Economy and Society

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    Low income households under austerity: a notable rise in debt for essential needs

Low income households under austerity: a notable rise in debt for essential needs

Looking at low income household indebtedness in austerity Britain, Hulya Dagdeviren and Jiayi Balasuriya find that the poorest households have experienced the greatest growth in unsecured debt to income ratio. More importantly, unlike the pre-crisis period when debt reflected a desire ‘to keep up with the Joneses’, in recent years there has been a rise in debt for essential […]

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    The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

Kate Summers and David Young challenge the assumed simplicity of Universal Credit by focusing on its single monthly payment design. They draw on two empirical studies of means-tested benefit claimants in order to explain how short-termism is a crucial tool for those managing social security benefits.
At its heart, Universal Credit is very simple

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions […]

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    Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Is austerity a ‘dream come true’ for neoliberals, or did the global financial crisis force policymakers to question neoliberalism’s core principles and change direction? Focusing on speeches by members of the International Monetary Fund, Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving find little to suggest that the fundamental assumptions of neoliberalism have been displaced.

It is now over ten years since the […]

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    The Leaving of Liverpool: managed decline and the enduring legacy of Thatcherism’s urban policy

The Leaving of Liverpool: managed decline and the enduring legacy of Thatcherism’s urban policy

Simon Parker looks at the government’s response to civil disorder in Liverpool in the 1980s and specifically at the policy of “managed decline”. This, he explains, involved the abandonment of a damaged part of the city in order to preserve the healthy remainder. Such strategies still influence policy circles, and therefore remain a threat.
Alone, every night … I would […]

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    David Cameron, David Beckham, and the UK’s social mobility problem

David Cameron, David Beckham, and the UK’s social mobility problem

Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin explain how Britain has become less mobile, particularly at the top and bottom of society.

One David was born in a terraced house in East London, his father a kitchen fitter, his mother a hairdresser. The other David grew up in an idyllic village in the English countryside, his father a stockbroker, his mother […]

1931: When British trade turned inward

In 1931, the UK imposed barriers that increased the Empire’s share of British trade and decreased its multilateral nature, write Alan de Bromhead, Alan Fernihough, Markus Lampe, and Kevin O’Rourke. Here they revisit the extent to which trade policy was responsible for the shift towards intra-imperial trade, but do so through adopting a new approach.

In a 2016 survey paper, […]

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    Changing patterns of violence in Glasgow and London: is there evidence of Scottish exceptionalism?

Changing patterns of violence in Glasgow and London: is there evidence of Scottish exceptionalism?

Susan McVie, Ellie Bates, and Rebecca Pillinger examine long-term change in violence within Greater London and the old Strathclyde region and ask whether there really is evidence of Scottish exceptionalism in patterns and trends in violence.

The recurrent press coverage of stabbings and gun crime in London acts as a sobering reminder that, even though violent crime across Britain as a whole […]

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    EU law empowers a big Green New Deal and state aid rules stop corporate welfare

EU law empowers a big Green New Deal and state aid rules stop corporate welfare

Membership of the EU stops arbitrary corporate welfare in the UK and expressly encourages aid for environmental protection, writes Ewan McGaughey. He explains how state aid rules work and how they empower the UK to get a New Green Deal. What stops us from changing the direction of the economy in this respect is therefore not the EU but […]