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    Following in the parents’ footsteps: nepotism or transfer of skills?

Following in the parents’ footsteps: nepotism or transfer of skills?

The observed low rate of social mobility in several contemporary societies is a matter of a lively debate. Is it the unavoidable consequence of the transmission (genetic or not) of skills and abilities? Or is it mostly the result of an unfair society that prevents an efficient allocation of talents and favours children with better social connections?

Liberal professions such […]

July 12th, 2018|Labour|0 Comments|
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    The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

For most of history, the only form of government that humanity had known was despotism. Pharaohs, tsars, emperors and kings enjoyed a centralised and absolute power. The world had known but a few democratic experiences in the Athenian polis, the Roman Republic, and the Florence and Venice of the Renaissance.

In the 18th century, revolutions in France and the United […]

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    The level of trust in a country affects environmental compliance by firms

The level of trust in a country affects environmental compliance by firms

What affects how compliant businesses are with environmental regulations? Traditional enforcement measures such as fines and inspections by authorities can be an effective deterrent for rule-breaking. Recent research has also shown that information-based enforcement tools can be effective at increasing compliance, for instance a “watch list” in the Clean Air Act in the United States that keeps track of […]

July 11th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|
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    UK entrepreneurship is doing well, but key constraints need to be addressed

UK entrepreneurship is doing well, but key constraints need to be addressed

Experts in the field of entrepreneurship recently met at the LSE to discuss reform strategies proposed in a new policy brief, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship in the UK. Mark Sanders, associate professor at the Utrecht University School of Economics, presented on behalf of the Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES) research team, following the publication of its seven step […]

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    Robots, robots everywhere. What does it mean for developing countries?

Robots, robots everywhere. What does it mean for developing countries?

Stunning technological advances in robotics and artificial intelligence are being reported virtually on a daily basis: from the versatile mobile robots in agriculture and manufacturing jeans to autonomous vehicles and 3D-printed buildings.

In fact, the International Federation of Robotics estimates that next year the stock of industrial robots will grow by more than 250,000 units per year concentrated in production […]

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    Misfit: what do you do when you can’t be yourself at work?

Misfit: what do you do when you can’t be yourself at work?

The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.  —   Steve Jobs
Most of us, like Steve Jobs, have come […]

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    The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It) – Book Review

The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It) – Book Review

The People vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and How We Can Save It). Jamie Bartlett. Ebury Press. 2018.

Find this book: 

Technology firms have long been run under a simple rule: scale fast, ask questions later. Over the last thirty years, giddy start-ups have transformed into multi-billion-dollar conglomerates, with the first ever trillion-dollar firm expected to be […]

July 8th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

The widespread increase in the skills gap across UK regions

Given that the Brexit negotiations are far from reaching a consensus, the potential implications of any deal for skilled migration continue to attract a great deal of attention. Recent research has shown that almost a million EU citizens who work in the UK, many of whom are highly qualified, are planning to leave, all while the UK is already suffering from […]

‘Trade policy 3.0’ will foster inclusive trade

In a recent article for LSE Business Review, I introduced the classification of “trade policy 3.0” and the emergent “internet of rules” (IoR): a networked repository of executable forms of rules written in computer language. The distinctive character of trade policy 3.0 is that, in addition to “writing down the rules” of trade in natural language (trade policy 1.0) […]

When CEO hubris leads to environmental innovation

Rupert Murdoch, Marissa Mayer, Jean Marie Messier. What do they have in common? All of them are famous CEOs of successful or unsuccessful business empires and all, at some point, were accused for their hubristic personalities. The ‘hubris syndrome’ is a psychological state affecting leaders in positions of authority and power. It is characterised by an exaggerated self-belief, sense […]

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    For free trade, but against TTIP: public opinion and the backlash against globalisation

For free trade, but against TTIP: public opinion and the backlash against globalisation

Trade policy has reemerged in the headlines. Politicians and activists from the right and the left of the political spectrum challenge the idea that free trade benefits everyone. Negotiations about new trade agreements fail and existing agreements are suspended. It even seems like trade policy might develop into a wedge issue in national politics and international relations. This raises […]

Social innovation skills: what are they?

