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Will online platforms be able to access your bank data?

The increasing importance of digital platforms and data to our lives is perhaps the defining trend of the 21stcentury so far. Facebook, in particular, wants to be essential to you: you can connect with friends, shop in the marketplace, and read the headlines, all for the cost of nothing more than tens of thousands of data points about you […]

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    How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

When was the last time you voluntarily lent a hand to a co-worker? If it is not something you do very often, it is time to start. In addition to generating goodwill between you and your colleague, there are a whole range of other advantages. The most important ones are the ability to protect yourself against emotional demands at […]

How to design and price information for sale to others

Everyone seems to be talking about “big data” these days — what it is, where it is, why it’s important, who owns it and how to mine it. It’s like a gold rush with numerous prospectors jumping into the game, dreaming of striking it rich and cornering a market before others discover the location and size of their mine. […]

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    Do UK universities collude in ways that inhibit genuine competition?

Do UK universities collude in ways that inhibit genuine competition?

In July 2017 a former minister, Andrew Adonis, suggested that UK universities might be running a cartel: ‘There appears to be strong prima facie evidence of a cartel. It’s short-changing a number of students. They are paying for more than the actual cost of their degree.’ In this blog post we attempt to clarify the situation. Do universities compete? […]

Success attracts new players to private equity

Private Equity is a fringe asset class no more; it has evolved, matured and refined its way into the mainstream. Yet, I foresee major changes for the industry and, fully aware that forward-looking statements have a tendency to dramatically stray from future reality, wish to dare a glimpse of what may come.

Success spawns imitators, and businesses have started to […]

The shrinking number of public corporations in the US

In his famous Harvard Business Review article titled “Eclipse of the public corporation,” Jensen (1989) argues that public corporations are inefficient organizational forms because private firms can resolve agency conflicts between investors and managers better than public firms. His prediction initially appeared invalid. As shown in Figure 1, the number of public firms increased sharply in the first half […]

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    Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Since May 2016, we have led an academic research project to develop a new approach to measuring corporate culture. This research has produced the Unobtrusive Corporate Culture Analysis Tool (UCCAT).

UCCAT is a theoretically based and scientifically tested methodology for analysing and benchmarking corporate culture. Uniquely, rather than gathering employee interviews and questionnaires to assess culture, UCCAT analyses publicly available […]

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    Our private data and the market for third-party providers of functionality to websites

Our private data and the market for third-party providers of functionality to websites

Your personal information is out there. You did not give it out, so how did it get there? Internet websites provide visitors with different levels of interaction, ranging from delivering basic information to providing sophisticated features and tools such as profile management, interactive visual communication, and of course, advertising. Like many traditional businesses, websites turn to third-party outsourcing to […]

Global risks from rising debt and asset prices

Wolfgang Schäuble, the outgoing German finance minister, warned in an FT interview last week that ‘economists all over the world are concerned about the increased risks arising from the accumulation of more and more liquidity and the growth of public and private debt.’ This follows an assessment by the Bank of International Settlements, whose chief economist, Claudio Borio, […]

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    Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money that We Understand to Money that Understands Us – Book Review

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money that We Understand to Money that Understands Us – Book Review

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money that We Understand to Money that Understands Us. David Birch. London Publishing Partnership. 2017.

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The rapid proliferation of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin most prominent among them, has seized the attention of financial regulators and traditional industry players. Many do not like what they see. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has ruled that some […]

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    Despite uncertainty over EU academics’ future, the brain drain hasn’t begun yet

Despite uncertainty over EU academics’ future, the brain drain hasn’t begun yet

I was at an academic conference in Europe a few months ago, where one of the keynotes was an eminent EU academic who works at a UK Russell Group university. She has won international awards and prizes, and recently also a large research grant from the European Research Council. As we were at the conference dinner, the conversation inevitably […]

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    Robo-advice in ten points – asset management on the cusp of dramatic change

Robo-advice in ten points – asset management on the cusp of dramatic change

The asset management industry is currently in a state of flux, and the manner in which individuals and institutions interact with their wealth managers is on the cusp of dramatic change. Digitisation and increased use of technology should mean that we are at the point of a low-cost revolution. This is likely to impact job security in financial services […]

Is any job really better than no job at all?

Lord Layard posed the question is “any job is better than no job” in a seminal paper in which he concluded that “human happiness is more affected by whether or not one has a job than by what kind of job it is”. This may have been true in the years leading up to the new millennium, but what about […]

Three lessons from Singapore, with or without Brexit

Comparison between the UK and Singapore has garnered much interest in recent months, mostly for the wrong reasons and certainly in the wrong tone. Singapore is meant to demonstrate the promise of Brexit (erroneously, in my view). Or, Singapore’s experience is dismissed as entirely irrelevant for Britain (erroneously, in my view).

In absolute amounts, five million Singapore residents export almost […]

The fast growth of co-working spaces in London

The growth of shared, flexible urban workspaces for startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is now a striking, and very visible feature of British cities. Over the past decade or so, startups and small firms in retail, manufacturing, arts, the cultural industries and the digital economy have been making creative use and re-use of urban spaces – through […]

Can Twitter sentiment predict stock market behaviour?

The stock markets are an incredibly competitive environment and nowadays hedge funds and investment managers are rushing to find innovative ways to produce profits for their investors and their institutions. In addition to therefore understanding the impact of macroeconomic events or regulatory constraints on specific investments, they are looking at new datasets as main sources of competitive advantage.

Someone is […]

Why middle class activism surprises economists

A middle class in modern societies often causes political ferment and spearheads mass movements against the status quo. The political turmoils that swept Brazil, Bulgaria and Turkey in 2013 provide recent examples. The demonstrations in Turkey grew from a protest against plans for a construction project; an increase in public transport prices triggered the protests in Brazil; and the […]

October 10th, 2017|Economics, Heng Chen|0 Comments|
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    Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

We have just spent a week visiting Shenzhen, China, to see the headquarters of one of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies – Huawei. Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has grown to become one of the world’s largest telecoms companies, with revenue of $75 billion. Globally it employs 180,000 with nearly 60,000 of these based at the […]

Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge – Book Review

Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge. Margaret Willson. Museum Tusculanum Press/University of Washington Press. 2016.

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Ethnography, the backbone of cultural anthropology, is an exhausting task for a researcher. First, convincing the social scientific community that the chosen inquiry is socially relevant before stepping into the field. Then, proving the realities that one describes exist […]

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    Income inequality has been growing for decades and Americans are taking note

Income inequality has been growing for decades and Americans are taking note

While income inequality is largely unavoidable, the magnitude of inequality in the US today is staggering. For context, CEO compensation in the 1960s was around 20 times more than the average American worker. Using the same metric, today’s CEOs are paid over 270 times more than the typical worker. Some analysts suggest that this massive gap between the rich and […]