Economy and Society

Employers’ Organisations: a continuing force in the UK?

Leon Gooberman and Marco Hauptmeier explain how Employers’ Organisations – an underestimated actor within the world of work – deliver benefits to their members, represent employers in the political process, and play an important role in UK employment relations.

The importance of unions within employment relations is well recognised, but less is known about Employers’ Organisations (EOs). But this was […]

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    Understanding policy over- and underreactions in times of crisis

Understanding policy over- and underreactions in times of crisis

Not all crises are met with proportionate policies: there can sometimes be a lack of balance between the costs of a policy and the benefits that are derived from it. Moshe Maor sets out a conceptual toolbox to help understand these responses. He argues that disporportionate responses are not necessarily the result of error, but can be intentionally designed […]

How benefit sanctions push single parents further from work

Benefit sanctions encourage job-seeking behaviour, successive governments have claimed. Yet in the case of single parents, sanctions actually move parents further from work, write Sumi Rabindrakumar and Laura Dewar. They draw on Gingerbread’s research to show how parents are often penalised despite seeking work, caught out by unrealistic expectations from jobcentres and poor administration.

The government argues that benefit sanctions […]

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    How local political preferences influence public housing reform

How local political preferences influence public housing reform

José M. Alonso and Rhys Andrews explore the extent to which housing stock transfer in local authorities across England has been shaped by local political ideology. They explain that ideology plays an important role in making housing reform happen, but that local people can also be a source of resistance and of alternatives to such reform.

The Grenfell Tower fire […]

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    The spectre of automation? Three strategies to ensure automation works for the common good

The spectre of automation? Three strategies to ensure automation works for the common good

Could the consequences of automation lead to the growth of communism, as Mark Carney has warned? Mathew Lawrence writes that deep technological change opens up two divergent paths: one where technologies are managed and owned to our collective advancement against one where they deepen inequalities. He draws on IPPR research to outline three strategies that will ensure automation works for […]

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    Linda Yueh: History’s ‘greatest economists’ and how their ideas can help us today

Linda Yueh: History’s ‘greatest economists’ and how their ideas can help us today

How can the ideas of history’s greatest economists – from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to Douglass North and Robert Solow – help us think about the biggest economic challenges of our time? Linda Yueh’s new book seeks to answer this question through studying 12 economists whose thinking has changed the world. She […]

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    Understanding the UK’s soft power: more than Shakespeare and the Royal Family

Understanding the UK’s soft power: more than Shakespeare and the Royal Family

Do we understand enough about what soft power is? Gary Rawnsley explains that although the focus has so far been on cultural icons and stories, there is another important aspect to soft power: the actions of the British government. These are seen as a reflection of the values the UK upholds, and so influence opinions overseas. He argues that […]

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    Don’t call me a customer, treat me like a human: rethinking relationships in public services

Don’t call me a customer, treat me like a human: rethinking relationships in public services

The pressures of competition, together with the growth in the use of performance data, keep service providers on their toes: if they want to keep customers and their money, they need to keep them happy. But this is not good news in a public services context, writes Catherine Needham and outlines four key problems created by the customer language.

Once […]