Addressing the grand challenges of the future is impossible without widened participation in social innovation. If so, it makes a great deal of sense to consciously nurture the skill sets that enable successful social innovation by diverse individuals and teams. However, what exactly are these skills?

Social innovation skills – unchartered waters

Surprising as it is, social innovation skills have hitherto […]

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    A picture of the retail grocery industry during the Great Depression

A picture of the retail grocery industry during the Great Depression

During the 1930s, the grocery industry was in the midst of several transformations. Presaging the development of the supermarket in the 1950s, “combination” grocery stores for the first time sold both meat and dry goods such as flour, oil, and coffee. Stores were beginning to adopt the self-service format, first introduced in 1916, which allowed customers to shop without […]

The Market – Book Review

The Market. Matthew Watson. Agenda Publishing. 2018.

Our economic life is inextricably shaped by the stories we tell in order to make sense of the economy, from the ‘folk economics’ of ordinary people to the theories held dear by scholars. This is particularly true for the discipline of economics which—as a swathe of work on economic performativity suggests—does not just […]

July 1st, 2018|Book Review|1 Comment|
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    When a large company enters a local market, it stimulates local innovation

When a large company enters a local market, it stimulates local innovation

Cross-country investment flows are a peculiar trait of the modern economy and have been progressively increasing in the last two decades. Even with a substantial decline after the Great Recession, there were 2.86 trillion of dollars net flows in 2016, according to data published by the World Bank. There has been an intense debate on the effects of this investment on […]

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    Liberalising the economy isn’t enough to deal with Ethiopia’s foreign currency crunch

Liberalising the economy isn’t enough to deal with Ethiopia’s foreign currency crunch

Ethiopia’s liberalisation offensive, opening up the state controlled Ethio telecom and Ethiopian Airlines to private investors, has taken many by surprise. Caught between a watershed political transition and a foreign currency crunch, opinion remains divided as to whether the move primarily signals a policy shift to relatively fast-pedalled liberalisation under the new administration, or is intended to serve as […]

June 29th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|

Single and no kids? Who is work-life balance for?

Work-life balance has been a hot topic for organisations and HR practitioners for many years – linked to range of individual and organisational benefits. The shift from the terms ‘family-friendly’ and ‘work-family balance’ to the more inclusive ‘work-life balance’ around 2000 indicated a shift in rhetoric that all employees, regardless of domestic situation, deserved a suitable balance between the […]

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    How Norway’s sovereign wealth fund protected UK jobs after the 2008 crisis

How Norway’s sovereign wealth fund protected UK jobs after the 2008 crisis

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are investment funds set up by national governments as a means of saving – potentially across generations – a proportion of foreign exchange inflows, typically as a result of windfalls from natural resources, but also, in some circumstances, from manufactured goods export booms and/or even agricultural surpluses. They may also serve as a stabilisation device […]

June 27th, 2018|Finance|0 Comments|
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    We need full employment and fair incomes, not unemployment and basic incomes

We need full employment and fair incomes, not unemployment and basic incomes

The automation debate – whether robots will take your job – has led to a dangerous theory: we face mass unemployment, so we need a basic income. A host of billionaires support this theory: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk of Tesla, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, and maybe Jeff Bezos of Amazon. There is academic support. Two researchers did […]

How the Blitz enhanced London’s economy

The Blitz lasted from Sept 1940 to May 1941, during which the Luftwaffe dropped 18,291 tons of high explosives and countless incendiaries across Greater London. Although these attacks have now largely faded from living memory, our recent paper shows that the impact of the Blitz remains evident to this day in both London’s physical landscape and economy.

Using recently digitised National […]