Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Of honeymoons, hangovers, and fixed-term contracts

Companies care about the job satisfaction of their employees, because this is in their very own interest. In fact, dissatisfied workers perform poorly, are often absent and impose hiring costs as they switch employers frequently. Managers, as well as management researchers, agree on the importance of job satisfaction, since the Hawthorne experiments suggested in the 1920s that employees like attentive employers.

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Shale oil and gas in the United States [infographic]

The growth of United States’ shale oil and gas production over the last decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. Already the premier natural gas producer, Already the premier natural gas producer, the United States is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the largest oil producer and will likely become a net exporter of both oil and gas within a decade or more.

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Tax competition – a threat to economic life as we know it

The creativity of rich individuals and their tax advisors to hide private wealth in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands or Switzerland knows hardly any bounds. Just as unethical, though often legal, are the multiple techniques multinational corporations use to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions such as Panama or Bermuda.

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Don’t panic: it’s October

t the conclusion of the mid-September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve announced its decision to leave its target interest rate unchanged through the end of this month. Although some pundits had predicted that the Fed might use the occasion of August’s decline in the unemployment rate (to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent in July), to begin its long-awaited monetary policy tightening, those forecasts left out one crucial fact.

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Leadership for change

Change is constant. We are all affected by the changing weather, natural disasters, and the march of time. Changes caused by human activity—inventions, migrations, wars, government policies, new markets, and new values—affect organizations as well as individuals.

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Wine globalization set to continue

The past two decades have seen globalization of the world’s wine markets proceed like never before, in both speed and comprehensiveness. There was a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I but, until the late 20th century, interactions across continents involved little more than the exporting of vine cuttings and traditional production expertise.

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Simplicity in a complex world

There is a polarization in management and policy thinking. On the one hand, there is an increasing focus, for organizations, on defining detailed rules, standardizing methods, evidencing and measuring outcomes. The intention is to make the hospital, school, or firm work as an efficient, optimized, well-oiled machine.

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Four top tips about student finance

Starting University can be daunting. For most, becoming a University student is the beginning of a new academic challenge and social life. However, with these exciting ventures comes financial responsibility.

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Oxford Economic Papers

Greek wages in crisis: Whose loss and whose hope?

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the crisis in Greece must be aware of its record-high unemployment. From an already elevated value of 8% in 2008, the Greek unemployment rate rocketed to 27% in 2013 and has since remained in that ballpark.

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Amartya Sen on poverty in India

Just before the release of his new book, The Country of First Boys, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen talks exclusively to the Hindustan Times‘ Manjula Narayan about our blindness to poverty, flaws of the Gujarat model, miniaturisation of great ideas by the Hindu right wing and interference in academia.

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History of ICSID

Establishing ICSID: an idea that was “in the air”

As a young ICSID neophyte, I once asked Aron Broches, the World Bank’s General Counsel from 1959 to 1979, how he had come up with the idea for the Centre. “It was in the air,” he explained. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were indeed a number of proposals circulating for the creation of an international arbitral mechanism for the settlement of investment disputes.

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Wrong again

Unlike fine wine, bad ideas don’t improve with age. One such idea is the Invest in Transportation Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rand Paul (R-KY), which would institute a temporary tax cut on profits brought back to the United States by American firms from their overseas operations and use the proceeds to fund investment in transportation infrastructure.

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Industrial policy in Ethiopia

The ‘Africa Rising’ narrative means different things to different people. Yes, Africa has performed better in the last decade. But views diverge on the drivers of growth and on its sustainability, and on whether this growth will translate into structural transformation.

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Greece: The paradox of power

Why doesn’t Greece reform? Over the past few years the inability of successive Greek governments to deliver on the demands of international creditors has been a key feature of Greece’s bailout drama. Frustrated observers have pointed to various pathologies of the Greek political system to explain this underperformance.

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How much do you know about sources of energy? [quiz]

Energy consumption is changing. Governments and businesses around the world are exploring low carbon options including biofuels, natural gas and wind in an attempt to achieve longstanding energy security. Production of new sources has led to controversies about economic and environmental impacts and the trade-offs they generate between food and fuel production, energy security and environmental quality.

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