Category Archives: Economy & Society

Economic decisions have a direct impact on the development of our society. Learning to manage the synergies between the economic world, businesses and communities helps improve individuals’ living environments, deal with crises and conflicts, and support organizational development.

Maximizing the benefits from R&D subsidies: How some enterprise support policies can discourage high-growing entrepreneurship

Many governments offer support for entrepreneurs in a bid to boost entrepreneurship and startup success. However, as Annamaria Conti shows, both policymakers and entrepreneurs need to thoroughly assess the impact of that support to ensure that it is having the desired effect.

5 min read Continue reading Maximizing the benefits from R&D subsidies: How some enterprise support policies can discourage high-growing entrepreneurship

The economic cycle of fear: Will panic fuel the next global recession?

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously once observed: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. At the tail of end of an historic bull market, with an ongoing trade war, bond bubble and worrying signs of impending recession, policymakers should take note of, given the findings of research by Philippe Bacchetta and Eric van Wincoop into the causes of the Great Recession. As the two academics reveal, it can be a comparatively short step from boom to bust, once negative sentiment begins to drive a self-fulfilling chain of events that can quickly evolve into a panic driven, full-blown global economic crisis. A panic that would make the difference between an economic slowdown and another deep global recession.

5 min read Continue reading The economic cycle of fear: Will panic fuel the next global recession?

The impact of the vote May 19 corporate tax reforms: a Q&A with Pierre-Marie Glauser

As an academic and lawyer specializing in taxation, Pierre-Marie Glauser was closely involved in the corporate tax reform campaign in Switzerland that culminated in the referendum held on May 19th. An advocate of the proposed reforms, Glauser was a member of a number of working groups involved with the reforms and gave presentations at various conferences on the implications of accepting or refusing the reforms. Here he discusses the government backed provisions approved by 64.4% of Swiss voters on May 19th and their impact.

5 min read Continue reading The impact of the vote May 19 corporate tax reforms: a Q&A with Pierre-Marie Glauser

How the Camorra is cleaning up: A grubby tale of entrepreneurial talent gone to waste

Guido Palazzo, professor of business ethics, highlights a case where entrepreneurial ingenuity has turned environmentally and socially toxic, threatening the health and economic welfare of thousands of people living and working in Italy.

5 min read Continue reading How the Camorra is cleaning up: A grubby tale of entrepreneurial talent gone to waste

Brexit, Uncertainty and Values at Risk – Five Risk Management Lessons

After nearly three years of negotiations, Brexit is proving a seemingly intractable problem, with all routes out of the EU looking costly for the UK. With emotions running high, opinions polarised, and reasoned argument often elusive, maybe a risk management perspective can offer some useful insights, suggests Professor Anette Mikes (HEC Lausanne, UNIL).

5 min read Continue reading Brexit, Uncertainty and Values at Risk – Five Risk Management Lessons

Mosquitoes, malaria and the spread of slavery in the US

In 1641 Massachusetts legalized slavery, the first North American colony to do so. Slavery was to persist in the colonies and territories, and then the United States for another two centuries, until formally abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Numerous theories have been advanced about why the US, a nation that values individual liberty so highly, introduced and institutionalized the practice of slavery. And why the slavery of African slaves in the southern states, in particular, became the prevalent form of slavery. Now, Elena Esposito publishes new research showing how the spread of malaria in North America may explain the pattern of growth of slavery in the US.

5 min read Continue reading Mosquitoes, malaria and the spread of slavery in the US

Keeping the lights on: are electricity firms the next “too big to fail” crisis?

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis it became clear that regulators had allowed many financial services firms to become “too big to fail”. Yet this system-critical firm problem is not confined to financial services. In their paper “Can electricity companies be too big to fail?” Ann van Ackere, Erik R. Larsen and Sebastian Osorio explain how a similar challenge faces the electricity sector, and offer some suggestions to help regulators prevent the lights from going out.

5 min read Continue reading Keeping the lights on: are electricity firms the next “too big to fail” crisis?

War and peace: The case for power sharing

There has long been an association between politics and violence. Factional disagreements can often lead to prolonged violence. At the same time, there is apparent evidence that the prospect or reality of power sharing can reduce violence – as with the Good Friday agreement and paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, for example. At a time when factional violence, within a country or region, is evident in numerous parts of the world, research that examines how to prevent that violence is particularly relevant.

5 min read Continue reading War and peace: The case for power sharing

The case for investing in good quality early child care

Two researchers look at the controversial issue of whether Early Child Care for very young children (under the age of three) provides benefits over care at home. And if so, whether it benefits children to a different degree depending on their circumstances.

5 min read Continue reading The case for investing in good quality early child care

A change of mind: A more effective approach to shaping attitudes towards social and economic issues

Research suggests that, perhaps instinctively, people tend to prefer stability and the status quo to transformation and new ideas, even when they are personally disadvantaged as a result. The tacit approval of inequality despite its proven negative impact on society is a good example. Patrick Haack, Assistant Professor at HEC Lausanne and Jost Sieweke, Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam investigate why we think and behave this way. In doing so they provide persuasive new insights on how to change prevailing attitudes and behavior.

5 min read Continue reading A change of mind: A more effective approach to shaping attitudes towards social and economic issues