Monthly Archives: July 2019

Considering a job change? Examine your motives first

People are becoming more exposed to entrepreneurship careers through television and social media, and through the large rise in incubators and university entrepreneurship programs. As a potential career path, employees may want the flexibility and satisfaction of being their own boss and earning more through self-employment. But will they succeed on both these counts? When someone leaves traditional employment […]

Understanding how we decide to spend or save our money

Across the world, many people aren’t saving enough money to be able to retire from work, or to be prepared for emergencies. Some of these people have very low incomes, but others earn a lot, they just spend most of it. Personally, I’ve been in both situations. In the years before I went to graduate school, I worked in […]

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    Can economic incentives promote a more equal gender division of house chores?

Can economic incentives promote a more equal gender division of house chores?

Gender identity norms such as the male bread-winner model are possible drivers of persistent gender inequalities in the labour market. However, the extent to which they restrict the behaviour of couples is debated. While the simple observation of men’s and women’s specialisation in market and domestic work may be revealing of gender identity norms, the observed time allocation of […]

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    Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance – Book Review

Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance – Book Review

Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance. Daromir Rudnyckyj. Chicago and London. University of Chicago Press. 2018.

Since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis that spread from its epicentre in the US outwards to interconnected financial markets, public commentators and academics have been confronted with a pressing question: how should financial markets be organised to ensure a more stable and […]

July 28th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    How the Panama Canal reshaped the economic geography of the United States

How the Panama Canal reshaped the economic geography of the United States

In the early 20th century a ship travelling from San Francisco to New York or on to Europe first had to travel over 13,000 miles around the entirety of South America. That all changed in August of 1914 with the opening of the Panama Canal, bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And while the new canal cut the distance […]

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    Impact investing: can funds achieve both social impact and returns at scale?

Impact investing: can funds achieve both social impact and returns at scale?

Popular opinion has it that ‘investing for the common good’ has gone mainstream. Yet our research finds that only a small proportion of funds has consistently generated market rate return and measurable social and environmental impact at large scale – especially in capital-starved emerging markets’ small and medium enterprises (SMEs), often deemed as risky and unattractive by mainstream investors. […]

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    Most trade in services happens between cities rather than countries

Most trade in services happens between cities rather than countries

Many countries have begun to think about trade diversification. After all, one of the reasons for Brexit was to allow the UK to trade more freely with the world other than the EU. This is partly because policy makers are raising concerns regarding the risks, largely political, arising from overly concentrating trade and investment on a small number of […]

The 2018 trade war: consumers are paying a high price

Over the course of 2018, the Trump administration imposed import tariffs on approximately $283 billion of US imports, with rates ranging between 10 and 50 per cent. In response, US trading partners, especially China, retaliated with tariffs averaging 16 per cent on approximately $121 billion of US exports, plunging the United States into its first episode of large-scale reciprocal […]

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    Workers respond to local job losses by migrating and changing the commute

Workers respond to local job losses by migrating and changing the commute

Today’s polarising politics are characterised by deep geographical ruptures, clearly visible in the Brexit referendum, as well as in national elections in the US, France, Italy, Germany and elsewhere. This has shone a spotlight on the severe and persistent regional disparities in economic opportunity between former industrial heartlands and service-based cities, which afflict many countries in the developed world.

But […]

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    How do you clean up Brazil’s worst environmental disaster?

How do you clean up Brazil’s worst environmental disaster?

Brazil suffered its worst environmental disaster in November 2015. A dam containing waste from an iron ore mine collapsed, killing 19 people and distributing an estimated 39.2 million cubic metres of brown, toxic mud along the Doce river in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The village of Bento Rodrigues was completely destroyed. The polluted material travelled through to […]

July 22nd, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America – Book Review

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America – Book Review

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. Margaret O’Mara. Penguin Press. 2019.

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Tech giants like Facebook and Google dominate headlines, out of a mix of curiosity, admiration and concern, for the social value they provide, the wealth they have and – continue to – create and the enormous power they have vis-à-vis unprecedented access to […]

July 21st, 2019|Book Review|1 Comment|

There’s real momentum for renewable energy in Europe

Green parties were among the main winners in May’s European elections. Indeed, they have become a political force in the new European Parliament, and their success should add significant momentum to the push toward renewable energy transition in an otherwise unsympathetic environment. Yet for this to lead to a real tipping point for renewable energy in the EU, the […]

July 20th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Algorithms could give the world its first ‘born digital’ free trade agreement in Africa

Algorithms could give the world its first ‘born digital’ free trade agreement in Africa

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, presently signed by 52 African Union (AU) member states, is remarkable in its geographic coverage and ambition to create a single market for the continent. The agreement’s extensive protocols will cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, competition and intellectual property rights.

Following its ratification by the Gambia in April 2019, […]

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    How to encourage better performance without straining employees

How to encourage better performance without straining employees

An organisation’s competitive advantage is usually directly tied to its employees’ productivity. Therefore, executives desire heightened productivity and often pressure their employees to continually perform at high levels. Although this pressure can motivate employees, it also serves as a significant workplace stressor. Employees’ accomplishments are short-lived, with managers patting them on the back for achieving yesterday’s goals and then […]

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    Using consumer psychology to enhance mobile app recommendation

Using consumer psychology to enhance mobile app recommendation

Mobile apps play an increasingly important role in people’s lives and enrich almost every aspect, from social networking and health monitoring to shopping and entertaining. People now spend more time using mobile devices than PCs to access the internet. According to statistics from Yahoo’s Flurry analytics, 90 per cent of people’s mobile time is spent using apps, which they can […]

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    Blockchain can keep flawed data from machine learning systems

Blockchain can keep flawed data from machine learning systems

With the dramatic fall in popularity of cryptocurrencies and the wave of unpredictable volatility in the value of these immaterial currencies, comes a seeming drop in the interest in blockchain. Yet, the development of this technology and its application are still charging ahead in full force and blockchain’s full potential is yet to be seen, understood and implemented. We […]

Happy employees and their impact on firm performance

A growing number of companies claim to place a high priority on the wellbeing of their workers – and there is a fast-growing industry of firms selling products related to employee wellbeing. But does investing in employee wellbeing actually lead to higher productivity and are there any tangible benefits to the business bottom line? Experimental evidence such as Oswald […]

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    The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market – Book Review

The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market – Book Review

The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market. Robert Sugden. Oxford University Press. 2018.

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A standard character in critiques of economics is ‘homo economicus’. This figure encapsulates what economists are meant to believe humans are like, with the ability to ‘think like Albert Einstein, store as much memory as IBM’s Big Blue, and exercise […]

July 14th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Without the single market, the prospects for the UK trade in services are looking bleak

Without the single market, the prospects for the UK trade in services are looking bleak

In the Brexit debate, trade in services has been largely overlooked in favour of trade in goods. This is despite the UK being the second biggest exporter of services in the world and having one of the highest shares in total exports among leading economies (Figure 1). Moreover, the EU is a major market for UK services, having accounted […]

July 13th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Carbon pricing is finally enjoying some momentum, despite setbacks

Carbon pricing is finally enjoying some momentum, despite setbacks

Carbon pricing has been implemented by more than 50 jurisdictions worldwide, and currently covers more than 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the most recent World Bank report on the subject. The jurisdictions pricing carbon include both developed and developing countries. South Africa approved a carbon tax earlier this year. The most recent addition to […]

July 12th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|