Monthly Archives: May 2019

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    In the race for AI supremacy, who will stand in the way of technological progress?

In the race for AI supremacy, who will stand in the way of technological progress?

In 2017 Russian president Vladimir Putin said that whoever becomes the world leader in the sphere of artificial intelligence (AI) will become the ruler of the world. Unsurprisingly, given his position (and previous form), his words were widely interpreted by the press as an attempt to draw divisions between nations – in particular, the two AI superpowers, China and […]

UK wine: the risks and opportunities of a changing climate

Frequently described as the ‘the canary in the coalmine’ of global agriculture, wine grapes are exceptionally climatically sensitive and grow at their best only within narrow climatic bands – typically between 13 and 21°C. Warmer climates have brought a larger area of the UK within the ideal climatic range for a number of commercially popular wine grape varieties, including […]

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    History shows that women’s autonomy leads to long-term development

History shows that women’s autonomy leads to long-term development

Looking at recent growth successes and failures, some of the positive stories of economies were characterised by relatively high female autonomy: Botswana had the highest GDP growth rates of the last decades and had not only favourable institutions, but also high gender equality (Robinson 2009; data on gender equality: Carmichael, Dilli and Rijpma, 2014). Similarly, China and South Korea […]

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    How our social interactions influence our decision to buy a new home

How our social interactions influence our decision to buy a new home

People regularly interact with their family, friends, and colleagues, but the effects of such social interactions on economic and financial decision-making are not well understood. Do such interactions influence people’s assessment of the attractiveness of investments such as houses or stocks, and if so, is the actual investment behaviour of those people affected? Are individuals more likely to purchase […]

When employees retreat from corporate volunteering

Support for employee volunteering is a corporate social responsibility activity that signals commitment to social values and citizenship. It is also a strategic initiative that helps companies recruit new talent. Indeed, both researchers and practitioners argue that companies that facilitate their employees’ volunteering are viewed more favourably by job candidates and are therefore more likely to attract talent, especially young […]

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    Commodity: The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century – Book Review

Commodity: The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century – Book Review

Commodity: The Global Commodity System in the 21st Century. Photis Lysandrou. Routledge. 2019.

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Classical political economy begins from the premise that capitalism must be understood as an integrated social, political and economic order. This presents a number of methodological challenges. The capitalist world is multifaceted, operates at numerous geographical scales and is embedded within an intricate web […]

May 26th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

Developing a research methodology for children’s online privacy

With growing concerns over children’s online privacy and the commercial uses of their data, it is vital that children’s understandings of the digital environment, their digital skills and their capacity to consent are taken into account in designing services, regulation and policy. Our research project  set out to ask children directly, which was not a straightforward task.

Focus groups were a key […]

The economics of negative interest rates

German banks have long grumbled about the squeeze to their net interest margins as a result of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) policy of paying a negative interest rates on reserves held at the ECB (banks that deposit at the ECB now pay 0.4 per cent on those deposits, rather than earn a positive interest rate as they would typically […]

May 24th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

The unfinished business of the EU’s Capital Markets Union

The European Union’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) was created with the goal to increase the depth of investor participation and the breadth of instruments deployed in capital markets across Europe. One key direction of these reforms, from the start of the CMU development and deployment, has been the need to reduce heavy reliance of European companies on the banking […]

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    How to demonstrate social value when you’re making a profit

How to demonstrate social value when you’re making a profit

Imagine. You’re the owner of a company that manufactures and sells green energy products. They’re a bit more expensive than the competition, but that’s the cost of ecology. You could rightly be described as a business making a positive impact on society. Your priority is turning a profit – it has to be – but you’re also in it […]

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    Apprenticeships bring returns for young people with low-medium qualifications

Apprenticeships bring returns for young people with low-medium qualifications

In recent times, there has been a policy drive to increase the number of people undertaking apprenticeships in England and there are plans to dramatically change the post-16 system, which would include making apprenticeships a more important part of it. This raises the question as to how beneficial apprenticeships are to young people currently.

In our paper, we use administrative […]

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    Companies look at job candidates’ previous experience, but does it predict anything?

Companies look at job candidates’ previous experience, but does it predict anything?

The use of job experience in hiring decisions is ubiquitous. For example, a recent analysis of online job ads showed that over 80 per cent of the ads stated that experience was required or preferred, even for many entry-level jobs. Examples of the types of experience organisations require or prefer include years of work experience, number of previous jobs […]

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    The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students – Book Review

The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students – Book Review

The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students. Anthony Abraham Jack. Harvard University Press. 2019.

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The field of social mobility studies lives through vibrant times. Against the backdrop of the dominant Nuffield ‘paradigm’ led by John Goldthorpe and primarily dedicated to measuring intergenerational mobility patterns at the national level, a plethora of recent work has uncovered […]

May 19th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|

Algorithms writing academic books? What gives?

Apparently, there are now academic books generated by artificial intelligence algorithms.  An example just published by Springer Nature, and written by ‘Beta Writer’, is called Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research.  I don’t know anything much about lithium-ion batteries, nor about how these algorithms work, but I do know something about scientific knowledge and the way it is generated. I […]

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    Portrait of a lady: the female entrepreneur in England and Wales, 1851-1911

Portrait of a lady: the female entrepreneur in England and Wales, 1851-1911

The conventional image of an entrepreneur in Victorian Britain is a captain of industry, heading an engineering or steel factory employing hundreds of workers, and generally pictured with an impressive moustache. But men like that were only the tip of a very large, and much more diverse entrepreneurial iceberg. My research shows that close to 30 per cent of […]

The culture of overconfidence

To those waiting with bated breath for the ‘U-turn’, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn, if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’                                  
Margaret Thatcher, October 1980
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?      […]

May 16th, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments|
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    Blockchain’s security weakness lies in the very thing that makes it secure: cryptography

Blockchain’s security weakness lies in the very thing that makes it secure: cryptography

Blockchain was originally designed as a technology to support cryptocurrency, and its use is expanding beyond its financial roots to benefit organisations across different industries. From enhancing customer experience in day-to-day trade, finance and cross-border payments, to smart contracts and IoT security, blockchain is transforming the way companies do business.

Despite its cryptographic history, organisations should not see blockchain as […]

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    Disclosure helps project creators get crowdfunding on Kickstarter

Disclosure helps project creators get crowdfunding on Kickstarter

Crowdfunding, essentially a type of microfinance, has experienced an unprecedented growth over the last few years, becoming an important driver of economic and financial development. Recently, the World Bank has estimated that crowdfunding could reach U.S. $90 billion by 2020, surpassing venture capital and angel capital as a means of financing. While much of this growth has been spurred […]

When employees are ideological misfits

There have been many recent examples when personal politics has collided with professional workspaces. In November of 2016, Geoff Lewis, a partner at Founders Fund (a venture capital firm founded by Peter Thiel), penned a blistering critique of reality TV culture and the rise of Donald Trump. This article was posted just as Thiel, one of Trump’s highest-profile Silicon […]

How railways aided early democratic social movements

The role of rail transport in shaping the geography of economic development by integrating markets and fostering trade is widely recognised. But such infrastructure also enables the movement of individuals and the ideas they carry. What is the effect of increased individual mobility on the spatial diffusion of socially and politically salient ideas?

Recent events have sparked great interest in […]