are noisy signals

There has recently been a renewed interest in the old idea that business cycles could be driven by changes in the expectations about future economic conditions, the so-called “animal spirits” (early references are Pigou, 1927, and Keynes, 1936). “Animal spirits” in technology are an important source of business cycles. They explain about 30 per cent of the volatility of […]

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    Why were Western retailers blamed for the building collapse in Bangladesh?

Why were Western retailers blamed for the building collapse in Bangladesh?

Rana Plaza, an eight-story building in Bangladesh that housed garment factories employing approximately 5000 workers, collapsed on April 24, 2013. The resulting fatalities (over 1100) and injuries (over 2400) made it one of the worst industrial accidents in history. The scale of this tragedy and subsequent widespread press coverage put a spotlight on the risks and costs of sourcing […]

When companies stop offshoring, they may end up dying

“In the long run we are all dead,” and firms and industries are no exception. America, Europe, and Japan once dominated the manufacturing of computers and electronics, but these activities had all gone to low-cost countries by the end of the 20th century. Should we ban offshoring and stop “shipping jobs overseas”? Many voters and politicians seem to think […]

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    The European Commission’s Google decision will affect competition law

The European Commission’s Google decision will affect competition law

After years of investigation, the first of the European Commission’s decisions against Google is here. Obviously, most of the coverage in the mass media and online will focus on the high sum of the fine (a staggering 2.42 billion euros). However, the wider implications of the case reach well beyond the monetary fine. It affects what technology giants are allowed to do and what EU […]

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    Strong patent rights accelerate the diffusion of new medicines across countries

Strong patent rights accelerate the diffusion of new medicines across countries

In 1999 lovastatin, a blockbuster cholesterol drug with annual peak sales of more than $1 billion in the U.S., became commercially available in Egypt — twelve years after it was first approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our research shows that this is not exceptional — long launch lags are common and 45 per cent […]

The growing inequality between firms

Some firms pay well while others don’t; and some are highly productive while many aren’t. Our latest research report analyses firm-level data on the increasing dispersion of wages and productivity in both the manufacturing and services sectors in 16 OECD countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand and […]

The downsides of the UK eventually joining NAFTA

The question of UK membership of NAFTA seems to be doing the rounds again. This is not entirely surprising. Both Australian and Canadian trade officials – including Ottawa’s former chief NAFTA negotiator – have recently called for the UK to join existing trading blocks, such as NAFTA, as an easy fix to potential Brexit-related disruptions to UK trade and production. […]

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    Hong Kong’s postwar transformation shows how fewer data can sometimes boost growth

Hong Kong’s postwar transformation shows how fewer data can sometimes boost growth

Kong enjoyed a remarkable period of growth after the Second World War. Its GDP per capita surged from less than a third of its mother country, Britain, to 40 per cent higher today. Many, including Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman, put this achievement down to the policy framework devised by Sir John Cowperthwaite which encouraged the entrepreneurship of […]

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    Post-Brexit work visa quotas on EU nationals will likely favour graduates

Post-Brexit work visa quotas on EU nationals will likely favour graduates

Had things gone as most commentators expected, the UK would now be entering hard Brexit talks with the near certainty of leaving the single market and/or customs union and the consequent ending of free movement of people from the European Union. Two weeks later and that near certainty no longer seems as certain, with murmurings of a softer Brexit […]

What the European Commission missed in its reflection paper

The European Commission’s recent reflection paper on deepening economic and monetary union raises several key questions about the past and future of the Eurozone. The paper certainly represents a positive contribution to the ongoing process of European integration, after the impasse caused by the deep and prolonged economic crisis, the political developments in some European countries (including the Brexit referendum) and […]

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    Why the pressure for higher minimum wages is gaining traction in Africa

Why the pressure for higher minimum wages is gaining traction in Africa

On 1 May this year, while observing Labour Day celebrations, Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced an 18 per cent hike in the minimum wage, the country’s most ambitious raise in just about a decade and one that scaled up the minimum wage to Kes 20,296 – about US$ 196.8. (Computation based on the gazetted minimum wage for Nairobi, Mombasa […]

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    The role of foreign investors in the London residential market

The role of foreign investors in the London residential market

LSE London have just completed a study of the role of overseas investors in the London residential market for the Greater London Authority, looking at the proportion of new homes sold to buyers who live abroad and at the proportion of those homes left empty; and the contribution of overseas sales and finance to new development. They found that:

Significant proportions of […]

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    Without an agreed legal definition of protectionism, we can’t measure it

Without an agreed legal definition of protectionism, we can’t measure it

One word was conspicuous by its absence in the communiques on trade that came out of three meetings this year of the world’s finance chiefs. The G20 finance ministers, the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the G7 finance ministers all used the same sentence when it came to trade: “We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade […]

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    A tentative, ‘me-too’ approach to industrial strategy will lead us nowhere

A tentative, ‘me-too’ approach to industrial strategy will lead us nowhere

In some ways, the ambition to have a successful industrial strategy is like the ambition to have a perfect body. Most people are shy about admitting it. In the UK’s case, there is an additional problem; we are addicted to good news, whether it is real or fake. For example, despite having no supporting evidence, Brexit has been widely […]