LSE Authors

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    As COVID-19 accelerates automation, how do we stop the drift into long-term unemployment?

As COVID-19 accelerates automation, how do we stop the drift into long-term unemployment?

The Covid-19 pandemic has already proven to be a worse negative shock to the economy than most of us anticipated when lockdown commenced.

The chancellor’s furlough scheme and summer package of support for jobs were well-timed and have saved many jobs. But these packages do not amount to a macroeconomic response and have not stopped unemployment rising rapidly. A sharp […]

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    Firms closer to universities tend to have better management practices

Firms closer to universities tend to have better management practices

Management matters for explaining differentials in productivity between and within countries and sectors. Across countries, management practices – as measured in the World Management Survey (WMS) – explain on average around 30% of the gap in total factor productivity with the United States (Bloom et al, 2016); and experimental evidence from Indian textile plants supports a causal interpretation (Bloom […]

How to address sustainability risk in a dangerous universe

While our galaxy is full of planets that could harbour life, there is no evidence that any of them besides our own actually do. This observation suggests that the universe is a dangerous place and that we may be facing civilisational risks that could, in a worst case outcome, result in extinction. Sustainability policy (broadly conceived) deals with these […]

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    Using apps for contact tracing in response to COVID-19: the controversies

Using apps for contact tracing in response to COVID-19: the controversies

With the government repeatedly claiming that it is being guided by science, questions about the range of academic disciplines represented on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) have begun to emerge alongside reports that the government is seeking to broaden the range of academic fields represented. A shadow version of SAGE has also been created with different experts and a different approach to the […]

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    Will purpose ever replace shareholder value maximisation as the corporate governance lodestar?

Will purpose ever replace shareholder value maximisation as the corporate governance lodestar?

As governments wrestle with the economic and public health challenge of COVID, attention is turning to the part business should play in the recovery and aftermath. Will companies funnel government bailouts and wage subsidies into dividends and bonuses? Or repay the debt by committing to their workers and communities and investing more in developing the products and services of […]

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    COVID-19 makes inclusion a strategic imperative for companies and investors

COVID-19 makes inclusion a strategic imperative for companies and investors

To quote Singapore’s senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam from his national address last month, “the future begins now”. That future will be dramatically different not only for governments and individuals but also for big business and big finance. A silver lining to the devastation of COVID-19 could be the onset of a new era for both stakeholder capitalism and sustainable investing.

The future […]

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    UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

With Boris Johnson’s launch of his “New Deal” and Michael Gove’s speech on “the privilege of public service”, the government has made clear its intention to press ahead with the domestic agenda of “levelling-up” and reform of government on which it was elected. There was little surprise in either announcement, with all of the elements to be found previously […]

Do structural reforms yield growth?

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” This quote is attributed to Mark Twain who, born in 1835, lived through the turn of the 20th century: an era of great transformation. Likewise, the turn of our decade promises to be an era of great change, most notably due to the way the coronavirus epidemic will reshape our economies and […]

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    Managing while invisible: how the gig economy shapes us and our cities

Managing while invisible: how the gig economy shapes us and our cities

The gig economy is full of disruptive technological darlings. Uber revolutionised how we used taxis, AirBnB changed the hospitality market forever, while Deliveroo has a substantial impact on how cities develop and change and how we use our city space. Their impact, we argue, is a consequence of one of their most important inventions: how to look like they’re […]

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    Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

It is easy to talk about caring about diversity and inclusion. In fact, it would be hard to find a professional worker these days who would declare that they did not in public. It is also far too easy to write policies that are not enforced and make promises for change that go unfulfilled. This makes it all the […]

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    Less red tape, more local entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment: the path to recovery

Less red tape, more local entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment: the path to recovery

Fiscal crises such as the one spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic motivate regulatory reform, which in turn can speed up the economic recovery. Past evidence suggests that this acceleration takes place through two main channels: new local entrepreneurship and increased foreign direct investment (FDI).

Entrepreneurship is critical for the continued dynamism of the modern economy, as forcefully argued by Austrian […]

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    Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

It is widely argued (by, inter alia, Fukyuama 2020) that the keys to success in dealing with COVID-19 are “whether citizens trust their leaders, and whether those leaders preside over a competent and effective state.” By way of example, Rothstein (2020) ascribes the greater success at containing the COVID-19 in the Nordic countries than in Italy in part to […]

COVID-19: an opportunity to digitise property transactions

Private property rights facilitate greater access to credit. Using data on Russian businesses, a recent study finds that private land rights increase access to external financing by 40 per cent and promote larger investment by as much as 60 per cent.

When property rights are not secure, fear of expropriation may drive entrepreneurs to delay or rescind investment decisions. Researchers […]

How to keep up wellbeing during the pandemic

The World Wellbeing Panel (WWP) promotes wellbeing as the ultimate purpose of all major decision-makers, particularly government. It routinely asks questions of relevance to wellbeing policy of its panel of 50 world experts. WWP’s latest survey asked for advice on “how to maintain wellbeing during isolation while facing huge emotional stress from the threat of the COVID-19 virus”.

Twenty-six members […]

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    Raising money from “the rich” doesn’t require increasing tax rates

Raising money from “the rich” doesn’t require increasing tax rates

A progressive tax system takes a larger amount from those most able to pay: someone who receives £100,000 should pay a larger share of that in tax than someone earning £10,000. A horizontally-neutral tax system takes the same amount from people with the same level of resources: two people receiving £100,000 should pay the same tax. The UK income […]

Regulatory reforms: the silver lining after COVID-19

Governments resort to regulatory reform in difficult times, when their fiscal balances deteriorate. The COVID-19 crisis has already resulted in large fiscal deficits for 2020. These deficits are likely to worsen by the end of the year as social distancing rules stay into effect for a further period. Few firms can survive a protracted lockdown or collapsed revenues due […]

Why the UK needs a fund to support angel-backed startups

The Future Fund is the UK’s flagship programme aiming to support startups that are affected by Covid-19. The demand for the Fund has been staggering; on its first day of operation, the applications amounted to almost twice the capital committed (£250M) by the government. While the significant uptake may be construed as an indication of the fund’s success, questions […]

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    How governments can ease the entry of ‘recovery entrepreneurs’

How governments can ease the entry of ‘recovery entrepreneurs’

The focus of Covid-19 economic responses so far has been on assisting existing businesses and their employees with weathering the crisis. In particular, the priority of governments has rightly been on saving existing jobs. Little is done yet to help new companies and employment opportunities emerge. Yet we know from Joseph Schumpeter that crises are a period of creative […]

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    How to reorganise the World Health Organization – and how to finance it

How to reorganise the World Health Organization – and how to finance it

The writing on the wall from the Covid-19 pandemic is the critical role that detecting, tracing, and containing contagion for infectious diseases can play in saving lives across the globe. Yet, the World Health Organization’s hobbled and weak handling of the crisis has left a lot to be desired. The W.H.O. has arguably failed to weather this crisis, but […]

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    On being human: how behavioural science can help virtual working

On being human: how behavioural science can help virtual working

In 1816, Mary Shelley spent the summer in Geneva in the company of her family, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. The weather was dreadful due to the eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia, and the group spent much of their time locked inside to escape the incessant rain. The group had stirring discussions on science and the […]