Economics

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    Public investment in defence research can increase business innovation

Public investment in defence research can increase business innovation

Government funding for innovation related to military uses represents a key channel through which governments all over the world shape innovation. In the US, for example, annual government defence-related research and development (R&D) expenditures were $78 billion in 2016, over 57% of all government-funded R&D (Congressional Research Service, 2018). While defence-related R&D is motivated by goals that are not […]

Christine Lagarde has her work cut out for her

Christine Lagarde’s reign at the European Central Bank (ECB) has heralded a shift not in the monetary policy field, but mainly in terms of communication, at least judging from her first press conference in December. She is not Mario Draghi or Jean-Claude Trichet, her predecessors, and she wants to affirm her own different style as President. “Each and every […]

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    Highly skilled workers are not the only ones who receive a wage premium from innovation

Highly skilled workers are not the only ones who receive a wage premium from innovation

Innovative firms pay workers more than others do. This fact is well known from endogenous growth theories, which state that as technology advances, innovative firms should get more rents, which should translate into higher wages. Empirically in the UK over the period 2004-2016, an average worker in a non-innovative firm was paid about 20 per cent less than an […]

January 9th, 2020|Economics|0 Comments|
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    The sceptical turn in the US inequality literature: what The Economist overlooked

The sceptical turn in the US inequality literature: what The Economist overlooked

The Economist’s recent briefing “Measuring the 1%: Economists are Rethinking the Numbers on Inequality” has caused a stir amongst inequality scholars. The report, published at the end of November 2019, suggests that new US research has refuted the widely held view that economic inequality has been rising in recent decades. Researchers at LSE’s International Inequalities Institute disagreed with their take, so we […]

January 4th, 2020|Economics|0 Comments|
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    What happens when we find out how much everyone else is making?

What happens when we find out how much everyone else is making?

Technological advances have made it possible for everyone to know potentially everything about everyone else. Sci-fi shows such as Netflix’s Black Mirror imagine dystopian scenarios that could result from these new technologies. In the real world, social media is already allowing individuals to disclose details about their personal lives with strangers. This technological change has sparked a policy debate […]

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    Che Guevara’s Cuba and John Cowperthwaite’s Hong Kong: a six-decade natural experiment

Che Guevara’s Cuba and John Cowperthwaite’s Hong Kong: a six-decade natural experiment

In 1960, Cuba and Hong Kong had a similar level of GDP per capita at around $4,500 in today’s money[1]. By 2018 Cuba’s GDP per capita had risen to around $9,000. By contrast, Hong Kong had reached $64,000 per capita, a similar level to the US and Switzerland. Over 60 years, Cuba had doubled its economic prosperity where Hong […]

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    Ten blog posts to help inform discussions on the UK economy going forward

Ten blog posts to help inform discussions on the UK economy going forward

How to improve social mobility. Merely tweaking existing policies won’t do, but four major changes have the potential to transform society.

How to improve social mobility

 

To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies. Slower growth resulting from Brexit may reduce emissions in the short run, but less R&D investment will likely result in higher emissions […]

December 16th, 2019|Economics|1 Comment|
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    The ‘exit index’: how likely are other countries to follow in the UK’s footsteps?

The ‘exit index’: how likely are other countries to follow in the UK’s footsteps?

Ever since the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in June 2016, one question has been on the minds of many Europeans: which other member states could leave the EU in the years ahead? In fact, one argument among Brexiteers in the run-up to the referendum was that the UK needs to break free from the EU […]

Dollars or Pence? Choosing a framework for US-China trade

In his recent Wilson Center speech, Vice-President Pence argued that US trade policy towards China must now be built upon the premise that China is a “strategic and economic rival”. This change in perspective has naturally led the US to rethink its current trade policy with China, and this rethinking has in turn put the US and China on […]

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    Good management improves productivity, but it may worsen environmental performance

Good management improves productivity, but it may worsen environmental performance

The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is an increasingly important policy objective for many governments, both in developed and developing economies. This is reflected, among other things, in the emergence of energy efficiency as a high-priority topic on the policy agenda.

