Economics

The UK economy is hostage to Brexit political drama

European policy-makers have given Mrs May the option to push her 585-page withdrawal agreement through Parliament for the third time (!!!) around or decide what to do with Brexit by the 12th of April. In fact, the ‪EU’s decision to allow Mrs May to ‘sort out’ Brexit by the 12th of April is largely down to economic considerations. On the […]

March 27th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Locking horns: online incivility is seen as the new normal, and it inhibits social trust

Locking horns: online incivility is seen as the new normal, and it inhibits social trust

Have you ever witnessed (or been involved in) one of those endless Facebook discussions where users fight each other on sensitive issues with nonsensical arguments and rude comments filled with hate and stereotypes? How did this make you feel?

“When it’s a faceless, person-less comment, and it’s comment after comment after comment, it makes you lose faith in humanity”, once […]

Regulating mobile money: what’s at stake

In the past decade, mobile payment systems (MPS) have rapidly emerged in many developing economies, addressing several well-known gaps in the provision of financial services. MPS, also known as mobile money, has allowed consumers who are often unbanked or underbanked, to transact and to store money more efficiently, thereby reducing the costs of engaging in undertaking all transactions, including […]

The impact of the Brexit vote on the economy is now clear

The impact of the Brexit vote can now begin to be evaluated with greater accuracy than previous forecasts, thanks to the emergence of new data. In the run-up to the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union (EU) in June 2016, a number of research reports estimated the likely economic impact of Brexit (see, for example, Dhingra et […]

March 23rd, 2019|Economics|1 Comment|
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    Canada’s supply management system: lessons from Britain’s Corn Laws

Canada’s supply management system: lessons from Britain’s Corn Laws

The recent controversy over Canada’s ‘supply management system’ of agricultural protection during the regional US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) negotiations was a timely reminder of the entrenched protectionism in nations that retain a theoretical commitment to international ‘free trade’. It also indicates that deviations from free trade in many guises thrive in market economies where benefits are concentrated, and costs […]

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    Gutenberg’s moving type propelled Europe towards the scientific revolution

Gutenberg’s moving type propelled Europe towards the scientific revolution

Fundamental changes in information technologies have profound implications for labour markets, for the production and spread of knowledge, and for the evolution of politics and beliefs. But competition among producers also influences the use of these technologies and their impact on multiple dimensions of life. The introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press crystallised these dynamics and profoundly shaped the long-run […]

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    How steam railways shaped the emerging metropolitan area of London

How steam railways shaped the emerging metropolitan area of London

Modern metropolitan areas include vast concentrations of economic activity, with Greater London and New York City today accounting for around 8.4 and 8.5 million people, respectively. These intense concentrations of population involve the transport of millions of people each day between their home and work, as surveyed in Redding and Turner (2015). Today, the London Underground alone handles around […]

Who gets to occupy the corporate C-suite?

You have been in your current job for some time. You have learned a lot, acquiring valuable knowledge and skills as well as getting to know people in your workplace. You enjoy what you do. Now there is an opportunity to move to another job within the organisation. The job is quite different from what you have been doing, […]

The political influence on state bank lending in Turkey 

The Great Recession of 2008-09 led to government bailouts of banks in Europe and elsewhere, giving rise to greater presence of state banks in the financial sector. This sparked a renewed debate over the economic costs and benefits of state bank lending. On the one hand, a large literature argues that lending by state banks is inefficient, subject to […]

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    When people are exposed to a disaster, their demand for redistribution increases

When people are exposed to a disaster, their demand for redistribution increases

Economists know that redistributive policies rely on the prevailing beliefs about the fairness of social competition. If a society believes that socioeconomic success only depends on merit, and that everyone should fully enjoy the fruits of her work, it will demand low redistribution. If, instead, the belief prevails that wealth is mostly determined by “luck”, such as the fortune […]

February 28th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

Legalising cannabis reduced the use of cash in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 20th 2018 that recreational cannabis would become legal in Canada as of October 17th. The major social policy change formed part of the general election platform for Trudeau’s Liberal Party in 2015, which suggested that “To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of […]

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    Governments strive to attract investment, but so far there’s no evidence of what works

Governments strive to attract investment, but so far there’s no evidence of what works

Scholars and practitioners alike have extensively discussed what makes different firms choose to invest in different places, and have looked at what this can mean for both the host countries and sending countries. But what can policymakers do in practice to make a real difference to their country or region? Do the classic “tried and tested” methods really do […]

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    Brexit: New UK investments in the EU are growing, while new EU investments here fall

Brexit: New UK investments in the EU are growing, while new EU investments here fall

The UK’s vote to leave the EU has generated fears that UK firms are moving investment abroad because of Brexit. For example, media reports have documented that both large UK companies such as Barclays, HSBC and EasyJet, and smaller companies such as Crust & Crumb, a Northern Irish pizza maker, have invested in the EU27 in response to Brexit.

Has […]

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    Income inequality: firms have been reducing profit-sharing with workers

Income inequality: firms have been reducing profit-sharing with workers

Stagnating real wages and falling labour shares across developed economies have stimulated a renewed interest in the question of how, and to what extent, rents are shared with labour. Nicholas Kaldor’s (1957) long-held stylised fact that the fraction of national income going to labour is fixed has been questioned, for instance, by Karabarbounis and Neiman (2014), who show that the global labour […]

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    With every relocation out of London because of Brexit, the capital’s revenues suffer

With every relocation out of London because of Brexit, the capital’s revenues suffer

The departure of the European Medicines Agency from its home in Canary Wharf to Amsterdam may sound like an odd place to start a post about the impact of Brexit on London’s transport system. But it’s not as strange as you might think.

At the end of January, this EU agency – which has been based in London for over […]

February 9th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    The challenge of dealing with ‘double disruption’: Brexit and technology

The challenge of dealing with ‘double disruption’: Brexit and technology

Our work at the Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) has been focusing on two major forces of disruption that the UK economy is experiencing. The first, Brexit, will involve a sharp change in the structure of economic activity. Membership of the European Union has shaped the British model of capitalism and the structure, and operation, of core industrial […]

Why the EU-Japan trade deal matters for the UK

On February 1st, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force. Rightly described as a ‘mega-deal’, since it covers 27.8 per cent of the world economy and more than a third of global world trade, the event still received relatively little attention. Yet the deal truly matters both economically and politically, especially at a time when most headlines […]

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    The 2008 crisis failed to displace neoliberalism’s core principles

The 2008 crisis failed to displace neoliberalism’s core principles

It is now over ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers paved the way for the biggest, most global, and most significant financial crisis in living memory. It brought the global capitalist economy to its knees, it shook belief and faith in the capitalist system itself, and raised serious doubts about neoliberalism.

The hope that the crisis would give […]

February 2nd, 2019|Economics|1 Comment|
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    When Britain becomes ‘New Australia’: on the economic impact of immigration

When Britain becomes ‘New Australia’: on the economic impact of immigration

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 […]

January 31st, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

Why policy failure is so common in the UK

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 […]

January 26th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|