Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780190494131

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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9780190226763

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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wrong

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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9780198759430

The changing meaning of tax avoidance

There are some economic terms that are fixed and immutable. Marginal cost will always be the addition to cost from an incremental increase in output, and average cost will never be anything other than total cost divided by output. Other terms have greater fluidity and evolve over time with developments in theory and practice. For this reason, compilation of the Dictionary is never finished and definitions are never final.

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9780190239855

Facebook Cleanup: appearing professional on social media

Most students feel that they are in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. They worry about whether future employers might find an offending photo or post attached to their names. But many of them also worry about what happens if they have no social media pres­ence at all for their future employers to scrutinize and dissect. If they are completely absent from social media, this might seem suspicious, too

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9780190226763

What chocolate chip cookies can teach us about code [excerpt]

What is “code”? Although “code” can be applied to a variety of areas—including, but not limited to computer code, genetic code, and ethical code—each distinct type of code has an important similarity. Essentially, all code contains instructions that lead to an intended end. Philip E. Auerswald, author of The Code Economy, argues that code drives human history.

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9780199365166

Market solutions for improving treatment of farm animals? A review of At the Fork

How are farm animals treated and should one care? For the record, I am not vegetarian and I follow something similar to a paleo diet high in animal proteins and fats. But whether or not one believes animals have rights, libertarian philosopher Loren Lomasky once gave me the most succinct argument for caring about the welfare, at least some, of animals: “You wouldn’t put your cat in a microwave, would you?”

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9780198745754

Tearing the heart out of Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day each year brings with it accusations of shameless appropriatation of sacred rituals by retailers.But of course, there is nothing new in the commercialisation of rituals and traditions. Following enforcement of Confucianism in the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, the nuo exorcism ritual was re-created as an often expensive personal experience performed by nuo Masters for a group of households.

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9780190640446

Creative destruction and corporate becoming: how important is a CEO?

While today’s business media (and business schools) are much enamored with Silicon Valley-style start-up entrepreneurship, only those startups able to grow into large, complex enterprises (e.g., Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Netflix) materially impact the evolution of the global industrial system. The average lifespan of such large, complex enterprises, however, is on the decline.

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9780199322190_450

On the economics of economists

We economists spend a lot of time writing about the job market. Can the unemployment rate drop any further? Will the number of unemployed people increase when the Fed starts to raise interest rates? And will wages begin to pick up if the unemployment rate does drop?To pursue these questions, economists construct theoretical models of the labor market, gather hiring and wage data from a variety of industries and regions.

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MLooman cover

Mass incarceration and the perfect socio-economic storm

In nature, there are weather conditions, referred to as ‘perfect storms’, arising from a rare combination of adverse meteorological factors creating violent storms that significantly affect the socio-economic conditions of an area. Social scientists refer to similar adverse factors as cultural amplifier effects. Currently, there are approximately 2000 correctional and detention facilities in the US with over 450,000 employees.

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AJAE_cover_Jan2017

Do school food programs improve child dietary quality?

Over the past 70 years, school meal standards have become increasingly focused on raising the quality of school food rather than simply supplying food. But exactly how does the quality of a school meal compare to a brown-bag meal from home? Turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as comparing the average school lunch to the average sack lunch; we must dig deeper, far below and above the average child.

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9780199692873

Thomas Schelling: An unconventional economist

Thomas Schelling was one of the best, and most unconventional, economists of his generation. Using simple arithmetic and more common sense than most economists are born with, he could turn problems upside down and inside out, and come up with novel solutions. Thomas liked to tell a story, over a nice glass of wine, about how he would find a friend in Washington DC if they were separated.

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9780190262921

Unite to abolish ‘might makes right’

After 20 January, 2017, Donald Trump will command America’s enormous power. His order will launch a devastating attack on any country. Sanctions will descend at his pen stroke. Alliances will be his to offer. Yet one kind of foreign power will defeat Trump—as it has defeated presidents for 40 years. This is the power that comes from the world’s consumers, who buy billions of dollars of oil a year from violent and repressive foreigners

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9780199205783

Can we end poverty by 2030?

Is it possible to end extreme poverty? And by 2030? That’s the aim of the first of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These were adopted by all nations and have begun to drive conversations at global gatherings, including those that I have contributed to in recent weeks. This ambitious goal builds on the dramatic fall in worldwide poverty since 1990.

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9780190603014_fc

India: a work in progress

Every country that is on the ascendant feels the need for a “coming out” party. In the last half century, that need has been met most often by hosting the Olympic Games. Japan did it in 1964, South Korea followed in 1988, and China in 2008. The Olympic itch seems to come in the wake of economic growth that takes per capita income to the vicinity of $6,000

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