It is the year 2060, and global warming has turned Britain’s climate warm and sunny — rum rather than whiskey is now distilled in Scotland, using sugar cane grown in the Outer Hebrides. Realising that true British culture could not thrive without year-round cold drizzle and grey skies, in 2020 a farsighted government launched Brexit-Ultra, the plan to quit […]
Compared with the increasing participation of women in male-dominated occupations, the presence of men in female-dominated occupations remains low. While much scholarly attention has been devoted to explaining men’s reluctance to work in female-dominated fields, little is known about the occupational trajectories of men who beat a new path and enter female-dominated occupations. (See here and here for notable […]
We all depend in our social, business, financial, and political affairs, on a shared currency of trust. But we have somehow devalued this currency and breaches of public trust have recently grown to epidemic proportions. Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is perhaps the most worrying example of this, with unfounded statements and poorly researched policies the […]
The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer. Nicholas Shaxson. Bodley Head. 2018.
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Worldwide, millions of people are overwhelmed by finance and its complexity. Simple things like getting a small loan or a mortgage, or even opening a savings account, can have terms and conditions that are complex and confusing, designed to exploit and […]
It has always been the case that the likelihood of policy failure is at least as high as policy success. But the currency of modern politics seems to be squarely that of failure – indeed major failure. The most prominent current British examples are Brexit, closely followed by Universal Credit, and now a new NHS Ten Year Planthat disavows the extensive […]
In monastic organisations, silence has always been at the heart of collective life. In that context, being and acting together are silent endeavours. Monastic movements started with pure and absolute loneliness; monks or sisters would escape the world and live a secluded life in a cave or a desert. For some, this experience was fulfilling. For others, it turned […]
Why are some places richer than others? Economists offer many answers to this question ranging from better institutions to favourable geography to more education. Much of this research looks at differences across countries in the hope of identifying specific conditions that are present in rich countries but absent in poor countries.
But countries differ along many dimensions such as culture, […]
Industrial upgrading, which encompasses improvements in product quality, productivity and export performance among manufacturing firms, is a key driver of economic growth in developing and middle income countries. Yet despite its importance for policy choices, relatively little is known about the determinants of product upgrading at the micro level.
Our recent work aims to shed some light on this issue by […]
The production of knowledge is often perceived to be the archetype of a cognitively demanding activity that requires some form of innate or natural ability (talent). PhD physicists are reported to have an average IQ in the neighborhood of 140. Yet, there has been little systematic study on the extent to which talented individuals become knowledge producers (or not), […]
At the end of the month of November, France suddenly went into revolution mode. Cars were burned and barricades were erected on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and there were prolonged battles between the ‘forces de l’ordre’ and the demonstrators. Hundreds of people were injured and nine deaths have been attributed directly or indirectly to the movement which had a […]
Robot Rights. David J. Gunkel. MIT Press. 2018.
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The post-human turn in thinking about rights, privileges and agency has resulted in efforts to overturn anthropocentrism in considering both living and non-living things as well as machinic and algorithmic extensions of human beings (see here for a useful overview). However, discussing robot rights has remained, by author David J. […]
Overall, a no-deal Brexit would be disruptive in the short-term:
There would be immediate very significant administrative and logistical challenges in trade. Preparations to reduce those disruptions are underway but are unlikely to be sufficient. But while Most-Favoured Nation tariffs will affect some sectors significantly, the macroeconomic effect on the German economy might not be huge.
If the UK […]
As we approach the date for leaving the EU, the government has been publishing a series of statutory instruments (U.K. secondary legislation), on-shoring and amending EU regulations ahead of Brexit. This is being done under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. During the past weeks risks in this sector linked to a no deal scenario have increased significantly. However, despite […]
The importance of perseverance is recognised by intellectuals, sportsmen, and business people alike:
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” (Samuel Johnson, author, 1709-1784)
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. […] I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan, basketball player, *1963)
Throughout the world there have been efforts to reduce gasoline consumption and carbon emissions by changing the cost per mile traveled. One of the reasons to justify such efforts is the concern that emissions from conventional vehicles, which is the second source of carbon emissions after the electricity sector in the U.S., may have serious consequences for the environment.
Equal pay is often viewed as a fundamental marker of gender equality. As a target, it is also notoriously difficult to achieve. Despite a variety of policy measures, including equal pay legislation, adopted to promote equal pay, the gender pay gap persists around the globe. Recent equal pay disputes include the ones in private sector organisations, such as Tesco […]
Cooperation is an essential aspect of life, from bacterial biofilms to social insects, and from friendships and workplace collaborations to environmental conservation, political participation, and international relations. Yet establishing cooperation in a competitive world suffers from two closely connected problems. For one, there is the risk for cooperators to be the “sucker”, i.e. one of the few people cooperating […]
Economic growth has helped millions out of poverty. The jobs it creates mean rising incomes and consumers who buy more. This drives further growth and higher living standards, including better health and education. Yet WWF, the World Wildlife Fund, has recently warned that exploding human consumption is the driving force behind unprecedented planetary change, through increased demand for energy, […]
According to a report released last month by the World Economic Forum, the global pay gap between men and women will take 202 years to close. Data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that examined women and men’s income over 15 years found that in the United States, women on average make less than half what men make: […]