Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Rethinking innovation and career in the new year

January is a time for resolutions and change. In the excerpt below, the authors of An Intelligent Career: Taking Ownership of Your Work and Your Life explore the role of change in how we start projects, finish projects, and do work. Thirty years ago, Jean-Luc Brès took an entry-level advertising position in Polydor records (now part […]

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Welcome to the year of living dangerously – 2017

I am not usually a worried man but today – New Year’s Day 2017 – I am a worried man. Gripped by an existential fear, my mind is restless, alert, and tired. The problem? A sense of foreboding that the impact of the political events of 2016 will shortly come home to roost on a world that is already short on collective good will or trust. There is also a sense that games are being played by a new uber-elite of political non-politicians.

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How much capital?

Almost a decade after the global financial crisis, most regulators and commentators would agree that the banking industry is far more strongly capitalized than it was in the run-up to the crisis. Looking forward, there is less consensus as to how much capital banks should hold. Neel Kashkari, head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, attracted attention recently by calling for huge increases in minimum capital requirements for banks.

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ASSA 2017: a city and conference guide

The 2017 Allied Social Sciences Association meeting kicks off the new year, taking place January 6-8 in Chicago, IL. The American Economic Association, in conjunction with 56 associations, will hold the three-day meeting to present and discuss general economics topics in wide array of disciplines. ASSA has plenty going on throughout the weekend. These are some particular events we’re looking forward to.

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Globalization’s prospects, 2017

2016 was a rough year for globalization. And 2017 may get even rougher. By globalization, I mean the growing interconnectedness between economies through cross-border flows of goods and services, money, and people. The world has undergone two “eras of globalization” during the past century and a half. The first occurred during the 40 years or so before World War I.

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Who could thrive in late career? Answers for both employees and employers

The alarming statistics about the fast rates of population aging in the last 30 years and the possible negative economic and societal consequences of this process, have prompted many employers to consider their aging workforce more seriously. Yet, workers aged 55 years and over are not always utilized or valued as much as they could be in the workplace.

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Networks of desire: how technology increases our passion to consume

When we walk into a restaurant, we are often confronted by the sight of people taking pictures of their food with their smartphones. Online, our Facebook feeds seem dominated by pictures of people’s hamburgers and desserts. What is going on with food porn? How is consumer desire itself transformed by contemporary technology?

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What is the future of behavioral economics?

“The development of behavioral economics is simply in the nature of scientific progress in economics.” Behavioral economics is a fast growing field within economics. We caught up with Sanjit Dhami to discover how he came to specialise in behavioral economics, how it has developed, and what he thinks is in store for the field in the future.

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Academy schools and the transformation of the English education system

Increasing the quality and quantity of an individual’s education is seen by many as a panacea to many social ills: stagnating wages, increases in inequality, and declines in technological progress might be countered by policies aimed at increasing the skills of those who are in danger of falling behind in the modern labour market.

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