A statistical light goes out

I returned to work after the holidays to hear that a great statistician of our times had sadly passed away, Roger Jowell. I knew Roger as the Director of the European Social Survey (ESS). The ESS is probably the most well respected international social survey in the world and won the Descartes prize for science in 2005 – the first social science project ever to win it. I had got to know him personally over the past eight years as nef’s National Accounts of Well-being work was all based on ESS data. More

Two billion reasons to rethink the economy

Startling research published by the TUC today calculates that the unpaid overtime worked by British employees is equivalent to more than a million extra full-time jobs. That’s two billion hours given to employers for free. It’s also two billion hours that people don’t spend with their families, volunteering in their communities, exercising, or just relaxing.


Retail has its own squeezed middle

Originally posted at Comment is free.


Where next for the fight against economic inequality?

In 2011 we saw protests of epic proportions, and I’m not just referring to the Arab Spring. The global scenes of thousands of regular citizens chanting and waving banners with the slogan of “we are the 99 per cent” brought joy to those of us who have been harping on about the injustice associated with economic inequality for some time. I still can’t quite believe it. But it did happen and, despite the Occupy movement’s mother camp in New York City being forced out of its original site, protestors from London to Los Angeles refuse to be silenced. More

Financial Times’ Economists Survey: Monetary Policy

Once again, inflation, however measured, is not Britain’s big problem. We can bear some, and almost certainly more than we have at the moment. The challenge is to reboot the economy, but to do so in such a way that we don’t return to debt-fuelled overconsumption. The way for the Bank of England to do this is to ensure that low cost capital is available to invest in re-engineering Britain to be a future-proof low carbon economy. More

Ed Miliband is not the leader of the opposition

Originally posted at Comment is free.


Remembering John, Richard and David

The past year may have been a great twelve months for the development of the new economics, but it also coincided with the loss of two figures who have been absolutely critical to its development. 

David Fleming died a year ago. Only a couple of weeks ago, we had the very sad news that we have also lost Richard Douthwaite. Now we hear that the great social enterprise pioneer John Pearce has died too.


What are the barriers harming green job creation?

It’s been 3 months since the East London Green Jobs Alliance officially launched, amidst a fanfare of green hard hats and organic nibbles. We are a coalition of trade unions, NGOs, community based organisations and green businesses working together to create green and decent jobs for East London citizens. Our current mission is to create a ‘green jobs pipeline’ that will prepare young people who face barriers to employment for entry-level jobs in the green trades. More

The other problem in the UK labour market

At a time when the level of employment is on the minds of politicians, and just having a job is on the mind of everyone else, the press, public and policy-makers have maintained a laser focus on the rate of unemployment. But there is another troubling dimension to the labour market in the UK, one that has long-term implications for British workers: the mismatch between the hours people work, and the hours they want to work.


How to avoid the peregrination in the catacombs

Arthur Miller wrote only one musical, as far as I am aware, and it was about the Wall Street Crash in 1929.  The American Clock was staged at the National Theatre in London shortly after the Black Monday share price collapse in 1987 and I saw it then.

I never forgot it.

One idea he plays with is that the collapse was caused by a man who kept his money in his shoes. “My God, you don’t believe in anything,” says a man who sees him extracting some cash from under his socks, and the unbelief spreads, with catastrophic consequences.


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