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Read the latest briefings on research published in the Economic Journal

  • Published Date: 22 July 2016

Short briefings of the Early View articles published in the Economic Journal are now available here including:

THE EFFECTS OF REGIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS: Forecasts may be underestimating productivity benefits  Modern techniques for evaluating the impact of regional trade agreements like the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States may be substantially underestimating the likely increase in trade and productivity.

TRUST GAMES: Experimental evidence of how we feel about cheating
Nearly a third of people have a stringent notion of what constitutes cheating, which can reduce trust since they are more likely to expect to be cheated

DRAFTING CONTRACTS, LAWS AND CONSTITUTIONS: The benefits of simplicity and vagueness
Analysing why some of America’s founding fathers opposed the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution helps to explain why many modern-day contracts and laws are deliberately vague and simple.

MIDLIFE CRISIS: Evidence that human wellbeing hits a low point in our early 40s
People’s life satisfaction follows a U-shape through the life cycle, gradually falling from early adulthood, reaching a minimum at around the ages of 40 to 42 and then rising up to the age of 70.

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DOWNSIZING: Experimental evidence of the potential damage to the performance of surviving staff.  Firms that lay off staff can see a significant reduction in the performance of their remaining workers, according to an experimental study

HIGHER INCOME VOLATILITY HITS AMERICAN FAMILIES’ WELLBEING: Evidence from three decades to 2008
Increasingly large fluctuations in many American households’ incomes over the 30-year period up to the Great Recession led to a fall in overall family wellbeing.

INCREASED SCHOOL RESOURCES BOOST EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF LOWER-ABILITY PUPILS: Evidence from the Netherlands
Giving schools more resources – without putting specific restrictions on how they are spent – can have a positive impact on pupil outcomes

TOWER OF BABEL: New research shows how and why we’re still a long way from everyone speaking the same language
Nearly a third of the world’s 6,000 plus distinct languages have more than 35,000 speakers. But despite the big communications advantages of a few widely spoken languages such as English and Spanish, there is no sign of a systematic decline in the number of people speaking this large group of relatively small languages.

MISERY OF WORK SECOND ONLY TO ILLNESS: UK evidence
British people are at their least happy while at work – except when they are sick in bed – according to a study forthcoming in the Economic Journal.

WELFARE SPENDING DOESN’T ‘CROWD OUT’ CHARITABLE WORK: Historical evidence from England under the Poor Laws
Cutting the welfare budget is unlikely to lead to an increase in private voluntary work and charitable giving.

WHEN INDUSTRIAL POLICY HARMS EXPORT PERFORMANCE: Evidence from the world steel industry
The use of industrial policies to support a country’s steel sector has damaging effects on the export competitiveness of downstream manufacturing sectors that make use of steel.

FRANCE’S NINETEENTH CENTURY WINE CRISIS: The impact on crime rates
The phylloxera crisis in nineteenth century France destroyed 40% of the country’s vineyards, devastating local economies. According to research published in the Economic Journal, the negative shock to wine production led to a substantial increase in property crime in the affected regions

GOLD HAS NEVER BEEN A GREAT HEDGE AGAINST BAD ECONOMIC TIMES: Evidence from decades of US and global data
Gold has not served very well as a hedge against bad macroeconomic and stock market outcomes.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF UNINFORMED CONSUMERS: Evidence from 400 undercover taxi rides in Athens
If a taxi driver in an unfamiliar city knows that someone else is covering your fare, they are much more likely to charge you a higher price than is justified by the distance you are taken.

GOLD MINING IN GHANA: New evidence of extensive damage to the environment, agriculture and living standards
The expansion of large-scale gold mining in Ghana has led to a big reduction in agricultural productivity and output – and a significant increase in rural poverty.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: UK evidence of the impact of unemployment
Policies that enhance women’s job security could contribute to a reduction in domestic violence according to research published in the Economic Journal which explores the impact of the recession on the level of physical and emotional abuse within the home.

Further details on media briefings here.

Source: RES Office, Amanda Wilman

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