Plastic litter in the UK – any solutions?

Empty plastic bottles on the streets and plastic litter debris in the wider environment are an unfortunate persistent problem of our days. While much is done in the UK to tackle plastic litter through household waste collection and recycling, and special waste collection programmes for businesses, plastic litter is still an issue. In the UK,…

The Rise of Telemedicine

In a previous blog we discussed the pros and cons of remote working.[1] But what about being on the receiving end of a remote service, such as healthcare? Telemedicine is the remote provision of healthcare services using information and communication technologies such as telephone and video, diagnostic and monitoring equipment, and even robotics. It is…

Circular economy — the solution to both climate and jobs?

What is the circular economy? The idea of the circular economy is to move away from a linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model of economy into a more restorative and regenerative system designed to minimise waste in the ongoing process of maintenance, repair, reuse and recycle. As a starting point, the circular economy acknowledges the fact…

Behavioural Economics: Nudging its way in consumer policy

This year’s surprise winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is Richard Thaler, a prominent behavioural economists. The surprise factor does not come from a lack of prolific and ingenious academic life, rather from the nature of the field of research that Prof Thaler revolutionised. Not many behavioural economists have won the highest honour…

Trade in value added: how Global Value Chains affect competitiveness

1.1  Measuring external competitiveness The issue of external competitiveness has always been an important topic in the economic and political discourse of the European Union.[1] In this respect, in 2010 the European Commission launched the Europe 2020 strategy aiming at transforming the EU into “a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, delivering high levels of employment,…

The future of Initial Coin Offerings

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have recently received a lot of attention due to the ban imposed by Chinese regulators. China is not the only country that is concerned about ICOs. On 12th September, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning to consumers about the risks of ICOs.[1] Regulators from the USA, Canada, Japan,…

Does it still pay to be green on Britain’s roads?

What’s changed? On April 1st 2017, the UK government introduced changes to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). VED has undergone several evolutions in recent years. In 2001, VED was reformed to reflect CO2 emissions rates per kilometre, with 13 bands of increasing CO2 emissions incurring increasing VED costs. The scheme was further reformed in 2013, to…

E-commerce Parcel Delivery: Problems and Possible Solutions

Online shopping and parcel delivery The quality of parcel delivery has become extremely important as more and more people shop online. In the UK, 3 in every 4 adults made an online purchase in 2016, receiving in total over 1 billion parcels. By 2018, the e-commerce market is expected to grow by about one third,…

Brexit: A Female Perspective

Before the referendum, it was thought that women were more likely to vote against Brexit than men. Yet, the polls in the lead up to the referendum showed that most women were undecided on the issue[1] and on the day, it turned out that women largely voted in line with men.[2] This is in stark…

Why work from home

The overall number of people working from home in the UK has been increasing in the past years reaching 13.9% of all people in work – a record number since comparable records began in 1998.[1] There are sectors – such as agriculture or construction – which by their very nature are located outside an office,…

Self-employment disentangled

There has been a major shift in the labour market towards self-employment with 4.8 million self-employed workers in the last quarter of 2016 — almost a 50% increase compared to 2000. Self-employed profile The trend has been particularly strong for part-time self-employment, which increased by 88% between 2001 and 2015 (compared to only 25% increase…

Universal Basic Income

Earlier this month, Finland became the first European country to offer its unemployed citizens a monthly unconditional income of €560 as part of a two-year pilot program aiming to reduce poverty and unemployment.[1] Similarly, the councils of Fife and Glasgow in Scotland[2] piloted analogous programs this year, while similar universal basic income (UBI) schemes can…

Employment post-Brexit

On July 13, Business insider posted an article based on Credit Suisse report headlined “’Mayday! Mayday!’ — Britain’s impending recession will kill nearly 500,000 jobs”. Similar predictions by other economists suggested an increase in unemployment post-Brexit, a labour market reaction similar to the financial crisis of 2008. However, data revealed by the ONS suggested that…

How might the sharing economy affect the world of work?

What is the Sharing Economy? New technologies and innovations have encouraged the rise of novel business models, collectively known as the sharing economy. Although definitions of the sharing economy may differ, the term is predominantly used to describe technology driven market places (platforms) enabling a wide variety of exchanges.[1] The appearance of such platforms has…

Some potential impacts of Brexit on real wages

On 23 June 2016, the UK voted, in its referendum on EU membership, to leave the EU. British exit from the EU is commonly referred to as “Brexit”. In this note we shall consider five ways Brexit might be expected to effect real wages: GDP; the share of wages in GDP; immigration; regulation; and prices.…