Family friendly working

By Matthew Aldrich

As a first-time expectant father, I will soon be taking statutory paid paternity leave to help out at home wherever I can, through those early tiring weeks after our baby is born. As an academic, I also have a relatively flexible job, and will be able to adjust my working pattern so that my wife can go back to work and continue her career after maternity leave. My research on Modern Fatherhood makes me realise how lucky I am to have access to such family friendly working. Many are not so lucky, and fathers in particular do not have the opportunity to re-balance their work and family life, should they want to.

baby-hand-infant-child-451853.jpeg

Continue reading

Advertisements

Run or don’t run, there is no try

By Peter Dawson, Emike Nasamu, and Theodore L. Turocy

The new year is a time of new beginnings. Perhaps at some point over the last few days, you’ve found yourself engaging in the traditional custom of the New Year’s Resolution. A common resolution is improving health and physical fitness; if you’re reading this, the odds are fairly good you’re hoping to be more active in 2018. Equally, the odds are fairly good that you may still be feeling the aftereffects of a bit too much merrymaking during the holiday season. Either way, that little voice in your head might be asking: “Won’t my time be slower than I’d like? Maybe I should start doing something on my own, and join a group activity later.”

Parkrun.jpg

Continue reading

Should I own or should I lease? An economist’s thoughts on land reform in Kazakhstan.

By Dr Emiliya Lazarova, Head of School

Kazakh-land-800x450

If the government plans to give you the possibility to own the land that you have been farming for generations, would you go on the street in protest, facing the risk of detention? You may think this is a rhetorical question, but that is exactly what happened in Kazakhstan last year. The government announced a reform that would allow auction of agricultural land, which until then could only be leased.  In response to the protests, the government put the reform on a five-year hold and started a consultation process, and suggested that the main reason for the moratorium is to update the country cadastre.[1]  So why did the farmers protest? To understand this, I suggest we look more closely at what this reform was really about: namely the redistribution of property rights.

Continue reading

Athena Swan, Running, and Charitable Giving

By Dr Emiliya Lazarova, Head of School

running

We, the UEA School of Economics, are the only Economics department in England to have received the Athena Swan Bronze Award. The significance of this achievement to us as a group and the wider discipline could not be understood better than in the context of the recent discussion on gender imbalance in economics in the popular press (See; Where are all the women in Economics?).

Continue reading

Catalonia versus Spain: playing the game without communication

By Dr Jack Fosten

Catalan_National_Day

The dust has far from settled after a week in Catalonia which has sent shockwaves around the world. Events began on Sunday 1st October (termed “1-O” by the Catalans) with a banned referendum brought about by the separatist-leaning Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in defiance of orders from the Spanish government. Rather than permitting the vote to proceed peacefully in the same way as a similar referendum held in November 2014, the strategy of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government was to use police force to shut down the referendum and prevent Catalans from voting. What followed were ugly scenes, beamed across the globe, with heavy-handed police beatings dealt out to civilians in order to block off polling stations and remove ballot boxes.

Continue reading

Money talks, Neymar walks: The Crazy World of Football Transfers

By Pete Dawson

The Brazilian football Neymar has been transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a world record fee of £200m (€222m).  It has also been reported that he will earn £782,000 (€865,000) a week.  The five year deal will mean PSG will have shelled out close to £400m.  These are extraordinary sums of money – even for football.

Image result for neymar

Continue reading

GE2017 and Inequality in Higher Education

By Dr Oana Borcan

As parties tour the country parading their shiny manifestos and skilfully dodging the tough questions from the press, much confusion ensues over the problem of inequality in higher education and how best to address it. On the one hand, Labour and others criticised the Tories for the hike in tuition fees over the past years and for scrapping the £3500 non-repayable maintenance grants for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in August 2016. The implication, as critics suggested, would be that disadvantaged students would be laden with the largest debts, potentially deterring university entry in this group and deepening income inequality. On the other hand, we see the Conservative government raving about the current record number of disadvantaged students in higher education and warning that a Brexit in the hands of other parties will ruin this progress. In defending their policies, the Tories seem to focus more on absolute numbers and Labour, Lib-Dems, Greens and UKIP more on the relative performance of disadvantaged students; In this blog I will (1) go over the numbers and (2) the proposals and, finally (3) discuss the evidence relating to the effectiveness of proposed policies. While I focus here on policies related to the equality of opportunity in higher education, other proposed education policies can be analysed in a similar way.

Continue reading