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    Short selling before auditors disclose doubts over a company’s ability to survive

Short selling before auditors disclose doubts over a company’s ability to survive

Judgment and reporting of a company’s ability as a going concern (a company that has the resources needed to continue operating indefinitely until it provides evidence to the contrary) have become one of the major focuses of standard setters in both US and UK in recent years (for example, FASB 2014-15, IAASB 2015, PCAOB 2017). During difficult times such […]

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    How faster productivity growth in low-skill sectors contribute to wage stagnation

How faster productivity growth in low-skill sectors contribute to wage stagnation

The real wage of non-college workers in the U.S. has grown by about 20 per cent since the 1980s, which is less than half of the growth in aggregate labour productivity. This is rather puzzling because low-skill workers tend to work in sectors that have higher productivity growth, yet their wages are lagging behind those of high-skill workers and […]

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    How sensitive are the migration choices of top-income workers to the tax burden?

How sensitive are the migration choices of top-income workers to the tax burden?

In an environment with low migration costs and relevant tax rate differentials among countries, the net balance of top-income individuals’ flow is a crucial policy issue. For a single country or region, depending on people’s sensitivity to tax differentials, setting higher taxation rates may originate a leakage of highly productive workers, with a related reduction in fiscal revenue. On […]

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    COVID-19 makes IP protection of traditional knowledge even more urgent

COVID-19 makes IP protection of traditional knowledge even more urgent

“When it is unable to defend itself with the sword, Rome can defend itself by means of fever”. These are the words of the medieval chronicler Goffredo da Viterbo who, in 1167, told of how Rome, every summer, was plagued by malaria. The sting of the mosquito made no distinctions of wealth or birth and there were thousands of […]

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    Diversity and inclusion: it’s a numbers game, but not the one most people think

Diversity and inclusion: it’s a numbers game, but not the one most people think

If you were to ask a randomly selected member of the baby boomer generation what success looks like when it comes to diversity and inclusion, there’s a good chance you’d be told it was ‘representation’ (Smith, C.; Turner, S., 2015). In the representation paradigm the goal is simply about the head count – it is a numbers game. Each […]

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    New paradigms explore ‘systems-oriented’ ways of managing risk

New paradigms explore ‘systems-oriented’ ways of managing risk

In an increasingly uncertain world, the concept of ‘risk’ has come to the forefront of policy. We use it to describe the likelihood of a range of negative events occurring, from car accidents, to illnesses, to flooding. Derived from risicare – the vulgar Latin verb for ‘sailing a ship off a cliff’ – the modern usage of risk originates […]

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    How leading economists view antitrust in the digital economy

How leading economists view antitrust in the digital economy

In October, the US Department of Justice launched a federal antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the technology giant of abusing its dominance in the market for internet search. We invited both the US and European panels of the IGM Forum at the University of Chicago to express their views on some of the issues surrounding this case. We asked […]

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    Europe has a unique opportunity to lead in the democratisation of artificial intelligence

Europe has a unique opportunity to lead in the democratisation of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has survived the hype — investment from public and private actors remains on the rise, total market size is increasing, its potential to shape firms’ operational capacity is better understood, and now nations are looking to AI as the next general-purpose tech of promise for driving growth and competitiveness. This issue is coming to the fore with a new demand for […]

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    Transparency about risks and consistent messaging may reduce vaccine scepticism

Transparency about risks and consistent messaging may reduce vaccine scepticism

Monday, 9 November brought welcome news from Pfizer about the successful Phase 3 trial of what appears to be a 90 per cent effective COVID-19 vaccine. Stock markets reacted with elation, seeming to declare the COVID-19 crisis over.

Challenges lie ahead, of course. There is the challenge of manufacturing the vaccine, which will have to be applied in two doses. […]

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    When COVID moved work online, it created an opportunity for countries in the global south

When COVID moved work online, it created an opportunity for countries in the global south

Overall, the pandemic has been bad – often very bad – for business in the short term. In the long term, however, it creates opportunities for innovation and efficiencies in richer nations and unprecedented growth and development in poorer ones.

