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How employers manage motherhood in the workplace

Compared to other workers, mothers face significant disadvantages in the labour market when it comes to access to good jobs, wages and mobility. What explains these findings? Direct evidence of employers’ attitudes, though limited, suggests that employers tend to view mothers as less capable, competent and committed. Experimental and audit research finds that even when mothers’ competence and work […]

January 4th, 2019|Gender|0 Comments|
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    The local identity of department stores is key for their survival

The local identity of department stores is key for their survival

Department stores have experienced a dramatic decline in fortunes in the last decade or so. One hundred years ago, they were the epitome of modern retailing and throughout the twentieth century they were the lynchpin of high streets and the anchor for shopping malls. But now they seem in terminal decline across the globe: La Samaritaine, the luxurious Parisian […]

January 3rd, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

At first sight, the worlds of investment and of work can appear to be very distant from one another. Financial markets remain driven by short-term factors, where workers are often regarded simply as a cost of production to be minimised.

A growing number of institutional investors, however, see this as a parody of what is needed to successfully deliver long-term […]

January 2nd, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Ten 2018 posts that help us understand key issues in the technological revolution

Ten 2018 posts that help us understand key issues in the technological revolution

1. How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes (December 1)

A report by the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission suggests a way forward, writes Sonia Livingstone

2. Net neutrality in a hyperlinked internet economy (September 18)

The relaxation of net neutrality rules can have important consequences for internet users, write Joan Calzada and Markos Tselekounis

3. When machines become […]

December 28th, 2018|Reading List|0 Comments|
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    As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

The climatic events in southern Africa that followed the El Niño of 2015/16 – one of the strongest El Niño events in the past 50 years – manifested as below-normal precipitation during key parts of the rainy seasons in both years, and heat waves. Reduced rainfall in southern Africa is typical of El Niño years and when the event […]

December 20th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|

Can millennials save the labour movement?

Millennials – born between 1980 and 2000 – are disproportionately employed in low skill occupations, with nonstandard employment arrangements, and in nonunionised workplaces. Their working conditions in general tend to be worse in comparison to older generations. They are also less likely than older workers to be union members even though they may have a more favourable view of […]

December 19th, 2018|Labour|1 Comment|

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 in the week starting January 14th. 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 […]

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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|