Economy and Society

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    Britain’s older industrial towns are lagging badly behind cities, despite low unemployment figures

Britain’s older industrial towns are lagging badly behind cities, despite low unemployment figures

The reduction in UK unemployment since 2010 paints an overly positive picture of labour market trends in Britain’s older industrial towns, write Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill. They find that these towns – older industrial areas beyond the main regional cities – are becoming places where people live but work elsewhere, which is very different from their original role as […]

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    Young people and the post-crisis precarity: the abnormality of the ‘new normal’

Young people and the post-crisis precarity: the abnormality of the ‘new normal’

Craig Berry and Sean McDaniel draw upon research with focus groups and an online community exercise to examine the attitudes of young people in relation to the apparent ‘normalisation’ of precarity in the post-2008 economy. They find that although young people recognise the abnormality of labour market conditions, they nevertheless fail to see value in conventional forms of trade […]

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    Underemployment among part-time workers may have detrimental psychological consequences

Underemployment among part-time workers may have detrimental psychological consequences

Victoria Mousteri, Michael Daly, and Liam Delaney outline how underemployment affects well-being. They find that underemployment predicts meaningful increases in distress in two UK cohorts – an effect that is reversed when the underemployed find full-time work.

The potential psychological effects of atypical and precarious employment arrangements are attracting increasing attention among academic and policy researchers. The UK economy is […]

How household debt influences inequality

James Wood writes that private debt contributes to increasing inequality, as highly indebted households provide a revenue stream to the financial sector, where profits are distributed to financial employees, managers, and executives, as well as to the most affluent households which hold the concentrated ownership of financial assets.

Britain has one of the highest levels of inequality in Europe. As […]

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    This election is a choice between more of the same or policies that face the housing crisis head-on

This election is a choice between more of the same or policies that face the housing crisis head-on

Discussing what the Conservative and Labour manifestos say on housing, Stewart Smyth concludes that, with the former, the prospects look bleak for those committed to social housing. Labour’s pledges, on the other hand, recognise both the full scale of the crisis and offer a series of related policies that have the necessary ambition to tackle it.

With the party manifestos […]

The changing size and shape of the UK state

Matthew Whittaker explains how the spending restraint of the austerity period and the political priorities pursued by successive governments have placed major strain on a number of public services. He argues that, as a result, the size of the state has changed over the past decade and so too has its shape.

Political consensus is a rare commodity these days. […]

Women and gender in the 2019 party manifestos

Claire Annesley, Francesca Gains, and Anna Sanders offer an overview of manifesto pledges concerning women. They conclude that, while most parties are taking the diversity of women and their interests seriously, it is difficult to judge the value of their offer. 
Half of the electorate are women. Research has consistently shown that women are more likely to be floating voters […]

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    How economic insecurity encourages political activism and support for the right

How economic insecurity encourages political activism and support for the right

Walter Bossert, Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D’Ambrosio, and Anthony Lepinteur explain how insecurity affects political outcomes. Specifically, they find that rather than encouraging a withdrawal from politics, economic insecurity seems to encourage political activism, and in particular support for the right.

Economic insecurity is attracting growing attention in social, academic, and policy circles. It has arguably risen for a number […]