speri.comment: the political economy blog

Don’t depoliticise inclusive growth!

Tony Payne

The endeavour to set out and implement a new vision for more inclusive growth will fail if it is not treated fundamentally as a matter of political economy, rather than an aspect of social policy The inclusive growth agenda is undoubtedly being talked about in a more mainstream way than was the case even a few years ago when the … Continue reading

16 November 2017 by
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Public aid is driving financial innovation to support international development

Gail Hurley

International development is increasingly being financed in innovative new ways. Public aid money is critical and its role should be celebrated more I was delighted to read that Professor Mariana Mazzucato has recently launched a new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at University College London. The Institute describes its mission as to ‘rethink how public value is created, … Continue reading

15 November 2017 by
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The Finance Curse: Building a new knowledge network

Andrew Baker

A workshop in Sheffield this week will examine the symptoms of a phenomenon known as the ‘finance curse’, establish a future research agenda and discuss potential responses This week, SPERI, with the Tax Justice Network and collaborators from Copenhagen Business School, will co-host a workshop on ‘the Finance Curse’. The idea that a ‘finance curse’ – a more complex version … Continue reading

14 November 2017 by
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Revisiting the developmental state 8: the new challenges of Asia’s latecomer industrialisation

Industrial policy needs to be rethought if it is to remain effective in promoting economic development in a highly globalised world economy When South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore were ‘catching up’ through state-led industrialisation in the 1960s and the 1970s, their only benchmark was the first movers in the existing advanced industrialised economies.  However, in the context of today’s intensified … Continue reading

14 November 2017 by
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Macron’s labour reforms are a major test for France’s trade unions

Heather Connolly

President Macron’s extensive labour reforms are part of a programme of state-led liberalization which will shift the balance of power towards employers and test trade union strength and unity It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the current labour reforms in France, for employers, workers and their representatives. The Government seems fully aware of the significance and the potential … Continue reading

13 November 2017 by
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Competition without competitors?

Coordinated policy actions are needed to tame dominant corporate power and rent-seeking The Trade and Development Report 2017 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlights the extent of some of the most worrisome structural changes in the global political economy since the crisis, and should be read as a warning for policymakers and citizens alike. For … Continue reading

10 November 2017 by
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Disgorging the social settlement: What the Paradise Papers tell us about firms

The Paradise Papers reveal how debt and other financial mechanisms are used to move funds offshore and avoid tax. New constraints on firms and managers are needed Back in the 1980s, concern about lagging competitiveness in publicly listed firms led to the popularity of agency theory explanations for underperformance. Authors like Michael Jensen told a very simple, yet seductive story … Continue reading

10 November 2017 by
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Understanding migrant trajectories through the lens of differentiated embedding

In the evolving context of Brexit, a new framework can help explain the factors that shape migrants’ choices to stay in the UK or to leave Over the last decade or so it has become increasingly apparent that despite initial claims to transience, temporariness and short term stays, many EU migrants have stayed longer in the UK than originally planned. … Continue reading

9 November 2017 by
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Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram: their first six months working with the combined authorities

Six months have passed since Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region elected metro-mayors. In this first of a series of three blogs we assess their progress so far The English metro-mayors elected in May 2017 have been in office for six months but to what extent has this political milestone gone unnoticed? With much of the national political agenda taken … Continue reading

8 November 2017 by
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Revisiting the developmental state 7: understanding the Mauritius ‘miracle’

What do the high levels of development and economic upgrading achieved by a small Indian Ocean island country tell us about the notion of the developmental state? Mauritius’ growth trajectory from a monocrop economy at its independence in 1968 to an upper-middle income and highly diversified economy today is frequently considered a miracle and has been described as ‘one of … Continue reading

7 November 2017 by
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How should progressives respond to the anti-competitive tendencies of the platform economy?

Firms such as Google and Uber – and their control of our data – may pose a threat to the UK’s competition regime. How policy-makers respond to this will help to define the platform economy Generally speaking, the UK’s competition regime is highly regarded. The establishment of competition policy – generally in the 1990s – is typically seen as constitutive … Continue reading

6 November 2017 by
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The great uncertainty paradox

Colin Hay

Uncertainty is the essence of social, political and economic systems. This is the final post on our series on researching uncertainty Uncertainty is troubling, collective uncertainty particularly so.  To find ourselves in a context that can be described as ‘The Great Uncertainty’ is, then, likely to prove greatly troubling – at least to those willing to accept the accuracy of … Continue reading

2 November 2017 by
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Industrial strategy: here come the British

Craig Berry

The final report of the Industrial Strategy Commission outlines a bold vision for strategic economic management in the UK, including institutional reforms at the centre. Can we expect the same radicalism from the May government? A nation awaits. After decades of economic inaction, the UK stands on the verge of adopting a comprehensive industrial strategy, long after the international consensus … Continue reading

1 November 2017 by
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Revisiting the developmental state 6: towards ‘developmental regimes’ in Africa?

The essence of contemporary African developmentalism lies less in the nature of the state and more in that of the regime, especially its capacity to pursue sound development policies A vital question in Africa right now is which of the countries that are growing economically and are reasonably conflict-free are going to break through into transformative development. In particular, which … Continue reading

31 October 2017 by
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Economic uncertainty and economics imperialism

Matthew Watson

The question of why uncertainty does not feature more prominently as an economic ontology requires answers that are rooted in intellectual history.  This post, the sixth in our series on uncertainty, searches for them by looking at how economic history has become increasingly colonised by economic theory, and economic theory by mathematics. The decision to focus this series of SPERI … Continue reading

26 October 2017 by
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Capitalising on Brexit? Charting the next phase of European Capital Markets Union

Scott Lavery

Although the UK embraced Capital Markets Union (CMU) in its early stages, it also strongly resisted attempts to enhance EU-level supervisory powers. Brexit could now see the CMU agenda develop further – but not in the way the UK had initially anticipated Since its launch in 2014, Capital Markets Union (CMU) has become a flagship initiative of the European Union. … Continue reading

25 October 2017 by
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Revisiting the developmental state 5: India and Brazil in the 21st century

Valbona Muzaka

Real and credible development in these countries means pursuing knowledge social economy visions that are genuinely autochthonous Focusing on India and Brazil in the context of renewed discussion of the developmental state may raise some eyebrows.  For, unlike the successful catch-up of Japan and other East Asian ‘tigers’ with which that concept and its more recent reiterations have been associated, … Continue reading

24 October 2017 by
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The social economy is missing in strategies to create more inclusive growth

As more places around the UK focus on inclusive growth it is essential that the social economy is no longer left out Many discussions about inclusive growth tend to focus on the policy implications for government, and the implications for, mostly, large business. Despite some interesting discussions around corporate governance reform, there has been little attention paid to the internal … Continue reading

23 October 2017 by
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The IMF and a new politics of inequality?

Recent statements about inequality by the IMF have attracted media interest, but are they saying anything new? Last week saw the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank hold their annual autumn meetings at which they discuss big strategic issues facing the global economy.  One strand in these discussions related to the publication of the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor which contained … Continue reading

20 October 2017 by
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Forecasting inflation amid uncertainty: have we forgotten the dog and the frisbee?

The Bank of England’s inflation forecasts in the period since the Brexit vote have been largely inaccurate – is this because the Bank has forgotten the rule of thumb championed by its own chief economist? This is the fifth post in our series on the impact of uncertainty on social science It is hard to prophecise, particularly about the future. … Continue reading

18 October 2017 by
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