In Johnson’s eyes and those of fellow ardent free-marketeers, a ‘Singapore scenario’ would be achieved by an ultra-business-friendly environment with low or zero corporation tax, low wages, weak trade unions, vestigial welfare provisions and a significant temporary migrant ‘non-citizen’ workforce (around 30 per cent of the total workforce), largely without the protection of national labour laws or access to […]
China is the world’s largest user of industrial robots. In 2016, sales of industrial robots in the country reached 87,000 units, accounting for around 30 per cent of the global market. To put this number in perspective, robot sales in all of Europe and the Americas in 2016 reached 97,300 units (according to data from the International Federation of […]
To judge by the early pronouncements of the Johnson government, a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is not only worth contemplating, but could well occur. Although both sides continue to profess their hope – and expectation – that a withdrawal agreement can be negotiated, the risks have plainly increased, despite Johnson’s bold assessment of there being a one in a million chance of a […]
Robots are going to take our jobs, right? Well, maybe. The available evidence provides conflicting results. In the US, one new robot reduces employment by 5.6 workers and local wages by about 0.5 per cent according to estimates in Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo’s much cited 2017 paper. In Germany, more robots decrease employment in the manufacturing sector but increase […]
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, […]
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 […]
Everyone knows about the ‘gig economy’. In fact, the term is so widely used in the media, it can sometimes seem hard to avoid talking about it. But it is by no means the only form of work among the 4.8 million-strong self-employed community, and not enough is understood about the many other forms of freelance work.
A new report […]
Screening occurs almost anywhere around us at any given moment. Though we might not be aware, it is essentially a daily routine. We screen career choices and investment opportunities; we screen job applicants, projects, and articles. Even the decision to read this blog post resulted from some form of screening, assuming that you do not read every blog post […]
Technological change is profoundly transforming the world of work and creating substantial uncertainty about workers’ fortunes in the labour markets of tomorrow. In a recently published special issue, we study the political consequences of workplace automation and argue that the relationship between technological change and recent political disruptions in many West European countries deserves more attention.
We do not believe […]
Whether taxes affect innovation, and if so how, is a question of central importance to policy makers across the globe. Recent research has shown that tax policy can have a strong impact on the behaviour of corporations, where superstar inventors decide to locate, and economic activity more generally. While higher taxes can help to redistribute income and lower inequality, […]
The past two decades have seen a large increase in the number of workers engaged in “atypical” work arrangements. This type of work includes employment like zero-hour contracts (ZHCs), gig work such as driving an uber or taskrabbiting, and various types of other self-employment like freelancing. In the UK, the proportion of solo self-employed (e.g. freelancers, contractors, gig and […]
What drives cooperative behaviour among people when dealing with others? What is the determining characteristic that leads us to adopt those actions that will be beneficial not only to us but for others around us?
Economists and other social scientists provide different answers to this question. Cooperation may originate from warm feelings: consideration of others can motivate us towards generous […]
Most large criminal organisations engage in international drug trafficking. Organisations such as the mafia and Mexican drug cartels have a comparative advantage in the drug market because they are willing and able to engage in violent activity. Contracts concerning the trade of illegal drugs cannot be enforced in a court of law. Therefore, violence is the only means to […]