Newsletter Online October 2016

Issue no. 175


Letter from America — On becoming superannuated
In which Angus compares the experience of dealing with the UK and US pension authorities and discovers that while some are worse than others, ‘... no one looks forward to dealing with bureaucracies.’


Digital Skills Boost Your Earning Power: New Evidence for OECD Countries
The Annual Congress of the European Economic Association took place in Geneva in August. One of the many papers to attract interest was by Oliver Falck, Alexandra Heimisch, and Simon Wiederhold on the effect of digital skills on earnings. This is a shortened version of that paper.

Academic economists and the media
In our July issue, Simon Wren-Lewis described the way in which the media has become increasingly dismissive of the views of academic economists even when, as with the referendum on EU membership, their views were largely unanimous. On page 19 of this issue, we print a reaction to Simon’s argument. In the meantime, the Centre for Macroeconomics has done its own survey of economists themselves on why they think this situation has arisen and what we might do about it. This is an edited version of their results.

The limits to ‘whatever it takes’: Lessons from the gold standard
When Mario Draghi famously declared that the ECB was ‘ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro’, he also specified ‘within our mandate’. This article, by Stefano Ugolini, examines the institutional limitations to central bankers’ actions. It argues that institutional constraints are essential in determining the sustainability of monetary policies, and hence central banks’ ability to pursue their targets. The weakness of the Bank of England in the heyday of the gold standard is a case in point.

UK migration: separating fact and fiction
The British Science Association’s Festival of Science was held this year from 6th to 9th September at the University of Swansea. This report somes from David Dickinson, Recorder to the Economics Section.

Reforming the economics curriculum
In 2014-15 we reported on three initiatives to revise the teaching of economics, each of which was inspired to some degree by the apparent difficulty that economics had in warning of the crisis of 2007-8. Two years on, it seems worth reviewing progress. We had an update from the CORE project in our April issue (no.173). Here, Calum Michell reviews recent events at the ‘Post-Crash Economics Society’. We shall have an update from the Association of Heterodox Economists shortly.

The gender earnings gap at the LSE
Oriana Bandeira was recently asked to examine the university’s own data to measure the gender gap at LSE. This is a brief summary of her findings.

ESRC Media training
In the light of current concern over the media's treatment of economic issues, we printed this brief note aboout the ESRC's provision of media training for social science researchers.


Letters to the editor – academic economists and the media


Keith Cowling
Marcello de Decco

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