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Why overpaying chief executives is a bad idea

An economy where the highest paid business leader pockets £265 million for one year’s work, while the number of working families in poverty rises to a 20-year high, is one that needs to address its income gaps.

Denise Coates, the chief executive of gambling group Bet365, has been paid £265 million in 2017 at a time when many of those in […]

A new measure to assess companies’ external engagement

Could a single tweet destroy your company? Just a few years ago, a question like that might have seemed absurd. But now that possibility is something that executives and investors around the world are increasingly thinking and worrying about. Perhaps the most prominent evidence of this trend arrived at the start of 2018, when BlackRock’s Larry Fink laid out […]

January 10th, 2019|Management, Marketing|2 Comments|

Waiting for a career epiphany

It starts early in life. Family members, teachers and friends enquire, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ The question hounds us. Surely it should be a straightforward decision. Unfortunately, the abundance of career options available can encourage a prolonged state of analysis paralysis.

The New Year is the time when we tend to take stock of […]

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    The modest role of human capital in explaining international income gaps

The modest role of human capital in explaining international income gaps

Low output per worker goes together with low levels of schooling, cognitive test results, and health indicators, leading naturally to the conjecture that low levels of human capital are responsible for low levels of income. This conjecture has contributed to motivate several decades of international focus on policies aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of schooling, as well […]

January 8th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    What explains the contemporary geographic distribution of Islam?

What explains the contemporary geographic distribution of Islam?

What explains the contemporary spatial distribution of Muslim communities worldwide? Our study’s contribution is twofold.

First, we investigate the role that ancient trade routes have played in facilitating the spread of Islam. Motivated by numerous case studies on the historical relationship between trade and Islam, we construct detailed data on pre-Islamic trade routes, ports and harbours, and establish that proximity […]

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    Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy – Book Review

Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy – Book Review

Everyday Economics: A User’s Guide to the Modern Economy. Steve Coulter. Agenda Publishing. 2017.  

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A little more than ten years ago, the US government declined an opportunity to bail out Lehman Brothers, a 168-year-old investment bank, perhaps deepening a recession that started a year earlier. Few predicted the recession and its exact causes are still a matter […]

January 6th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    Robotisation could help ‘reshore’ manufacturing jobs back to Europe

Robotisation could help ‘reshore’ manufacturing jobs back to Europe

One would be hard-pressed to find many commentators ready to say Europe’s manufacturing industry is coasting. Rather, the last decades have been quite competent at throwing several challenges towards our economic model. The 2018 European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) Conference “The World(s) of Work in Transition” managed to name a few: Climate change, demographic transitions, digitalisation, automation and finally the nexus […]

How employers manage motherhood in the workplace

Compared to other workers, mothers face significant disadvantages in the labour market when it comes to access to good jobs, wages and mobility. What explains these findings? Direct evidence of employers’ attitudes, though limited, suggests that employers tend to view mothers as less capable, competent and committed. Experimental and audit research finds that even when mothers’ competence and work […]

January 4th, 2019|Gender|0 Comments|
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    The local identity of department stores is key for their survival

The local identity of department stores is key for their survival

Department stores have experienced a dramatic decline in fortunes in the last decade or so. One hundred years ago, they were the epitome of modern retailing and throughout the twentieth century they were the lynchpin of high streets and the anchor for shopping malls. But now they seem in terminal decline across the globe: La Samaritaine, the luxurious Parisian […]

January 3rd, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

At first sight, the worlds of investment and of work can appear to be very distant from one another. Financial markets remain driven by short-term factors, where workers are often regarded simply as a cost of production to be minimised.

A growing number of institutional investors, however, see this as a parody of what is needed to successfully deliver long-term […]

January 2nd, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Ten 2018 posts that help us understand key issues in the technological revolution

Ten 2018 posts that help us understand key issues in the technological revolution

1. How to tackle the spread of misinformation and the problems it causes (December 1)

A report by the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission suggests a way forward, writes Sonia Livingstone

2. Net neutrality in a hyperlinked internet economy (September 18)

The relaxation of net neutrality rules can have important consequences for internet users, write Joan Calzada and Markos Tselekounis

3. When machines become […]

December 28th, 2018|Reading List|0 Comments|
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    As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

The climatic events in southern Africa that followed the El Niño of 2015/16 – one of the strongest El Niño events in the past 50 years – manifested as below-normal precipitation during key parts of the rainy seasons in both years, and heat waves. Reduced rainfall in southern Africa is typical of El Niño years and when the event […]

December 20th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|

Can millennials save the labour movement?

Millennials – born between 1980 and 2000 – are disproportionately employed in low skill occupations, with nonstandard employment arrangements, and in nonunionised workplaces. Their working conditions in general tend to be worse in comparison to older generations. They are also less likely than older workers to be union members even though they may have a more favourable view of […]

December 19th, 2018|Labour|1 Comment|

When Britain turned inward

In a recent survey paper, Goldberg and Pavcnik (2016) note that trade economists have moved away from studying the impact of trade policy. Concluding that this may reflect the fact that trade policy has become so liberal, they ask a straightforward question: “Does trade policy matter?”, Indeed did it ever matter?

With Brexit looming, and protectionist pressures mounting elsewhere in […]

December 18th, 2018|Business History|0 Comments|

After Rana Plaza: the politics of sharing

Disasters often catalyse new regulatory initiatives by exposing the human costs of inadequate worker or public protection. The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed 1134 garment workers, was no exception. Horrific scenes of carnage brought the “race to the bottom” into the living rooms of Western consumers and prompted a rapid reaction by the global […]

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    The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia – Book Review

The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia. Natalie Koch. Cornell University Press. 2018.

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In The Geopolitics of Spectacle: Space, Synecdoche and the New Capitals of Asia, Natalie Koch takes her readers on a journey to critically explore the ‘spectacular urbanism’ that has come to characterise the urban landscapes of a number of […]

December 16th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|

Brexit puts the digital single market in jeopardy

A key component of the EU’s single market is its digital single market (DSM), which has been a particularly important for the UK. Currently, the UK’s largest export market for digital services is Europe and the DSM enables access to European markets. Brexit is expected to affect the UK substantially in the areas of broadcasting, creative content production, data […]

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    Why should startups choose patents over keeping their innovation as trade secrets?

Why should startups choose patents over keeping their innovation as trade secrets?

Patents are open letters (litterae patentae) that act as property deeds. Similar to a land survey they pen down and describe an idea in detail with the aim of demarcating its borders. In exchange for such full disclosure the innovator gets the right to exclude unauthorized use for 20 years.

Patents are a relatively new instrument that was first introduced […]

Why entrepreneurs should avoid or delay venture capital

It is difficult to pick up a major business publication today without reading about how venture capital and venture capitalists develop unicorn ventures, privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion. This publicity prompts entrepreneurs to ask how to get VC, rather than if they should even seek it, or when.

The reality is that very few get VC

Venture capitalists […]

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    The Ellsberg Paradox and the ambiguity and complexity of decision-making

The Ellsberg Paradox and the ambiguity and complexity of decision-making

In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg (who is perhaps best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam war) considered a thought experiment involving two urns, each containing 100 balls. The first urn contained exactly 50 black balls and 50 red balls, while the second contained 100 black and red balls in […]

December 12th, 2018|Marketing|0 Comments|