Month: November 2023


Women in leadership roles: A surprising result

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.

The power of pictures: Visual bias in the news

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.

Understanding the inflation crisis: The importance of a clear narrative

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 health outcomes: A new approach

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.

War of attrition: What next for Ukraine?

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.