CEP

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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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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    Governments play a key role in our happiness, but how do we get them to care?

Governments play a key role in our happiness, but how do we get them to care?

The Global Happiness Council, which I am honoured to direct on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, has just issued the first Global Happiness Policy Report (GHPR) as a companion volume to the annual World Happiness Report (co-edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard, and me). The purpose of the GHPR is to help governments to promote happiness by showcasing […]

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    Why a customs union is key for multinationals to stay in the UK

Why a customs union is key for multinationals to stay in the UK

Some members of Theresa May’s Cabinet are pushing for a “soft” Brexit, which would allow remaining close to the EU’s single market and customs union. Others favour a “hard” Brexit and aim to strike a trade deal similar to CETA, the agreement concluded between the EU and Canada. Multinational corporations with plants in the UK favour a soft Brexit. […]

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    Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Social media facilitates communication and an appealing question is whether citizens use it to endorse or criticize the government. I investigate individuals’ potential polarisation about President Trump, as reflected in his personal Twitter account. In this context, polarisation relates to expressing positive or negative judgements through social media.

The reach of social media is not trivial. Users use it to […]

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    If we want to create jobs in local areas, the idea of ‘local’ needs to be revisited

If we want to create jobs in local areas, the idea of ‘local’ needs to be revisited

Place-based policies that target disadvantaged areas are widespread in both high-income and developing countries. Their impact depends crucially on the effective size of local labour markets. If labour markets are very local, an effective intervention needs to be targeted to the disadvantaged areas themselves and more distant interventions will not benefit the target group. If labour markets are not […]

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    Budget 2017: productivity is the focus, but ‘fixes’ are unlikely to be enough

Budget 2017: productivity is the focus, but ‘fixes’ are unlikely to be enough

Budget 2017 began with a bleak assessment of the UK’s growth prospects. For those of us following the economic trends and policy debate, there was little surprise at the downgrade of future productivity growth by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Productivity has flat-lined since the financial crisis as successive budgets have failed to have much discernible effect on the […]

Work, joblessness and what they mean for our happiness

Since most of us spend much of our lives working, it is inevitable that work plays a key role in shaping our levels of happiness. In a chapter of the World Happiness Report 2017 – which is published annually to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness – we look more closely at the relationship between work […]

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    Diamond Light Source and its impact on the UK geographical distribution of science

Diamond Light Source and its impact on the UK geographical distribution of science

Big scientific research facilities like the UK’s Diamond Light Source, a third generation synchrotron (circular particle accelerator), benefit scientists located nearby significantly more than scientists located further away. According to our research, the highly localised effects of scientific infrastructure on research productivity extend even to scientists that do not rely on the facilities directly for their work.

Since scientific facilities often cannot […]

Would you choose to be happy?

This might initially sound like a silly question. I mean, who would choose not to be happy? Well, no one, if it was an easy choice between happiness and misery. But what if it was a harder choice between happiness and wealth? Or happiness and health? What then? The study reported in this blog post sought to find out.

We now […]

Dark web: The economics of online drugs markets

Like many other consumer transactions, the buying and selling of drugs are increasingly moving online. This is one very visible dimension of cybercrime – and it has been receiving growing attention from researchers as the online drugs markets have expanded rapidly.

A key feature of online drugs platforms is that they are located on the so-called ‘dark web’, which is […]

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    Expert panel: People from small, socially cohesive countries are happier

Expert panel: People from small, socially cohesive countries are happier

Among the world’s rich countries, those that are smaller and more socially cohesive tend to have happier populations on average. That is the consensus finding of a survey of leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world.

But opinion is divided among the experts on whether the break-up of large, diverse countries into smaller, less diverse ones can be expected to […]

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    Where industry is strong and where it’s weak: Key facts of UK business geography

Where industry is strong and where it’s weak: Key facts of UK business geography

The UK’s financial services industry is not nearly as London-centric as the creative industries. Rather than the South East of England being the country’s productivity engine, it is a band stretching west from the capital along the M4 corridor towards Bristol. The East of England stands out nationally in terms of the intensity of local investment in research and […]

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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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    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, […]

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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 […]

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    It’s not that London is too big, but that other large UK cities are too small

It’s not that London is too big, but that other large UK cities are too small

The elections are barely behind us now, and we should keep asking the question, ‘What are the economic forces polarising the UK?’ A big part of the story concerns the geographical concentration of economic activity in London (and the South East). Is this concentration good for those who live or work in London but bad for those who don’t? […]

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    What’s happening with real wages and living standards in the UK?

What’s happening with real wages and living standards in the UK?

As the election season progresses, an evaluation of the current labour market trends in the UK, and of possible future movements, is of significant importance is assessing the credibility of the parties’ manifesto proposals on work. This is particularly the case as, since the global financial crisis of 2007/08, workers’ real wages and family living standards in the UK […]