14 June 2021: Consultancy project on the Determinants of corporate cash holdings in South Africa
Dr Hanna Szymborska is currently involved in a research consultancy project for the South African National Treasury and the United Nations on the topic of “Determinants of corporate cash holdings in South Africa”. The consultancy research project was finalised in April 2021 with a deliverable of a working paper by the end of June 2021. The project is a collaboration between BCU, University of Hertfordshire and the South African National Treasury, and is financed by the United Nations. Using a unique firm dataset, the research will examine the extent of cash holdings among non-financial companies in South Africa, analyse the likely contributing factors, and propose how the large amount of cash accumulated by firms can be channelled to support corporate investment to aid South Africa’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The deliverable will feed directly into future policies of the South African National Treasury.
26 May 2021: New CAFÉ Working Paper 14 - Downside Systematic Risk in Pakistani Stock Market: Role of Corporate Governance, Financial Liberalization and Investor Sentiment
Dr Muhammad Akbar and co-authors uploaded a new CAFÉ Workign Paper on the Downside Systematic Risk in Pakistani Stock Market. They study the impact of corporate governance, investor sentiment and financial liberalization on downside systematic risk and the interplay of socio-political turbulence on this relationship through static and dynamic panel estimation models. Using a sample of 230 publicly listed non-financial firms from Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) over the period 2008-2018 the find the following: They document that corporate governance mechanism reduces the downside risk, whereas, investor sentiment and financial liberalization increase the investors’ exposure toward downside risk. Particularly, the results provide some new insights that the socio-political turbulence as a moderator weakens the impact of corporate governance and strengthens the effect of investor sentiment and financial liberalization on downside risk. Consistent with prior studies, the analysis of sub-samples reveal some statistical variations in large and small-size sampled firms. Theoretically, the findings mainly support agency theory, noise trader theory and the Keynesians hypothesis.
25 May 2021: New CAFÉ Working Paper 13 – Unpaid overtime, Measuring its Contribution to the UK Industries
Dr Eleni Papagiannaki and co-authors uploaded a new CAFÉ Working Paper on unpaid overtime in Britain. They measure the contribution of unpaid overtime in relation to UK industries economic output (Gross Value Added-GVA) for the period 2002-2012, using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS-Blue Book), capturing the different patterns before and after the 2007-8 crisis. Measuring unpaid overtime’s contribution and the other parts of working day has important implication on labour’s remuneration. The paper adopts an output-based approach evaluation of unpaid labour. A decomposed working day is therefore examined by employing statistical regression methods (Pooled OLS, LASSO and FGLS) to account for unpaid overtime’s contribution to the UK industries’ output (GVA). The results display a strong link between unpaid overtime and GVA, and particularly its post-crisis contribution to GVA is significant in contrast to the weak pre-crisis relationship.
7 April 2021: Presentation on The Economic Cost of Vaccine Nationalism
Dr Erez Yerushalmi is a guest lecturer in the University of Malaya and will present his research on COVID-19 and the Cost of Vaccine Nationalism. The presentation is online, 7 May 2021, 9am BST and all are welcome (follow the zoom link). Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/4225923924
Erez and co-authors develop a multi-country computable general equilibrium model to quantify the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines. We find that an unequal allocation of COVID-19 vaccines could cost the global economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP terms. Even if some countries manage to immunise their populations against the virus, if the virus is not under control in all regions of the world, there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19 (Link to the working paper)
2 - 16 April, 2020: Mini-Series presentation in Sichuan University
Dr Erez Yerushalmi, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Director of CAFÉ presented a series of presentations in Sichuan University, College of Economics. In this Mini-Series, Erez presented his research on health economic topics that link with Appiled Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling. Erez started with a presentation of the capalities of CGE modelling and how they are calibrated to real-life data. He then presented his research on quantifying the economic cost of Vaccine Nationalism, Nocturia (i.e., night-time bathroom visits), Imputing the Social Value of Public Healthcare and his new research on the Benefits of Telemedicine (report and academic working paper being drafted).