This does not detract from how bleak the immediate picture can be. COVID restrictions have meant that many businesses, particularly […]

November 13th, 2020|Economics & Finance|1 Comment|

Green shoots emerge to commercialise social sciences

The social sciences have a crucial role to play in the COVID-19 recovery, and in addressing many other challenges society faces. However, it is clear that there are persistent barriers that continue to impact the route to social science commercialisation.

This topic was the subject of a recent webinar – part of the Aspect Annual Event series – which focused […]

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    Unintended consequences of fiscal stimuli: tightening households’ credit constraints

Unintended consequences of fiscal stimuli: tightening households’ credit constraints

Since Keynes, the benefits associated to countercyclical fiscal policies have been recognised by the greater part of the economics community. Indeed, the global financial crisis and, especially, the current COVID-19 crisis saw massive increases in public debt in order to support households and firms’ viability while getting the economy back in gear.

In particular, several papers have studied the effects […]

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    How to use real-time location tracking without becoming ‘Big Brother’

How to use real-time location tracking without becoming ‘Big Brother’

Throughout this year, as the pandemic has brought so much upheaval to workplaces, an emerging technology has been taking root — one likely to have a profound impact on human life and work for generations to come. We’ve seen the rise of tracking.

For years, industries have been experimenting with Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) to geolocate their workers and products. […]

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    Remittances, a lifeline for many countries, have shown resilience during COVID

Remittances, a lifeline for many countries, have shown resilience during COVID

An April 2020 press release read: “World Bank Predicts Sharpest Decline of Remittances in Recent History.” Except that this prediction due to COVID did not prove correct. In June 2020, the Dominican Republic received a 26 per cent larger amount in remittances – the money immigrants send home – than in June 2019. Honduras saw a 15% year-on-year increase that […]

Leadership for a divided world

In the 2020 US election, a record 75,401,434 people and counting turned out to vote the incumbent president out of office. This close and protracted race is a reminder that Trump and his base are far from a peripheral minority.

Trump’s rise to power in 2016 signalled a backlash to diversity that all of us around the world still need to […]

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    How enrolment in a university technical college affects student outcomes

How enrolment in a university technical college affects student outcomes

Boris Johnson has put the government’s skills policy agenda in the spotlight. In a recent speech denouncing skills shortages in several technical occupations, the prime minister vowed to “end the pointless, nonsensical gulf…between the so-called academic and the so-called practical varieties of education”.

University technical colleges (UTCs) are state-funded 14-19 schools established by the government in the past 10 years with […]

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    To help small firms recover from the COVID shock, governments should buy from them

To help small firms recover from the COVID shock, governments should buy from them

The negative impact of the pandemic on small enterprises is well documented. In a two-month period, from February to April 2020, the number of active business owners in the US fell by 3.3 million, or 22 per cent, the highest change in recorded history. To mitigate the impact of these changes, economies implemented numerous crisis response measures, including revising their procurement procedures to […]

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    Bank resolution mechanisms: how to prepare for a birthday with an imperfect plan

Bank resolution mechanisms: how to prepare for a birthday with an imperfect plan

The regulatory changes introduced after the 2007-08 global financial crisis require banks to have contingency plans in case of distress. However, it is still not clear how such plans could be effective in resolving banks’ problems and mitigating systemic risk. The COVID-19 crisis and the drastic policy response that followed has produced an army of companies limping along in […]

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    US and Chinese tech firms increasingly play a game of Pac-Man

US and Chinese tech firms increasingly play a game of Pac-Man

By all accounts, trust in the corporate sector is at an all-time low, and perhaps – for the first time in the history of humankind – it is a global phenomenon. While stock markets worldwide, and particularly in the United States, continue to rally, this is accompanied by an unprecedented economic contraction, conservatively estimated at 5 to 10% of […]

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    What drives regulation in the aftermath of financial crises?

What drives regulation in the aftermath of financial crises?

Financial crises are an endemic feature of market economies. The negative effects of these crises on national economies have generally been severe, leading to banking collapses, recessions and marked increases in government debt levels (Reinhart and Rogoff, 2009). Invariably this leads governments to intervene in one way or another either to ease the damage that the crises may impose […]