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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Andersson-Diverse Development Paths and Structural Transformation in the Escape from Poverty

An elusive quest for a recipe for success in economic development

For some decades before the turn of the Millennium, the growth prospects for most of the developing world looked extremely bleak. Income growth was negligible and poverty rates were high and seemed stubbornly persistent. Some even suggested that the barriers against development were almost insurmountable as progress in the already rich world was argued to come about at the expense of the poor.

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10 things everyone should know about environmental economics

Stephen Smith, author of Environmental Economics: A Very Short Introduction, gives us an insight into what environmental economists do, what environmental economics is about, and how it measures and influences our impact on the environment. He also explores the steps we need to take to protect it at an international level.

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Dougherty-Taking Advantage of Emergence

What makes your breakthrough useful?

News of amazing breakthroughs that can – maybe – help solve pressing societal problems in healthcare, energy, economic development, and other areas arrives daily. Yet problems persist, because breakthroughs become useful only if they are integrated with other aspects of the situation.

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econ monetary union

Why the EU would benefit from Brexit

The discussions about Brexit have centered around the question of whether it is in the national interest of the United Kingdom to remain in the EU or to leave it. It appears today that the British public is split about this question, so that the outcome of the referendum remains highly uncertain. The question of whether it is in the interest of the EU that the UK remains a member of the union has been discussed much less intensely.

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Should old-age social insurance be means-tested?

Almost everyone faces some risk of ending up old, sick, alone, and poor. The lengths of our lives are uncertain. Aging comes with increased chances of needing costly medical care. The loss of a spouse, often preceded by large medical bills, may leave one alone late in life. Absent a spouse or other family member to provide informal care, an expensive protracted stay in a nursing home may be needed due to dementia or disability

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socio economic

How the euro divides the union: economic adjustment and support for democracy in Europe

When the heads of European governments signed the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, they laid the ground for Europe’s economic and monetary union (EMU) and, eventually, the introduction of the euro. Far from being merely an economic project, the common currency, so they hoped, would help pave the way towards a shared European identity. Today—almost a quarter century after Maastricht—that goal remains a distant prospect. On the contrary, during the economic crisis, European citizens in many respects seemed to have drifted apart.

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What exactly is ‘agriculture’?

In February, when the local ewes were heavy with their lambs, the newspapers carried an article about a Japanese company called Spread, based in Kyoto. In a fully-automated operation covering just over an acre the company plans to be producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day by 2017, and more than ten times that number within five years. The company’s website calls it a ‘vegetable factory’.

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The overwhelming case against Brexit

On 23 June, British voters will go to the polls to decide whether the UK should remain in the European Union (EU) or leave it in a maneuver the press has termed “Brexit.” As of late April, public opinion polls showed the “remain” and “exit” sides running neck– and — neck, with a large share of the electorate still undecided. The economic arguments for remaining in the EU are overwhelming. The fact that the polls are so close suggests that a substantial portion of the British electorate is being guided not by economic arguments, but by blind commitment to ideology.

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Why whine about wining and dining?

Annual US expenditures on business entertainment likely exceed $40 billion. Such “wining and dining” is often viewed with suspicion, as a way for one entity to influence another’s decision makers improperly. Indeed, such concerns often lead governments and other organizations to limit what kinds of meals and other gifts employees can receive.

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The Thatcherism of state-sponsored private sector retirement programs

With surprising speed, state-sponsored private sector retirement programs have assumed an important place in the nation’s public policy agenda. California, a pioneer in many trends, was a pioneer in this area also. The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act, adopted in 2012, was the first law authorizing a state-sponsored retirement program for private sector […]

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Is word-of-mouth more powerful in China?

The sheer size and increasing wealth of the Chinese population makes China an attractive target market. There is no doubt that Chinese culture and history differs from the western world, but how do these differences translate into differences in Chinese buyer behaviour? And are there differences that should affect a brand’s growth strategy?

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Austerity and the slow recovery of European city-regions

The 2008 global economic crisis has been the most severe recession since the Great Depression. Notwithstanding its dramatic effects, cross-country analyses on its heterogeneous impacts and its potential causes are still scarce. By analysing the geography of the 2008 crisis, policy-relevant lessons can be learned on how cities and regions react to economic shocks in order to design adequate responses.

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Long-term causes of the Eurozone crisis

The European Union is undergoing multiple crises. The UK may vote in favour of leaving the Union in June. European Union member states are in deep disagreement on various crucial issues, not only on how to handle the stream of refugees from the Near East, but also on how to combat terrorism, and how to deal with Russia. And, in each election, Eurosceptic parties garner an increasing share of the vote.

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The invention of the information revolution

The idea that the United States economy runs on information is so self-evident and commonly accepted today that it barely merits comment. There was an information revolution. America “stopped making stuff.” Computers changed everything. Everyone knows these things, because of an incessant stream of reinforcement from liberal intellectuals, corporate advertisers, and policymakers who take for granted that the US economy shifted toward an “knowledge-based” economy in the late twentieth century.

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Britain and the EU: going nowhere fast

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the consequences of David Cameron’s Bloomberg speech, where he set out his plans for a referendum on British membership of the EU. I was rather dubious about such a vote even happening, and even more so about the quality of the debate that would ensue. As much as I was wrong about the former, the latter has been more than borne out by events so far.

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The wrong stuff: Why we don’t trust economic policy

In the 1983 movie The Right Stuff, during a test of wills between the Mercury Seven astronauts and the German scientists who designed the spacecraft, the actor playing astronaut Gordon Cooper asks: “Do you boys know what makes this bird fly?” Before the hapless engineer can reply with a long-winded scientific explanation, Cooper answers: “Funding!” If an economist were asked, “Do you know what makes this economy fly?” the answer, in one word, would be “trust.”

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