Economics

The unfinished business of the EU’s Capital Markets Union

The European Union’s Capital Markets Union (CMU) was created with the goal to increase the depth of investor participation and the breadth of instruments deployed in capital markets across Europe. One key direction of these reforms, from the start of the CMU development and deployment, has been the need to reduce heavy reliance of European companies on the banking […]

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    Apprenticeships bring returns for young people with low-medium qualifications

Apprenticeships bring returns for young people with low-medium qualifications

In recent times, there has been a policy drive to increase the number of people undertaking apprenticeships in England and there are plans to dramatically change the post-16 system, which would include making apprenticeships a more important part of it. This raises the question as to how beneficial apprenticeships are to young people currently.

In our paper, we use administrative […]

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    Portrait of a lady: the female entrepreneur in England and Wales, 1851-1911

Portrait of a lady: the female entrepreneur in England and Wales, 1851-1911

The conventional image of an entrepreneur in Victorian Britain is a captain of industry, heading an engineering or steel factory employing hundreds of workers, and generally pictured with an impressive moustache. But men like that were only the tip of a very large, and much more diverse entrepreneurial iceberg. My research shows that close to 30 per cent of […]

How railways aided early democratic social movements

The role of rail transport in shaping the geography of economic development by integrating markets and fostering trade is widely recognised. But such infrastructure also enables the movement of individuals and the ideas they carry. What is the effect of increased individual mobility on the spatial diffusion of socially and politically salient ideas?

Recent events have sparked great interest in […]

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    Millennials are some of the worst hit by social mobility decline in the UK

Millennials are some of the worst hit by social mobility decline in the UK

Comparing the standard of living today with that of the past is crucial to understanding the UK’s economic and social health. In fact, both in our everyday lives and in studies of social sciences, we often assess economic progress by comparing our standard of living to that of our parents. A recent poll by Ipsos Mori shows that only […]

What is to be done about buses?

In January, Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, made a bold announcement, to immediate opposition from established operators. He proposed Manchester have a system of bus operation that has existed in London all century. In fact, London’s buses are organised differently from those everywhere else in Britain. Transport for London specifies the routes and frequency and issues tenders on […]

May 6th, 2019|Economics|3 Comments|
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    The rising importance of software and information technology as drivers of R&D and innovation

The rising importance of software and information technology as drivers of R&D and innovation

The globalisation of research and development (R&D) has long lagged far behind the globalisation of production, but since the late 1990s, the distribution of US multinational R&D investment across countries and industries has undergone a dramatic shift towards unlikely R&D destinations like China, India, and Israel. Today’s leading US multinationals have developed a global innovation system that increasingly relies […]

April 30th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Despite their perceived competitive advantages, all Western digital firms have failed in China

Despite their perceived competitive advantages, all Western digital firms have failed in China

On 18 April 2019, Amazon announced that, “We are notifying sellers we will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn [Amazon’s Chinese Site] and we will no longer be providing seller service on Amazon.cn effective July 18”. By closing its online store in China that allows the country’s consumers to buy from Chinese merchants, after being comprehensively defeated by domestic […]

Why Brexit if the UK gets its own way in the EU?

The Brexit negotiations have been a prolonged and hopeless effort to achieve a privileged status for the UK as a non-member state – outside the EU, but half-inside. That has been a fantasy from the very beginning. It is politically and legally impossible.

As a member state, we are not part of the Schengen Agreement which allows border-free movement of […]

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    The economics of attractiveness: teenagers with acne do better in school and later in the labour market

The economics of attractiveness: teenagers with acne do better in school and later in the labour market

Acne has been the scourge of teenage boys and girls for as long as there have been teenagers. Indeed, acne is the eighth most common disease among humans, affecting nearly 650 million people worldwide. But might acne have a silver lining?