5 April 2021: A warm welcome to our new PhD student in CAFE
We would like to warmly welcome Sean Farmelo, our new CAFÉ PhD student. Scott Lichtenstein, Elena Papagiannaki and Erez Yerushalmi (CAFÉ members ) have won a 3-year grant of nearly £60K funded PhD in Sustainable value creation: A case study approach to mutualistic-local ownership organisational models. It is a multi-disciplinary PhD into organisational forms that are co-operative or ‘mutualistic’ in nature whereby the means of production are owned by its employees or community. This PhD is part of the CAFÉ research clusters of Economics of Distribution and Community. Sean Farmelo has started his PhD in February 2021. Sean is a co-operative activist in Birmingham.
1 April 2021: New CAFE Working Paper on Patterns of Growth in Structuralist Models: The Role of Political Economy
Dr Danilo Spinola and co-authors contributed another CAFE Working Paper 12 on the growth and distribution in developing countries that reflect distinct political economy regimes. Danilo's paper shows that different regimes lead to a rise to different institutional frameworks that affect macroeconomic outcomes. Three cases are discussed: (1) a pure developmentalist state, (2) conflicting claims between workers and the government, and (3) financialization under a neoliberal coalition. The equilibrium growth rate is defined, following the Keynesian tradition in open economy growth model, by the Balance-of-Payments constraint (Thirlwall, 1979). The model produces a variety of outcomes that help explain the contradictory results reported in the empirical literature associated with different constellations of power and institutions.
1 March 2021: New journal publication on implementing circular economy in the textile and clothing industry
Congratulation so Krish Saha and Eleni Papagiannaki on their new publication in Business Strategy and the Environment. This new paper discusses the circular economy (CE), challenges and opportunities of implementing CE and interventions that could facilitate effective implementation of CE in the textile and clothing (TC) industry. The study uses a survey method within 114 TC companies based in Bangladesh, Vietnam and India revealing the correlation of CE fields of action (take, make, distribute, use and recover) with sustainability (economic, environmental and social) performance. The lack of financial, technological and human resources along with management's reluctance and end-user's indifference to sustainability is the biggest challenge for CE implementation.
10 February 2021: New Journal Publication
Congratulations to Dr Danilo Spinola on his publication in Metroeconomica. The paper investigates the causes of volatility that affect middle‐income countries by studying the La Marca model. Drawing from the open‐economy Goodwin tradition, the model demonstrates that economic activity, income distribution and accumulation of foreign assets dynamically interact, resulting in a pattern of dampened cycles.
8 February 2021: New CAFE Working Paper
Dr Muhammad Sanusi, Senior Lecturer in Finance, contributed a new CAFE working paper 11 on Action Research to reassess the effectiveness of a blended learning approach in postgraduate business education using unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model. Findings suggest that students’ engagement is determined by positive learning experience without any bias to the traditional or blended learning approach. One key factor on performance is the student's age while their gender has no effect.
4 Februrary 2021: New article published in the Conversation on Space and Mars
Stefania Paladini, Reader in Economics and Global Security, published a very interesting piece in The Conversation. The article discusses how Mars became the prize for the new space race and why China is hellbent on winning it. The piece is accompanied by a podcast.
28 January 2021: New journal article published on Leadership Self-perceptions and Motivation to Lead in early adulthood: The moderating role of Gender and Socio-Economic Status
Congratulations to Prof. Alexandros Psychogios and co-authors on their new publications in Leadership & Organization Development Journal. Their paper draws on the social-cognitive and motivational literature of leadership, and examines the influence of young adults' self-perceptions of leadership on their leadership self-efficacy (LSE) and motivation to lead (MTL) in their future career. They further examine gender and socio-economic status (SES) as important moderators of the proposed relationships.
20 January 2021: Two new CAFE Working Paper online
Dr Danilo Spinola contributed two new interesting CAFE working papers (WP). We welcome all to read and encourage you to provide Danilo with useful feedback. WP9: R&D-based Economic Growth in a Supermultiplier Model, and WP10: Supply and demand in Kaldorian growth models: a proposal for dynamic adjustment.
4 January 2021: Welcome to a new colleague
We are excited to announce that Dr Danilo Spinola has joined CAFE as a new member and as a Senior Lecturer in Economics. Danilo specialises in economic development with a focus on Innovation, Structural Change and Economic Complexity. He furthermore studies alternative economic theories in the Post-Keynesian and Evolutionary traditions.
