Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

What we talk about when we talk about capitalism

For more than a century, capitalism has been the dominant planetary system for supplying people with, quite literally, their daily bread. It transformed our cultures and knit us together in a global network of buying and selling. But how do we understand it? How do we make sense of it? What do we talk about when we talk about capitalism? Recently we did a study to track talk of capitalism over two hundred years.

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Should firms assume responsibility for individuals’ actions?

VW may have taken a big step towards resolving its emissions scandal in the United States with its recent guilty plea (at a cost of more than US$4.3 billion), but its troubles in Europe are far from over. Luxembourg has launched criminal proceedings and more countries may follow.

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The power of globalization: Singapore’s economic rise

Singapore is a controversial subject, described as “The Big Apple of Asia,” or “Disneyland with Capital Punishment.” On the one hand, there are those who admire its efficient government and material accomplishments; on the other hand, there are those who deplore its antipathy to freedom of expression. We can all ask how much an authoritarian government stifles the creativity necessary to nourishing a productive society.

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JEEA cover

Ignorance as an excuse

Despite unequivocal scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change, many people are skeptical that climate change is man-made, or even real. For instance, lawmakers in North-Carolina passed a bill requiring local planning agencies’ to ignore the latest climate science to predict sea level rise in several coastal counties. They say that ignorance is bliss, but why would we not want to know useful information?

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Could your glasses pay for themselves?

Could your glasses pay for themselves? In a manner of speaking, the World Surf League (WSL) and Visa would say yes. As part of the credit card company’s new official partnership with WSL’s Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast (the first stop on the WSL Championship Tour), Visa is piloting payment-enabled sun glasses that “feature contactless payment capability and (eliminate) the need to carry cash or cards on the beach.”

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History

How simple, rural products changed Argentina’s history

With globalization and industrialization came both freedom and dependency, as Argentina shed the persistent stereotype that the country was simply a collection of farms and ranches. Rural and urban life blurred into a hybrid culture that thrived on export commodities and domestic consumption. To further illustrate how the urbanization of simple rural products shaped the culture and history of Argentina, we compiled some facts that help demonstrate how globalization had such an impact on Argentina from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.

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How well do you know John Richard Hicks? [quiz]

Today, 8 April, is John Hicks’ birthday. Hicks is well known for his publications such as The Theory of Wages and Value and Capital. He is considered to be one of the major figures in the history of British economics. This year marks 28 years since Hicks’ death and 45 years since he won the Nobel Prize for Economics. To mark this momentous day, we have created a quiz to see how well you know about this influential economist.

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How has Mexico influenced the United States economically?

While the current US administration is re-examining the North American Free Trade Agreement and finding issues with the trade deficit, it is worth considering the impact of trade between the United States and Mexico and examining the history between these two nations. In the following excerpt from the forthcoming 2nd edition of Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know, Roderic Ai Camp explores how Mexico has contributed to the US economy in recent years.

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The Honourable Members should resign

On 16 March, less than nine months after the public voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a hotly contested referendum, Britain enacted a law authorizing the government to begin the process of negotiating “Brexit,”— Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Although there was much talk of “Bregret” following the referendum, recent polling suggests that British attitudes have not changed much since June.

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The United States of America: a land of speculation [excerpt]

Is speculation ingrained into American culture? Economists dating back to as early as John McVickar have analyzed the American enthusiasm directed toward speculation. History indicates that the American approach to enterprise has differed from its European counterparts since its inception. In this shortened excerpt from Speculation: A History of the Fine Line between Gambling and Investing, author Stuart Banner discusses the economic risks taken in early American history, and the cultural significance of speculation in the United States today.

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A hitch-hiker’s guide to post-Brexit trade negotiations

The UK has yet to decide what relationship with the EU it will seek following Brexit. But whatever option it pursues, the government’s ability to achieve its goals will depend on the success of its negotiating strategy. To design a successful negotiating strategy, it is first necessary to understand the purpose of trade agreements. When a country sets trade policy unilaterally, it does not account for how its choices affect the rest of the world.

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A brief history of the European Union [timeline]

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union consisting of 28 states that are located within Europe. With the United Kingdom’s recent decision of leaving the EU, the future of the European Union is timely as ever. Therefore, the OUP Economics team have decided to trace a very concise history of the European Union all the way from the end of World War two to Brexit.

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Why we should care about Singapore [excerpt]

Contemporary Singapore has transformed into a “global city,” and remains an important player in international affairs. One of the original “Four Asian Tigers,” Singapore’s economy has grown into one of the most competitive and dynamic economies in the world. However, Singapore faced great adversity on its journey towards modern power. In this shortened excerpt from Singapore: Unlikely Power, author John Curtis Perry sheds light on the importance of Singapore as a symbol of courage and strength.

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Finding career success through authenticity

“Knowledge workers,” or people who think for a living, continue to be major players in the global economy. In today’s competitive job market, creating a successful career in a knowledge work field takes more than a college degree. One of the keys to success is authenticity: understanding yourself so that you can take charge of your own work.

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To understand the evolution of the economy, track its DNA

How much would we understand about human evolution if we had never discovered genetics or DNA? How would we track the development of the human species without taking into account the universal code of life? Yes, we could study ancient trash heaps to estimate people’s average caloric intake over time. Or we might seek clues in burial mounds regarding population growth rates and changes in our physical characteristics over time.

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Accounting, Donald Trump style

Firms and individuals depend on honest accountants. Managers make decisions on the basis of information they provide. Investors decide whether to buy, sell, or hold on the basis of their pronouncements. And the advice of an accountant can make the difference between collecting a fat refund and going to prison for tax fraud. Honest accounting is as important for countries as it is for firms and individuals.

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