Economists are increasingly interested in the economic returns to physical attractiveness, an interest largely ignited by Hamermesh and Biddle […]

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    The cost of discrimination against senior Jewish managers in Nazi Germany

The cost of discrimination against senior Jewish managers in Nazi Germany

Talented individuals are often excluded from leadership positions if they belong to a group that faces discrimination. Such discrimination is, of course, extremely hurtful and unfair to the individuals. But is it also costly in a more general sense?

In particular, do corporations 
become less profitable when they adopt discriminatory attitudes and exclude highly qualified individuals from leadership roles? How […]

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    China’s shipbuilding industry: measuring the effect of industrial policy

China’s shipbuilding industry: measuring the effect of industrial policy

Industrial policies, broadly defined as policies that shape a country’s or region’s industry structure by either promoting or limiting certain industries or sectors, have been widely used in developed and developing countries. Historic examples include the U.S. and Europe after World War II, Japan in the 1950s and 1960s, South Korea and Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, […]

April 15th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

‘Global Britain’: scripting the EU as an enemy

Like all things Brexit, Theresa May’s intention of building “Global Britain” outside the European Union has been controversial from the outset. Government ministers have expended a good deal of political capital championing “why Global Britain matters”, framing it as an exercise in creating an “outward-looking” country confidently meeting global challenges. For its advocates, Global Britain is about connecting with […]

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    In a world of mobility for firms and skilled labour, workers who can’t move pick up the tax bill

In a world of mobility for firms and skilled labour, workers who can’t move pick up the tax bill

For a long time, economists have known that rising globalisation can bring substantial aggregate gains, but also produce winners and losers. The source of this growing inequality may be heterogeneous effects on employment, wages, and prices. Trade barriers have been shrinking since the end of World War II, reaching its lowest levels in the years since the fall of […]

April 11th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

The value of having a view to a canal

Britain has an extensive canal and navigable river network, which played a vital role in transporting goods from the Industrial Revolution through the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. Their use for transporting freight had all but disappeared by the mid-20th century, and many had fallen into disrepair or been abandoned. Since then, the canal and […]

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    Africa’s continental free trade area: progress and challenges

Africa’s continental free trade area: progress and challenges

The African continental free trade area (AfCFTA) was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on 18 March 2018. With Egypt’s parliamentary ratification, three weeks from the anniversary of the signing, 19 out of the required 22 ratifications are in hand, signalling that meeting the objective of ‘entry into force’ (30 days later) is within reach.

This is no mean feat given that […]

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    As the Phoenicians sailed across the Mediterranean, they spread mice and growth

As the Phoenicians sailed across the Mediterranean, they spread mice and growth

While economists extol the virtues of trade, advocates of free trade face stiff political headwinds these days. The economic ideas for the benefits of trade go back more than 200 years
 to Adam Smith and David Ricardo, but empirical evidence for these benefits has been much harder to come by and is much more recent.

In particular, empirical economists have […]

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    Income inequality is growing fast in China and making it look more like the US

Income inequality is growing fast in China and making it look more like the US

Between 1978 and 2015, China moved from a poor, underdeveloped country to the world’s leading emerging economy. Despite the decline in its share of world population, China’s share of world GDP increased from less than 3 per cent in 1978 to about 20 per cent by 2015 (see Figure 1). According to official statistics, real national income per adult […]

April 1st, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Non-performing loans are still hovering over the European banking union

Non-performing loans are still hovering over the European banking union

The assessment of credit risk is a critical part of the macro-prudential analysis, with the aggregate non-performing loan (NPL) ratio serving as a proxy for the economy-wide probability of default of the banking sector’s overall loan exposure. High NPL ratios affect banks’ balance sheets and profitability, overall slowing down economic growth. Therefore, the factors driving NPL ratios in different […]

Why we need to incubate unicorn entrepreneurs, not ideas

The venture and innovation worlds are focused on idea-based venture development. They spend money on incubators and very-early-stage venture capital (VC) seed funds in hopes of building giant ventures from seemingly promising ideas and technologies. But is this wasted capital? Can angels, incubators, venture developers and universities see potential before it is proven? Or can they show more results […]