Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Will the real Robinson Crusoe please stand up?

It is difficult to think of a literary narrative, other than Robinson Crusoe, that economists have so enthusiastically appropriated as part of their cultural heritage. The image of Robinson, shipwrecked, alone, and forced to decide how to use his finite resources, has become almost emblematic in the teaching of the problem of choice in economics.

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Taxing or exempting the church

Religious entities pay more taxes than many people believe. Moreover, churches and other religious organizations are treated quite diversely by different taxes and by different states. Sometimes churches and other religious entities are taxed in the same fashion as secular organizations and persons are.

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The value of money [excerpt]

Money. The root of all evil. It can’t buy you love, but it makes the world go round. Few people understood the vast complexities of currency better than Karl Marx. His book Capital, is seen by many as the authoritative theoretical text on economy, politics, and materialist philosophy. Its vast critiques have fostered new studies on capitalist practices relating to what exactly is ‘value’, many of which are still referenced today by countless economic experts.

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The Asian financial crisis: lessons learned and unlearned

Governments no doubt draw lessons from financial crises and adopt measures to prevent their recurrence. However, these often address the causes of the last crisis but not the next one. More importantly, they can actually become the new sources of instability and crisis. This appears to be the case in Asia where the lessons drawn from the 1997 crisis and the measures implemented thereupon may be inadequate.

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Don’t play politics with the debt ceiling

It must be frustrating to be a Congressional Democrat these days. The minority party in both the House and Senate and having lost the White House, the only thing keeping the Democrats relevant is a dysfunctional White House and a disunited Republican majority in Congress. There is, however, one area in which they should drop any obstructionism and play ball with the Republicans—raising the debt ceiling.

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10 facts about the Indian economy

15 August 2017 marks the 70th year anniversary since the British withdrew their colonial rule over India, leaving it to be one of the first countries to gain independence. Since then it has become the sixth largest economy in the world and is categorised as one of the major G-20 economies. To mark the occasion we have compiled a wide array of facts around the Indian economy pre and post-independence.

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What makes a good manager? [excerpt]

Is modern work culture is pushing otherwise good people to adopt poor management styles? From creating “growth opportunities” to taking on mentors, managers often find themselves falling into progressive traps that seem like the right thing to do, but ultimately lead employees astray. In the following excerpt from Good People, Bad Managers, Samuel A. Culbert examines the effectiveness of modern management approaches.

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What Norway might tell us about Venezuela’s economic crisis

It is common to blame Venezuela’s current crisis on the price of oil. Despite sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the Venezuelan economy is in a shambles and the country is gripped by chaos. When the price of oil fell precipitously in 2014, so too did Venezuela’s access to foreign exchange. Without this money, Venezuela has been unable to buoy the country’s national oil company and the social programs and food subsidies that support the sitting government.

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Academy of Management 2017: a conference and city guide

The 77th annual meeting of the Academy of Management will take place this year from 4 August through 8 August in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, the Academy of Management will convey the theme of “At the Interface”, inviting attendees to reflect on the ways interfaces both separate and connect people and organizations. We’ve highlighted some of the events that we’re excited about.

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The good tax

No one enjoys paying taxes. Remember receiving your first paycheck and discovering how much of your hard-earned money you would be sharing with the government? Most of us recognize that some taxes are necessary. Although economics recognizes the need for taxes to fund the government, it is pretty clear-eyed about the downside of taxes. One example is the tax on cigarettes.

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Optimism in economic development

There is much discussion about global poverty and the billions of people living with almost nothing. Why is it that governments, development banks, think-tanks, academics, NGOs, and many others can’t just fix the problem? Why is it that seemingly obvious reforms never happen? Why are prosperity and equity so elusive?

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Does “buying local” help communities or conflict with basic economics?

As summer approaches, picturesque roadside stands, farmer’s markets, and fields growing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) dot the horizon from the Golden Gate to the Garden State. Consumers go to their local Farmer’s Market to keep spending local and to hopefully create jobs in the community. They “buy local” to reduce environmental impacts. Some believe interacting with neighbors builds trust within the community.

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Macronomics En Marche

Emmanuel Macron has completely upended French politics. Just over a year after founding a new centrist political party, En Marche (“On the move”), the former investment banker and Minister of Economy and Finance was elected president of France on 7 May by an overwhelming majority.

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Puerto Rico in crisis

The US territory of Puerto Rico is currently experiencing its most severe and pro­longed economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929–33). Between 2006 and 2016, the island’s economy (measured as Gross National Product in constant 1954 prices) shrank by 15.2%, while total employment fell by 28.6%. The elimination of federal tax exemptions under Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code in 2006 dealt a serious blow to the island’s manufacturing industry.

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Savings banks in Germany: welfare versus politics

In Germany, it is not uncommon for primary-school children to have their own savings account. A reason for this is that on World Savings Day, savings-bank representatives visit schools all over Germany to educate pupils about the benefits of saving. Besides being clever marketing, this program is rooted in the savings banks’ legal pledge to foster economic welfare: German state law requires savings banks to support the local economy.

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Corruption: are you an expert? [quiz]

Headlines regularly focus on political scandals and corruption. From public officials embezzling government monies, selling public offices, and trading bribes for favors to private companies generate public indignation and calls for reform—corruption, it seems, is inevitable. But what really is corruption, and who is responsible for its continuation?

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