In manufacturing – one of the key sectors from the point of view of GHG emissions and energy […]

December 11th, 2019|Economics, Environment|0 Comments|
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    Silicon Roundabout: did light touch policy interventions work?

Silicon Roundabout: did light touch policy interventions work?

London’s technology ecosystem is thriving. The city has over 50,000 tech firms, with over 260,000 employees. Venture capital investment rose from £384 million in 2013 to £1.8 billion in 2018. A number of companies, such as Deepmind, Transferwise and Deliveroo, have become unicorns, valued at more than £1 billion. It survived the financial crisis and is — so far […]

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    From workers to capitalists in less than two generations: the Chinese urban elite

From workers to capitalists in less than two generations: the Chinese urban elite

The transformation of China from a poor and egalitarian country to an upper middle-income country with the level of income inequality greater than in the United States has been the subject of innumerable publications. The Chinese transformation is a unique event in world economic history: never have so many people over such a relatively short period of time increased […]

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    Researchers’ advice to stress-prone entrepreneurs: learn to manage your insomnia, and sleep!

Researchers’ advice to stress-prone entrepreneurs: learn to manage your insomnia, and sleep!

When entrepreneurs start a new venture, they enter a demanding, changing and emotional process. To navigate through this process, they need to have their batteries fully charged, with positive feelings and emotions, as this will help ensure good health. Conversely, it seems plausible to think that, as chronic insomnia increases stress levels and negative emotions, this will have an adverse […]

December 6th, 2019|Entrepreneurship|0 Comments|

Regulation, institutions and economic growth

I investigate a number of questions related to the drivers of per capita income levels for a large set of countries and a narrower set of OECD countries. First, I seek to figure out whether, and if so to what extent, product and labour market regulations and policies affect per capita income levels. Second, I aim to understand whether policy […]

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    To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

UK greenhouse gas emissions are declining and have been declining for some time. The UK has a framework of long-run targets developed by the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body of experts advising government. Despite this, things are far from well when it comes to climate change in the UK and there are concerns about the country’s ability […]

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    Brexit will leave the UK worse off economically in all scenarios

Brexit will leave the UK worse off economically in all scenarios

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, Brexit has dominated UK politics and economic policy. Three and a half years after the referendum, the UK is yet to leave the EU, there is no certainty over if or when Brexit will take place, and the shape of future UK-EU relations is yet to be […]

Playing at Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: the UK job market

The UK labour market, at first glance, seems to be playing at Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Employment (in terms of both levels and rates) is at record highs, yet wage growth has been extraordinarily weak. One view is that these are opposite sides of the same coin. Another, more nuanced standpoint is that record employment is hiding a […]

November 27th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    John Van Reenen: ‘A lot of promises are just smoke and mirrors’

John Van Reenen: ‘A lot of promises are just smoke and mirrors’

As director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) up to 2016, British economist John Van Reenen led a team of academic researchers who produced detailed analysis of the consequences a divorce from the European Union would have on the UK economy. They predicted a fall in GDP, employment, direct investment, wages and productivity. Of these indicators, only employment […]

Economic insecurity breeds support for the right

Economic insecurity is attracting growing attention in social, academic, and policy circles. It has arguably risen for a number of reasons in recent years: the Great Recession (with its associated job instability), automation and the fear of job loss, the Chinese import shock, and ageing populations and migration, amongst others. As well as its obvious implications for family finances […]

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    Eurosceptic votes are less likely when EU interventions visibly boost local job markets

Eurosceptic votes are less likely when EU interventions visibly boost local job markets

Anti-systemic political movements have emerged in recent years in a large number of countries across the globe. These parties generally fuel their public support with anti-elite and anti-establishment rhetoric, which in Europe often translates into a strong critique to the European Union and its institutions. The EU is regarded by the supporters of anti-system movements as distant from the […]