7 December 2020: We are sad to say goodbye to Nassim
CAFÉ is really sad to say goodbye to Prof Nassim Belbaly who is leaving BCU as Head of the Business School. Nassim has been very supportive in CAFE's establishment. He has been a fantastic colleague and CAFÉ member. We wish him good luck in his future.
27 November, 2020: New journal article published on the global economic benefits of physical activity
Dr Erez Yerushalmi (Director of CAFE) and Dr Marco Hafner (Associate CAFE Member) published a new paper in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that estimates the global benefit of a more physically active population. This is one of our outputs from a funded project in CAFÉ. See The economic implications of physical inactivity for more details.
Our method: We focused on excess mortality and lower productivity. We used a large survey of 120,143 individuals in the UK and six other Asian countries and a multivariable regression models to estimate workplace productivity. We furthermore associate physical activity and mortality risk through a meta-regression analysis of 74 prior studies. These estimates were then introduced into our regional dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model.
Our findings: We find that doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity would lead to an increase in global GDP of 0.16%-0.23% per year by 2050, worth up to US $314-$446 billion per year. The results vary by country due to differences in baseline levels of physical activity and GDP per capita.
6 November 2020: CAFE members launch the UK's first Islamic Finance Undergraduate degree
Shaista Mukadam and CAFÉ member, Dr Wahabalbari Ahmed, developed a new Islamic Finance undergraduate course – the first in the UK. Students will develop an understanding of corporate social responsibility in modules exploring how businesses are taking greater responsibility in helping to move towards a cleaner and more sustainable planet. Sharia-compliant finance differs from conventional banking in key ways, the most notable being a prohibition on charging interest and investing in ethically compliant companies. Islamic finance uses tools to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and growth based on profit, loss and risk-sharing while achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals and ensuring ethical and sustainable processes in business and finance.
The course covers both conventional financial accounting and economics modules and Islamic Finance so that students can appreciate their differences, and research and implement Islamic Finance in the real world. See further details in Linkedin using #bcuislamicfinance.
October 20, 2020: New book publication Neuroscience for Leaders
Congratulations to Prof Alexandros Psychogios with his second edition book: Neuroscience for Leaders (2nd ed.) (Direct link to book) This second edition captures the most up-to-date and important findings in neuroscience and links these to the business world, offering a framework that puts principles into practice to make better decisions, take the right actions and find faster solutions. A comprehensive approach to leading people and organizations based on academic research.
The authors' 'Brain Adaptive Leadership' approach offers a step-by-step guide to enhancing the way leaders think, understanding and nurturing emotions, shaping automated brain responses and developing dynamic relationships. Examples, activities and practical suggestions are all designed to be clear and engaging. Neuroscience for Leaders is the essential guide for leaders who are ready to gain the business advantage scientifically.
October 13, 2020: New journal publication on Implementing Circular Economy (CE) in the Textile and Clothing Industry
Congratulations to Dr Eleni Papagiannaki and Dr Krish Saha on their new (forthcoming) publication in Business Strategy and the Environment. Their research focuses on the circular economy (CE), challenges and opportunities of implementing CE and interventions that could facilitate effective implementation of circular economy in the textile and clothing industry. The study uses multi-country survey method. They find that to implement CE successfully, firms require a collaborative effort from the industry, host governments, buyers and end users. (Links to the paper will be provided soon.)
7 October 2020: New CAFÉ Working Paper that quantifies the macroeconomic cost of Nocturia (night-time bathroom visits)
Dr Erez Yerushalmi (Senior Lecturer in Economics) and Dr Marco Hafner (associate CAFÉ member) provided a new CAFÉ working paper. There are many individual factors associated with inadequate sleep (e.g. bad sleep hygiene, chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea), frequently having to wake up at night to urinate fragments sleep, with negative consequences on an individual’s health and well-being as well as daytime functioning.
Using a large-scale UK workforce data, they estimate the prevalence of nocturia in the working population and quantify the lost worker productivity caused by nocturia, measured by absenteeism and presenteeism. This enters a multi-country general equilibrium model, which they calibrate to the UK economy, to estimate the annual macroeconomic cost of nocturia. The study finds the annual cost of clinically significant nocturia (waking up at least twice to urinate) is around £5.4 billion, or equivalently £1996 per worker with nocturia. This cost estimate is larger than previous estimates on the productivity effects of nocturia using cost-of-illness (COI) methods, suggesting the importance of taking into account general equilibrium effects when assessing the economic burden of health conditions.
