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When Britain turned inward

In a recent survey paper, Goldberg and Pavcnik (2016) note that trade economists have moved away from studying the impact of trade policy. Concluding that this may reflect the fact that trade policy has become so liberal, they ask a straightforward question: “Does trade policy matter?”, Indeed did it ever matter?

With Brexit looming, and protectionist pressures mounting elsewhere in […]

December 18th, 2018|Business History|0 Comments|

After Rana Plaza: the politics of sharing

Disasters often catalyse new regulatory initiatives by exposing the human costs of inadequate worker or public protection. The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed 1134 garment workers, was no exception. Horrific scenes of carnage brought the “race to the bottom” into the living rooms of Western consumers and prompted a rapid reaction by the global […]

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    The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia. Natalie Koch. Cornell University Press. 2018.

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In The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia, Natalie Koch takes her readers on a journey to critically explore the ‘spectacular urbanism’ that has come to characterise the urban landscapes of a number of […]

December 16th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Brexit puts the digital single market in jeopardy

A key component of the EU’s single market is its digital single market (DSM), which has been a particularly important for the UK. Currently, the UK’s largest export market for digital services is Europe and the DSM enables access to European markets. Brexit is expected to affect the UK substantially in the areas of broadcasting, creative content production, data […]

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    Why should startups choose patents over keeping their innovation as trade secrets?

Why should startups choose patents over keeping their innovation as trade secrets?

Patents are open letters (litterae patentae) that act as property deeds. Similar to a land survey they pen down and describe an idea in detail with the aim of demarcating its borders. In exchange for such full disclosure the innovator gets the right to exclude unauthorized use for 20 years.

Patents are a relatively new instrument that was first introduced […]

Why entrepreneurs should avoid or delay venture capital

It is difficult to pick up a major business publication today without reading about how venture capital and venture capitalists develop unicorn ventures, privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion. This publicity prompts entrepreneurs to ask how to get VC, rather than if they should even seek it, or when.

The reality is that very few get VC

Venture capitalists […]

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    The Ellsberg Paradox and the ambiguity and complexity of decision-making

The Ellsberg Paradox and the ambiguity and complexity of decision-making

In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg (who is perhaps best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam war) considered a thought experiment involving two urns, each containing 100 balls. The first urn contained exactly 50 black balls and 50 red balls, while the second contained 100 black and red balls in […]

December 12th, 2018|Marketing|0 Comments|
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    Overconfidence: separating the entrepreneur from the wantrepreneur

Overconfidence: separating the entrepreneur from the wantrepreneur

The staggering fortunes created by unicorn tech startups has led to a pursuit of the entrepreneurial dream. But while many people pursue the entrepreneurial dream, many more remain wantrepreneurs – dreaming the dream, but never taking the steps to make it a reality. One factor often cited (though by no means the only one) is the fear of failure […]

December 11th, 2018|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments|

Mitigating the geography of discontent

In a 2010 speech, then-Prime Minister David Cameron questioned whether the United Kingdom’s dependence on the success of just a few prosperous places was economically wise. “Today our economy is heavily reliant on just a few industries and a few regions,” he said, adding: “An economy with such a narrow foundation for growth is fundamentally unstable and wasteful – because we are […]

December 10th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World – Book Review

Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World – Book Review

Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World. Snigdha Poonam. Harvard University Press. 2018.

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Half of India’s population is under the age of 30. That is 600 million people, making it the biggest generation in human history. Add to that India’s growing economic and geopolitical prominence, plus the fact that it contains one-tenth of the global poor, […]

December 9th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Resist, rebel and remain: why MPs should vote down this Brexit deal

Resist, rebel and remain: why MPs should vote down this Brexit deal

Members of Parliament’s vote on British Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s Brexit deal is due on 11 December. Without hesitation, they should vote it down.

More and more people have realised that Brexit was built on a fantasy that we could keep all the benefits of being in the European club without paying any of the membership fees – what leading […]

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    The tensions underlying how China deals with environmental complaints

The tensions underlying how China deals with environmental complaints

In recent years, environmental activism has been increasingly vibrant in many emerging economies. As the economy becomes more developed, the public’s awareness of environmental sustainability has been rising. One notable example is China as Chinese citizens have begun expressing their concern for the natural environment via both online channels and through public protests. Yet China is an authoritarian country […]

December 7th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Why patients support each other in healthcare virtual support communities

Why patients support each other in healthcare virtual support communities

Individuals increasingly rely on healthcare virtual support communities (HVSCs) to complement and/or supplement the support available in face-to-face settings. Many reasons contribute to this phenomenon. While relatives and close friends can provide physical and tangible assistance (providing goods or services needed during stressful situations), these helpers oftentimes lack stress- or disease-related expertise and experience to provide adequate support. Additionally, […]

Specialised firms hold on to their employees

Why are specialised employers, more than generalist firms, interested in preserving good matches? My recent paper looks at adverse exogenous shocks and suggests that specific human capital investments can become a protection for employees. Building on Wasmer (2006) and Pissarides (2011), the hypothesis is that the specialised employer is keen to locate and preserve employees because it is costly […]

December 5th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
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    How cities can avoid the pitfalls of ‘beauty contests’ to attract multinational investment

How cities can avoid the pitfalls of ‘beauty contests’ to attract multinational investment

What drives foreign investment to some cities and regions of the world, but leaves others almost completely untouched? And what can cities and regions do in order to attract those investments?

Traditionally, scholars have tried to understand this by looking at things like market access, skills, the price of land, tax regimes, corruption levels and so on – on that […]

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    Capitalising on technological change and the low-carbon transition in the UK

Capitalising on technological change and the low-carbon transition in the UK

An overarching strategy for sustainable growth is required to address the dual challenges of restoring productivity growth and managing a transition to a low-carbon economy – priorities in both the UK and other G20 countries. Against the backdrop of an uncertain economic climate as the UK recasts its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, and as […]

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    Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World – Book Review

Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World – Book Review

Social Ecology in the Digital Age: Solving Complex Problems in a Globalized World. Daniel Stokols. Academic Press. 2018.

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Social Ecology is on the move, both in the US and internationally. It is increasingly recognised as a powerful tool that helps to meet the scientific and societal challenges of our current epoch – the Anthropocene. At the core […]

December 2nd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes

How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes

When we began the consultation process for the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission, it was curious to observe how the widespread perception of “a problem” quickly dispersed, on closer examination, into many problems. Each of these problems was of a very different kind – and not all of them turned out to be so very new, despite the sense […]

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    The trouble in judging a country’s financial health by the size of its debt

The trouble in judging a country’s financial health by the size of its debt

In the second quarter of 2018 global debt reached a new peak, climbing to 260 trillion dollars ($260,000 billion). At the same time, the global debt to GDP ratio crossed the 320 per cent threshold for the first time. Of that total, 61 per cent (160 trillion) is private debt of the non-financial sector, while only 23 per cent […]

November 30th, 2018|Finance|0 Comments|
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    The economic consequences of the Brexit deal: the case of trade

The economic consequences of the Brexit deal: the case of trade

The UK and EU have reached a Brexit deal. But what will the withdrawal agreement mean for the UK economy? To address this question we have analysed how the withdrawal deal and a no-deal scenario would affect income per capita in the UK, relative to the baseline of staying in the EU, through changes in trade costs.

Scenario 1: The […]