Archive for the Blog Category

Beware the dysfunctional consequences of imposing misguided incentive systems

Beware the dysfunctional consequences of imposing misguided incentive systems

Following the disclosure of salaries at the BBC, it has hardly seemed possible to open a newspaper or switch on the television without being bombarded by stories about pay. By pure coincidence, an academic paper entitled “Pay for Performance and Beyond” has just appeared. So what, you

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Believe it or not, Britain is getting happier

Believe it or not, Britain is getting happier

The dominant economic narrative in the UK is a pretty gloomy one just now. True, employment is at a record high. But, counter the whingers and whiners, zero hours contracts and low pay proliferate. The political discourse is full of the struggles of the JAMs – the

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Cautious corporates sitting on hoards of cash are to blame for our slow recovery

Cautious corporates sitting on hoards of cash are to blame for our slow recovery

The slow recovery since the financial crisis remains a dominant issue in both political and economic debate. The economy has definitely revived since 2009, the depth of the recession, in both Britain and America. The average annual growth in real GDP has been very similar, at 2.0

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Volterra’s Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne present at Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting

Volterra’s Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne present at Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting

  Lucy Dean and Alex O’Byrne were recently invited to speak at the 15th Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting (TPM) in Nottingham. TPM is the annual meeting place for all transport planners, highway engineers and urban transport designers. Practitioners, policy makers and academics are invited to present topical papers over

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Corbyn and McDonnell’s delusional tax plan would cut revenue and harm growth

Corbyn and McDonnell’s delusional tax plan would cut revenue and harm growth

The income tax system in the UK is highly progressive. Not many people know that, to use a catch phrase attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the great actor Michael Caine. The top one per cent of earners contribute 27 per cent of all income tax receipts. To

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Global cyber-attack: not a new problem

Global cyber-attack: not a new problem

Last month, the largest global cyber-attack in history recently infected Windows computers in a network. It utilised a security glitch in the Windows operating system that allowed it to jump from computer to computer on an internal network. Only this week, yet another ransom attack spread across

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How to stop tech hubs in urban hotspots from intensifying geographic inequalities

How to stop tech hubs in urban hotspots from intensifying geographic inequalities

Perhaps George Osborne’s most abiding legacy from his time as chancellor will be the creation of the concept of the Northern Powerhouse. Certainly Manchester, its principal focus, is booming. The landscape of the centre is being altered dramatically by skyscrapers. Peel Holdings, the huge investment and property

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Less austerity will always mean more tax

Less austerity will always mean more tax

There is a great deal of discussion, following the election, of relaxing or even abandoning austerity. There is an equal amount of confusion about this, because the same word is being used to describe two quite separate concepts. The consequences of the government changing its policy on

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Sorry Corbyn, consumers aren’t as sold on nationalisation as you’d like to think

Sorry Corbyn, consumers aren’t as sold on nationalisation as you’d like to think

One of the most remarkable features of the Conservative election campaign was the dog which did not bark. There was no systematic attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s wholly implausible economic narrative. Magic Money Tree comments aside, Labour’s economic incompetence was allowed to pass almost unchallenged. One part

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Does the productivity gap actually exist?

Does the productivity gap actually exist?

Whoever wins the election tomorrow will have to grapple with what appears to be a fundamental economic problem. Estimated productivity growth in the UK is virtually at a standstill. The standard definition of productivity is the average output per employee across the economy as a whole, after

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