Levels of dishonesty vary by region in Italy. This column measures how behaviours and attitudes relating to rule-breaking differ from place to place using childbirth registration data. By tracking where more people are falsifying birth records, it is possible to make accurate inferences about honesty in a given area. Importantly, the column also shows that migration movements can generate honesty drains or honesty gains in different areas. These changes correlate with regional economic outcomes, from human capital to productivity, to earnings growth, to the quality of local government.
Female representation in senior economic and political positions is still very low in many European countries. But what happens to female empowerment when a woman ‘breaks the glass ceiling’? This column explores the extent to which female leaders appoint more women to other executive positions. Using data from Italian local politics, the research shows the opposite trend: women in senior roles are less likely to nominate women for official positions. This is a startling finding.
Imagery within media stories has a powerful effect on the way a reader thinks about a particular topic. This column highlights the strength of the effect, presenting evidence from the United States. Readers’ views on a range of topics – from police budgets to pandemic management – are highly sensitive to the pictures that accompany news stories. People also tend to react more extremely to images that directly confirm or challenge their pre-existing opinions, shining new light on the risk of political polarisation.
Over the past three years, the global economy has a faced a series of substantial price shocks. The outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 was followed by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, putting economies around the world under immense strain. This column highlights the importance of understanding the narrative of these shocks for analysing subsequent macroeconomic conditions. Only when policy-makers have got to grips with the economic effects of these episodes will they be able to deliver sufficient policies to support recovery and resilience.
Measuring people’s health status is vital for designing effective policies that support different age groups. But economists working in this field face a difficult challenge when it comes to integrating accurate health measures into their economic models. This then makes it difficult for policy-makers to make straightforward model-based decisions. This column offers a new metric and seeks to solve the issue of measuring health statuses and their associated economic outcomes. The new approach makes integrating important health data into economic models easier, helping yield more accurate results.
In February 2022, Vladimir Putin launched a full – scale invasion of Ukraine. As the war grinds on, it is unclear what exactly come s next. According to theory at least, as long as Ukraine continues to receive external support from NATO, the conflict is unlikely to end. Equally, Putin himself is unlikely to make any concessions. As th is devastating and expensive war continues, this column argues that the international community’s best hope might be for an extended ceasefire , rather than true peace.
Ofsted is an established feature of the English state school system. Ofsted grades are even displayed on property search websites in addition to government and school websites. This column explores the value of providing such information, versus the pressure such inspections place on schools. This comes in the context of a backlash against the system following the tragic death of an English headteacher earlier this year.
Several months have now passed since the run on Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023. This column argues that now is a good point to reflect on the bank’s failure and the ensuing policy responses. Though this was a US banking experience, the lessons from the crash extend across borders, including Italy. In fact, some of the concerns over governments’ commitment to deposit insurance are perhaps even more of a concern for policy-makers in Europe.
Anti-social and unethical behaviour in the workplace has considerable negative effects on employee wellbeing. Toxic relationships are at the heart of such behaviour. This column presents evidence from a field experiment carried out in Turkey. In this setting, an innovative training programme aiming to improve the relational atmosphere in the workplace reduced anti-social interactions and lowered employee separation in large corporations. In particular, improved leader-subordinate relationships played a key role in explaining the programme’s positive impacts on the workplace climate.