Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Transparency at the Fed

By Richard S. Grossman
As an early-stage graduate student in the 1980s, I took a summer off from academia to work at an investment bank. One of my most eye-opening experiences was discovering just how much effort Wall Street devoted to “Fed watching,” that is, trying to figure out the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy plans.

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Education and crime over the life cycle

By Giulio Fella and Giovanni Gallipoli
Crime is a hot issue on the policy agenda in the United States. Despite a significant fall in crime levels during the 1990s, the costs to taxpayers have soared together with the prison population. The U.S. prison population has doubled since the early 1980s and currently stands at over 2 million inmates. According to the latest World Prison Population List (ICPS, 2013), the prison population rate in 2012 stood at 716 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, against about 480 in the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.

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What is the role of governments in climate change adaptation?

By Kai A. Konrad and Marcel Thum
Adaptation to climate change is currently high on the agenda of EU bureaucrats exploring the regulatory scope of the topic. Climate change may potentially bring about changes in the frequency of extreme weather events such as heat waves, flooding or thunder storms, which in turn may require adaptation to changes in our living conditions. Adaptation to these conditions cannot stop climate change, but it can reduce the cost of climate change.

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Why are women still paid less than men?

Forrest Briscoe and Andrew von Nordenflycht
The recent firing of Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of the New York Times, after less than three years on the job focused the news cycle on gender inequity, with discussions of glass cliffs (women get shorter leashes even when they get the top jobs) and reports showing the persistence of glass ceilings and pay disparities (e.g. Abramson was paid less than her male predecessor).

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Why measurement matters

Morten Jerven
In most studies of economic growth the downloaded data from international databases is treated as primary evidence, although in fact it is not. The data available from the international series has been obtained from governments and statistical bureaus and has then been modified to fit the purpose of the data retailer and its customers

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Capitalism doesn’t fall apart

By Adam D. Dixon
In early April 2014 Greece returned to the sovereign bond market raising 3 billion Euros, following a four-year hiatus. This marked a turning point in the global financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 with the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in the United States and the advanced-economy recessions that ensued.

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World Cup puts spotlight on rights of migrant workers in Qatar

By Susan Kneebone
As recent demonstrations in Brazil around the staging of the FIFA 2014 World Soccer Cup show, major sporting events put the spotlight on human rights issues in host countries. In the case of Qatar the preparations to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup are focussing worldwide attention on the plight of migrant workers.

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The danger of ideology

By Richard S. Grossman
What do the Irish famine and the euro crisis have in common? The famine, which afflicted Ireland during 1845-1852, was a humanitarian tragedy of massive proportions. It left roughly one million people—or about 12 percent of Ireland’s population—dead and led an even larger number to emigrate. The euro crisis, which erupted during the autumn of 2009, has resulted in a virtual standstill in economic growth throughout the Eurozone in the years since then.

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Does the “serving-first advantage” actually exist?

By Franc Klaassen and Jan R. Magnus
Suppose you are watching a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The commentator says: “Djokovic serves first in the set, so he has an advantage.” Why would this be the case? Perhaps because he is then ‘always’ one game ahead, thus serving under less pressure. But does it actually influence him and, if so, how?

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The role of communication at work

By François Cooren, Eero Vaara, Ann Langley, and Haridimos Tsoukas
Communication matters in organizations! We all know this catchphrase, which refers to problems both employees and managers experience daily when coordination issues take place, and when news (good or bad) is released about their organization. There is, however, a different way of studying communication at work, a way that does not merely reduce it to the transfer of information, but also explores its constitutive aspects; how communicative events literally constitute what organizations are all about.

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Econogenic harm, economists, and the tragedy of economics

By George F. DeMartino
In a recent editorial in the New York Times Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw acknowledged that economists have: “only a basic understanding of how most policies work. The economy is complex, and economic science is still a primitive body of knowledge. Because unintended consequences are the norm, what seems like a utility maximizing policy can often backfire.”

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World Cup plays to empty seats

By Irving Rein and Adam Grossman
Stunning upsets. Dramatic finishes. Individual brilliance. Goals galore. The 2014 World Cup has started off with a bang. Yet, not as many people as expected are on hand to hear and see the excitement in venues throughout Brazil. Outside of the home country’s matches, there have been thousands of empty seats in stadiums throughout the tournament.

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Media bias and the climate issue

By Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao
How do individuals manipulate the information they privately have in strategic interactions? The economics of information is a classic topic, and mass media often features in its analysis. The international mass media play an important role in forming people’s perception of the climate problem. However, media coverage on the climate problem is often biased.

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Finding opportunities in risk management

By Torben Juul Andersen, Maxine Garvey, and Oliviero Roggi
For decades, the press has been full of fascinating and colorful stories about prominent and heralded enterprises ending up in scandal and bankruptcy. These include the diversion of corporate funds in the Maxwell Group in the early 1990s, the trading losses that made Barings Bank extinct in the mid-1990s, the accounting frauds at WorldCom in the late 1990s, and the spectacular collapse of Enron in the early 2000s.

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Professionals’ implication in corporate corruption

By Claudia Gabbioneta, Rajshree Prakash, and Royston Greenwood
Professional service firms have been implicated in numerous cases of corporate fraud. Enron is probably the most striking – albeit by no means the only – example of this involvement. Arthur Andersen (who audited Enron’s financial statements) was accused of helping the company ‘design accounting techniques or models’ that Enron used to boost its performance.

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