Air pollution is bad for us. We all know that polluted air is detrimental to our health and recent research shows that it can also affect our performance in education, productivity at work and even our safety. This has important implications for our cities. Why? Because air pollution is primarily an urban problem. It is in large cities and their urban cores where we typically experience the worst air quality. As a result, the economist’s textbook description of urbanisation lists air pollution as one of […]
The opening of big-box stores – i.e., large chain supermarket stores – has been a political concern in many countries over the last 20 years. Their critics claim they create enormous negative externalities in pre-existing market and city structures. They also say that this type of stores exacerbates pollution levels and contributes to the hollowing out of city centres, […]
International trade is widely viewed as creating winners and losers in an economy. Influential work has documented that US labour markets were heavily disrupted by the surge of imports following China’s joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001, a historic change in trade widely referred to as the “China shock”. Much less is known, though, about the extent to […]
The rise of the giant tech platforms has raised many questions about their dominance — not only their market power, but also their political influence and power to adjust individual human behaviours. A recent LSE Business Breakfast (held under Chatham House rules — opinions may be reported but not attributed) discussed some of the policies that often make up […]
Some years ago, we started to wonder when (or when not), how and why (or why not) employees are expressing their religious identity at work.
This interest was driven by some highly visible cases were employees’ religious beliefs were in conflict with work. For example, two Catholic midwives sought to avoid supervising abortion procedures, a case that reached the UK […]
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 […]
Wartime rhetoric, especially harking back to World War II, pervades public discourse in many fields. In the UK, this is currently a device associated particularly with the Brexit ‘debate’. But here and around the world such emotive framing now extends to the climate emergency. Esteemed economist Joseph Stiglitz has referred to the climate crisis as humanity’s Third World War, […]
Across the world, many people aren’t saving enough money to be able to retire from work, or to be prepared for emergencies. Some of these people have very low incomes, but others earn a lot, they just spend most of it. Personally, I’ve been in both situations. In the years before I went to graduate school, I worked in […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Large economic and political turbulence occurs in the aftermath of financial crises. What starts as panic in a single financial market or institution usually propagates rapidly to other agents of the economy and might necessitate an urgent and decisive reaction from policymakers. However, it is difficult to predict, a priori, whether the reaction of policymakers to the crisis would […]
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 […]
Policymakers the world over are exploring a range of strategies to mitigate and adapt to greenhouse-gas emissions and manage the unavoidable effects of climate change.
At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), representatives agreed to keep any increase in global average temperature within 2°C of pre-industrial levels and also […]
Technological change facilitates long run growth, but labour-replacing technologies are often perceived as a threat to the livelihood of workers. The recent wave of technologies is no longer confined to replacing routine workers such as machine operative and clerical workers: it could well reduce the employment of, among others, drivers, lawyers, and even fashion designers. Since more occupations are […]
The opinion on the benefits of free trade, and of multilateral agreements, which are free trade’s preferred policy companion, has changed through history. After having enjoyed some decades of favour, the support to multilateralism (and free trade) seems to be declining. The theoretical premise that the free market equilibrium is efficient is the basis for multilateralism. Economists learn in […]
It’s about time that we renewed a conversation about what it means an active digital citizen in the 21st century. The current conditions of our data-driven economy demand that we explore ways to deny technologies the possibility to control us.
Unfortunately, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which was the Obama Administration’s signature digital inclusion policy effort, marks the last time the US […]