Category archives for Economics

‘Eating power’ and the oligopolisation of the Haitian food economy

As one of the world’s poorest countries, the inequities in Haiti’s local food economy are deeply rooted in its troubled history and its elite-dominated political economy ‘Nothing prepares you for Haiti’. At the closing plenary of the recent Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Conference, the first time the conference has been held there since the CSA’s inception in 1975, Trinidadian activist … Continue reading

15 September 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mainstream economics and the crisis of imagination: Part I

Jamie Morgan

In times of crisis the predictions of mainstream economics persistently fail; alternative approaches to economics are required The theme of crisis continually recurs in the SPERI political economy blog. This is a reminder of two things. First, ‘crises’ seem to be everywhere.  The language of the extraordinary has become ordinary.  Second, social reality is a process.  The present is a … Continue reading

6 September 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

When work doesn’t work

Sophie Moullin

The left’s focus on full employment fails to address the realities of work and family in the twenty-first century ‘The clue is in the name’, Ed Miliband said, Labour is ‘the party of work’.  The previous UK Labour party leader fought the 2015 general election on a manifesto that promised ‘to reward hard work’.  Yet soon after the election one … Continue reading

20 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Poverty chains and global capitalism

Reorienting value generated within ‘global poverty chains’ is essential to improve the lives of an impoverished world labour force Contemporary global capitalism is characterised by extreme wealth concentration and a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished global labour force. Mainstream institutions such as the World Bank and International Labour Organisation encourage integration into global value chains as a development strategy that, … Continue reading

12 July 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Labour market exploitation and austerity in the UK

Stopping labour exploitation requires effective regulation of the labour market, not scapegoating migrant and vulnerable workers Explaining the Conservative government’s decision to appoint a Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire declared: ‘Exploiting or coercing people into work is not acceptable.  It is not right that unscrupulous employers can force people to work or live in very poor … Continue reading

5 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Human rights, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Mortgage debt and wages: A comparison of Britain and Denmark

James Wood

Different approaches to mortgage debt may impact wages, how homeowners engage with employers and welfare services, and economic growth One of the primary motivations for homeownership in advanced economies is securing the home as a financial asset. Whilst this is widely recognised, the impact of mortgage debt on aggregate wages is not. This post looks at how taking on mortgage … Continue reading

14 June 2016 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Debt, Economics, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

From socialising capital to socialising capitalism

Craig Berry

Stewart Lansley’s advocacy of the sharing economy is the right idea at the right time, but social wealth funds would be a problematic instrument Stewart Lansley’s valuable 2012 book The Cost of Inequality offered one of the few sustained attempts to link inequality to the causes of the 2008 economic crisis, insofar as it was deemed a core characteristic of … Continue reading

9 June 2016 by
Categories: Economics, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Authoritarian but Flexible: Turkey and recent labour market reforms

Mehmet

The AKP’s reforms to ‘flexibilise’ the labour market will weaken workers’ rights and further consolidate authoritarian neoliberalism in Turkey In the last few years, ‘authoritarianism’ has been used widely by mainstream academic circles, Western media and international civil society organisations to define the character of the political regime under the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi or the Justice and Development … Continue reading

7 June 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK regions, the European Union and manufacturing exports

Craig Berry

New analysis of the trade in goods between the UK’s regions and the EU sheds new light on the potential regional implications of Brexit It is too simplistic to claim that the UK has a single relationship with the EU. Yet the regional dimension of UK/EU relations has received relatively little attention in the public debate around the implications of … Continue reading

26 May 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: secular stagnation for the UK?

Jonathan Perraton

Current economic trends suggest the UK may need to be prepared for a period of weak, and potentially zero economic growth It is now almost eight years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers heralded the global financial crisis (GFC), roughly the length of a normal business cycle. Over that time interest rates have been held at record low levels and … Continue reading

11 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Economics, Finance, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis, USA | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Steel Crisis: Government, Multinationals and Regional Imbalance

Ewan Gibbs

Concerns about regional economies mean that even in an increasingly financialised and globalised steel sector the government is maintaining stewardship responsibilities Steel, the essential raw material widely understood as the precondition for industrial development, has been thrust into the centre of the debate about the UK’s economic future by the threatened closure of the last major basic mills. Into the … Continue reading

5 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, China, Development, Economics, Global crisis, Northern Powerhouse, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: Is the long-predicted crisis in China finally coming?

Matthew Bishop

A gathering storm is visible on the Chinese horizon, yet the country seems better prepared to ride it out than many predict. China has apparently been on the cusp of a crisis for decades. In the 1990s, as industrialisation gathered momentum, neoliberal economists regularly advocated ‘shock therapy’ of the kind undertaken disastrously by Russia as a way of staving it … Continue reading

4 May 2016 by
Categories: China, Development, Economics, Finance, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax avoidance: Not illegal, just harmful and deviant?

The furore over tax avoidance, both by our national and international elites, reveals new social fault lines while highlighting a crisis of legitimacy to calls for togetherness and common purpose The word plutocracy combines two elements to its meaning – that of wealth and power. To live in a plutocracy, many argue, is to see the warping of the political … Continue reading

21 April 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: enduring imbalances in the Eurozone

Scott Lavery

In the third blog in SPERI’s new series on ‘the coming crisis’ Scott Lavery examines three areas of imbalance in the Eurozone and argues that the single currency area remains vulnerable to a future economic downturn Jean Monnet – one of the architects of the European integration process – once opined that “Europe will be forged in crises, and will … Continue reading

13 April 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lexit? Careful what you wish for…

Owen Parker

A number of voices on the British left have in recent months pushed the idea of ‘Lexit’ – a progressive position in favour of Britain leaving the EU. While their critique of the EU has merit, their solution is counterproductive In July 2015 Owen Jones suggested that the British left should seriously consider ‘Lexit’ – a progressive position in favour … Continue reading

12 April 2016 by
Categories: Economics, EU Referendum, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: stagflation and the shackles of market discipline

Jeremy Green

In the second blog in SPERI’s new series on ‘the coming crisis’ Jeremy Green assesses the prospects of unorthodox central bank policies for escaping the stagflation gripping Western capitalism The darkest hours of the Global Financial Crisis conjured haunting visions of the worst-case scenario: that we would enter a period of sustained financial paralysis, massive unemployment and the breakdown of … Continue reading

6 April 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is money for?

To meet collective societal challenges, and to respond to future recessions, a different way of thinking about money is required One particular exchange from the inaugural SPERI conference in 2012 has always stuck in my mind. After Colin Hay’s opening address, Bob Jessop asked him, ‘what is your theory of money?’ At the time I thought this was distractingly abstract, … Continue reading

5 April 2016 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Finance, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: the gathering storm

Colin Hay

In the first of a new series of weekly SPERI blogs on ‘the coming crisis’ Colin Hay sets out the background to the series and outlines the themes it will explore That economists tend to optimism whilst political economists tend to pessimism is something of a truism, albeit one that often goes unacknowledged. The reason for this bifurcation in psycho-analytic … Continue reading

30 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plotting against the NHS

Tony Payne

A closely interconnected health policy community in Britain has grabbed control of the agenda and seeks to make further marketisation of healthcare the only possible option Earlier in the year I was admitted to hospital for an operation and so I necessarily engaged with the NHS more intensively than at any other point in my lifetime. Don’t worry, though, dear … Continue reading

23 March 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tony Payne | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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