Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

How our financial system has gotten out of control [excerpt]

Capitalism has been a key force behind human progress for centuries. But as the power of the finance sector has grown, public interests have been sidelined, and human rights concerns have been ignored. The following shortened excerpt from Necessary Evil takes a look at how the finance sector has repeatedly failed to advance the human condition, and why its level of political influence is dangerous for humanity.

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You’ve got internet!– connecting rural areas

Twenty years ago, if you wanted internet access in many rural areas of America, you had to plug your computer into a phone line, listen to the dialing sound, and hope for the best. Today many people can easily join the cyber world at reliable speeds that few imagined decades ago. Although the percentage of people with broadband has increased, many in rural communities still lack broadband access and the accompanying benefits.

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Professionalizing leadership — education

“In the past, leadership and teaching how to lead were considered the most consequential of all human endeavors.” Barbara Kellerman looks at three crucial areas of learning leadership; leadership education; leadership training; and leadership development. In this post, she discusses the importance of leadership education and how it should be approached and improved.

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Women in economics: female achievement in a male-dominated field

Women in economics are underrepresented. A lack of diversity runs the risk of constraining or distorting the field’s intellectual development. To mark International Women’s Day, we have listed below the achievements of five influential female economists. The list does not fully represent the little diversity that does exist in economic research, but we hope that it will open up important discussions that need to be had.

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9 facts about women and the economy

Women’s economic empowerment is a key issue, as it is noted that “when more women work, economies grow.” To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have some key facts that demonstrate that changes still need to be made to help women became an active part of economics; whether it is through studying economics itself or the number of women who work in the field, to employment.

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The economic relationship between Mexico and the United States

Mexico and the United States share a highly integrated economic relationship. There seems to be an assumption among many Americans, including officials in the current administration, that the relationship is somehow one-sided, that is, that Mexico is the sole beneficiary of commerce between the two countries. Yet, economic benefits to both countries are extensive.

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Legal rights are not all right: when morality and the law collide

In early November 2017, media outlets hailed the Paradise Papers as a major scoop: 13.4 million leaked documents revealed the financial details of some of the world’s leading brands, politicians, sports stars, and musicians. But this was to be no repeat of last year’s Panama Papers, in which well-known names appeared relating to criminal acts l; the Paradise Papers failed to reveal a single crime. So why was it considered news?

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Four ways to improve your career in the New Year

With the New Year underway, many are in the process of evaluating their career trajectories for 2018. However, establishing obtainable objectives can be overwhelming if you’re unsure of your long-term goals. Using insights from An Intelligent Career, we’ve pulled together a list of ways that you can make sense of your career and set your objectives for 2018.

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ASSA 2018: a conference and city guide

The annual Allied Social Science Association meeting takes place this year on 5 January – 7 January 2018 at the Philadelphia Marriott in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This three-day meeting hosts over 13,300 of the leading minds in economics to gather and share new ideas and achievements in the field. With such wide range of sessions, panels, and events to attend, we’ve selected a few to help narrow down your list.

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Emigration and political change

International mobility has been reshaping the economies and societies of countries over the course of human history. In Europe, during recent years, media and policy-makers have been focused on immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East who cross the Mediterranean Sea to look for opportunities in Europe. However, another important but much less noticed mobility phenomenon has been on the rise.

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Labour unions and solidarity in times of precarity

=Labour unions have traditionally been at the forefront of the struggle to improve job security, pay, and working conditions. The widely observed growth in precarious work in recent decades is a result of union weakness, as they are increasingly likely to lose these battles. Many have argued that unions often promote the job security of their ‘insider’ core members at the expense of more precarious ‘outsiders.’

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Is “food waste” really wasted food?

Food waste has become a major cause for concern in the United States. Or at least, that’s what some prominent organizations suggest. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that the United States wastes 103 million tons of food. The statistics suggest that food waste is a problem, but how do these organizations calculate them? And what, exactly, is food waste?

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The problem with a knowledge-based society

In the last few decades, few concepts have spoken to the imagination of economists like the ‘knowledge based economy’ or ‘knowledge economy’ within Western policy circles. There has been a consensus that Western economies have entered a phase in economic history called the ‘knowledge’ or ‘knowledge-based’ era. The brains of the workforce are thought to be the most important contributor to today’s wealth creation.

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Beer and brewing by numbers [infographic]

Beer has been a vitally important drink through much of human history, be it just as a drink that was safe to consume when water might not have been, through to having significant economic and even political significance. The earliest written laws included regulations on beer, tax income from beer funded centuries of British imperialist conquests, and beer is the subject of the oldest international trademark dispute.

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In the zone: how balancing stress levels improves performance [excerpt]

Athletes’ maximum performance, also known as peak performance, is often characterized or accompanied by what is called a “flow state” or “peak experience.” Athletes describe this state as being “on automatic pilot,” “totally involved,” “hot,” “on a roll,” “in a groove,” or “in the zone.” An excellent example is provided by the great German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the 2001 champions league final game, between his team FC Bayern Munich and FC Valencia.

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The value of mistakes

John Pierre, a renowned pastry chef, is making a new batch of chocolate. Not paying attention, he leaves the chocolate in the oven for an extra five minutes by mistake, resulting in the chocolate having a different taste than he had intended. In light of this chef’s mistake, how interested are you in buying this chocolate? Companies, in general, hesitate to release mistakes, much less advertise them to consumers as a unique product.

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