Economics

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    Why entrepreneurs need a positive professional time perspective

Why entrepreneurs need a positive professional time perspective

To start a new venture, entrepreneurs need to recognise a profitable business opportunity, and to do this, they must have supportive and positive views about their professional past, present, and future (that is, a supportive and positive professional time perspective). Yet, they may have had negative professional experiences in the past and they may be having similar experiences in […]

Understanding China’s robot phenomenon

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 […]

August 12th, 2019|Economics|1 Comment|
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    No-deal Brexit: don’t ask ‘if’ the economy will be hit, but ‘how much’ and ‘for how long’

No-deal Brexit: don’t ask ‘if’ the economy will be hit, but ‘how much’ and ‘for how long’

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 […]

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    Can robots help fund nicer and more attractive places to live?

Can robots help fund nicer and more attractive places to live?

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 […]

August 8th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

The impact of job loss on political ideology

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in the wake of the Great Recession. Nonetheless, many matters remain unresolved. For example, which types of preferences are affected? Are we mainly talking about views on concrete policy issues and politicians’ approval ratings, or are more deep-seated […]

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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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    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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    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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    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, […]

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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    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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    Not the gig economy: on the immense value of the growing freelancer ‘project economy’

Not the gig economy: on the immense value of the growing freelancer ‘project economy’

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 […]

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    Bias of screening: when noise makes your criteria perform poorly

Bias of screening: when noise makes your criteria perform poorly

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 […]

July 8th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Workplace automation and its links to Brexit, the ‘gilet jaunes’ and the radical right

Workplace automation and its links to Brexit, the ‘gilet jaunes’ and the radical right

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 […]

Higher taxes tend to suppress innovation

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, […]

July 3rd, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Workers would give up half their hourly wages in exchange for a steady job

Workers would give up half their hourly wages in exchange for a steady job

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 […]

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    Intelligence is a primary characteristic of people who cooperate

Intelligence is a primary characteristic of people who cooperate

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 […]

June 28th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Medical marijuana laws’ economic impact on organised crime

Medical marijuana laws’ economic impact on organised crime

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 […]

June 27th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|