Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Calcutta roads

Arterial roads in cities have peculiar ways of acquiring distinct identities. The character of each main road, the lifestyle of its residents, their occupations, their social habits, the architecture of their houses and shops, their cultural tastes (even their mannerisms and ways of speaking) – all these shape every road in different ways.

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Moving crisis management from the ‘war room’ to the board room

Organisations that suffer a major crisis have more than a one in four chance of going out of business. Yet despite this level of risk, many companies continue to leave crisis management in the hands of operational middle managers or inexperienced technicians. Corporate crisis management traditionally has a strong emphasis on tactical elements such as crisis manuals cross-functional teams, and table-top simulations.

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Black Friday: the dark side of scarcity promotions

Does simply encountering a scarcity promotion, such as a newspaper or television advertisement or online pop-up ad, cultivate seeds of aggressive behavior in consumers and predispose them to act in a violent manner? Is marketplace aggression not merely the outcome of crowds during shopping holidays, but activated beforehand at ad exposure?

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5 facts about Black Friday

From an economics standpoint, Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year, as it marks the unofficial start of the busy holiday shopping season. The origin of the term “Black Friday,” however, is not entirely straightforward. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common explanations for how this infamously chaotic day got its name.

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What is a good job?

Most people would say a good job is one that comes with a nice paycheck, reasonable hours, a healthy and safe work environment, and benefits such as social insurance. While this profile makes a lot of sense from an individual perspective, it does not necessarily tell policy-makers what the priorities should be for their national jobs strategies. Those priorities should be jobs that add the most social value.

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The economic effect of “Trumpism”

On winning the US Presidential election, Trump’s victory speech confirmed that he would put America first in his policies. That pursuit of America’s interests will permeate US economic and other policies in the years to come. US President Donald Trump’s effect on the economy is hard to discern due to a lack of policy detail.

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Prosperity for all: how to prevent financial crises

Following the Great Depression, macroeconomics was dominated by Keynesian ideas. But in the 1960s and 1970s, western economies experienced stagflation; a period of high inflation and high unemployment at the same time. Stagflation was deeply subversive of Keynesian economics because according to the textbook interpretation of Keynes’ ideas, an economy can experience high inflation or high unemployment; but not both.

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BHS is back

wrote recently of the demise of department store retailer BHS as a high street presence in the UK. It is a moot point whether some of the pains that ultimately led to the demise of the business were self-inflicted. But what cannot be doubted is that the disappearance of BHS from high streets and shopping centres is a very salutary example f the huge structural shifts which are reshaping the retail industry today.

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The news media and the election

How does an avowedly nonpartisan news organization like the New York Times cover an outrageous but media-savvy and factuality-challenged candidate like Donald Trump? In a recent interview, Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet explained that the press was at first flustered by Trump, that “everybody went in a little bit shell-shocked in the beginning, about how you cover a guy who makes news constantly.

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The World Bank: India’s development partner

Donald John Trump, the Republican Party candidate for the 2016 US presidential election, vowed a largely Indian origin gathering at glitzy event in Edison, New Jersey, by declaring, “I am a big fan of Hindus and a big fan of India. If elected, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House… I look forward to working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” That was an endorsement that India matters in world politics.

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The rise of passive-aggressive investing

Some good ideas take a long time to gain acceptance. When Adam Smith argued forcefully against tariffs in his 1776 classic The Wealth of Nations, he was very much in the minority among thinkers and policy-makers. Today, the vast majority of economists agree with Smith and most countries officially support free trade. Index investing, sometimes called “passive investing,” has taken somewhat less time to gain acceptance.

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Hiding Politics in Plain Sight

It’s beginning to look a lot like October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month & policymaking

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink is everywhere. Corporate-connected activists have branded breast cancer as pink—feminine, hopeful, and uncontroversial. They worked with businesses to sponsor walks and runs and to create cause-marketing products (like the bagels) to raise awareness of and money for breast cancer. These messages have changed the way Americans think about breast cancer.

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Brexit wrecks it? Prospects for post-EU retailing

The UK’s retail sector is going to be a particularly sensitive indicator of the effects of the Brexit referendum decision. Retailers, whether they are store-based, online or both, are intermediaries at the end of the value chain – and as such are very close to both consumers and suppliers – so they’ll be at the receiving end of Brexit effects in other sectors ranging from agriculture to car production to financial services.

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What exactly is ‘contract theory’?

At first glance, it may seem a dizzyingly impenetrable subject matter, but Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström’s contributions to ‘contract theory’ have revolutionized the study of economics. They have recently been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, with the presentation committee noting how their pioneering analysis laid the “intellectual foundation for designing policies and institutions in many areas, from bankruptcy legislation to political constitutions.”

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Coleman-only in australia..

Australia in three words, part 3 — “Public servant”

‘Public Servant’ — in the sense of ‘government employee’ — is a term that originated in the earliest days of the European settlement of Australia. This coinage is surely emblematic of how large bureaucracy looms in Australia. Bureaucracy, it has been well said, is Australia’s great ‘talent,’ and “the gift is exercised on a massive scale” (Australian Democracy, A.F. Davies 1958). This may surprise you. It surprises visitors, and excruciates them.

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The transition of China into an innovation nation

The writing is on the wall: China is the world second largest economy and the growth rate has slowed sharply. The wages are rising, so that the fabled army of Chinese cheap labor is now among the most costly in Asian emerging economies. China, in the last thirty years has brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but this miracle would stall unless China can undertake another transformation of becoming an innovation nation.

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