3 October 2020: Presentation at the well-known Essen Health Conference
Dr Erez Yerushalmi is presenting his new CAFÉ working paper in the 11th Essen Health Conference. His study (with Sani Ziv) imputes the social value of public health care, which does not have a market and therefore cannot be monetized.
2 October 2020: New journal publication on audit reporting
Congratulations to Dr Mohamed Elmahoub and his co-authors on their new publication in the Journal of Business and Ethics. Their study investigates whether audit partner gender is associated with the extent of auditor disclosure and the communication style regarding risks of material misstatements that are classified as key audit matters (KAMs). Using a sample of UK firms during the 2013–2017 period, their results suggest that female audit partners are more likely than male audit partners to disclose more KAMs with more details after controlling for both client and audit firm attributes. Furthermore, female audit partners are found to use a less optimistic tone and provide less readable audit reports, compared to their male counterparts, suggesting that behavioural variances between female and male audit partners may have significant implications on their writing style. This study offers new insights on the role of audit partner gender in extended audit reporting.
1 October 2020: New CAFÉ Working Paper on the intangible value of public healthcare
Dr Erez Yerushalmi, Senior Lecturer in Economics, contributed to a new CAFÉ working paper. His study (with Sani Ziv) imputes the social value of public health care, which does not have a market and therefore cannot be monetized.
Similar to contingent valuation methods that use hypothetical markets, they incorporate a hypothetical health care market into a general equilibrium model. Social value is modeled as a byproduct of health care services and enters a well-being household function. The model is calibrated to their unique Health Social Accounting Matrix of Israel. Using a Monte-Carlo method, they impute the minimum social value at around 26% of public health care financing. They furthermore simulate health care scenarios that internalize the social value to show that when assessing the best type, policymakers should weigh the economic gains of deregulation against the lost social value. They show that well-being may decrease in some cases from over-privatization.
28 September 2020: CAFE Working Paper
14 September 2020: New CAFÉ Working Paper that rethinks inequality in the the 21st century
Dr Hanna Szymborska, Senior Lecturer in Economics, contributed to a new CAFÉ working paper. Her study examines the relationship between household balance sheet complexity and inequality, integrating microeconomic insights into household asset and debt accumulation with macroeconomic processes of financial liberalization in the US economy. Based on simulations of a large-scale macroeconomic model, the paper finds that the proposed conceptualisation of household financial positions and macroeconomic variables replicates the empirically observed patterns of wealth and income inequality; and that homeownership has an equalising effect on wealth distribution between household. The findings of the paper advance our understanding of how to design better theoretical models to analyse the economy and inform appropriate policy responses to reduce inequality.
11 September 2020: New book published on supply chain management in African agriculture
Congratulations to Abdul-Razak Alhassan and his co-author on their new book publication published by palgrave macmillan: 'Supply Chain Management in African Agriculture. Innovative Approaches to Commodity Value Chains'.
The book examines supply and value chains in African agriculture, providing a unique and cutting edge thorough analysis of existing and practical business models for future development. Africa is a net importer of food, despite its vast agriculture potential. The book explores commodity value chain structures; commodity clusters, arenas, linkages and business models; systematic constraints within commodity value chains; and value chain profiling in practice among others to promote strategies to empower the continent to gain self-sufficiency.
The book provides an insight into empowering the industry to meet the challenges, thus, the innovative approaches incorporated within the book are ideal to enable policy makers, practitioners and academics in the transformation of the African agriculture sector at large and serve as an instrument for poverty eradication.
The book is available on Amazon, Springer and Palgrave and you can purchase the complete book or by chapters.
13 August 2020: New publication that analyses the Brexit vote in the West Midlands
David Hearne recently published a new and interesting paper in Regional Studies, Regional Science that uses spatial econometric analysis of the Brexit vote. Recent years have seen an explosion in votes for populist parties, often running contrary to what is seen as voters’ economic interests. David uses a novel data set of the west midlands region, which has a very detailed level of information. He finds that there is substantial spatial autocorrelation, even after controlling for demographic factors. The proportion of the population employed in manufacturing (often taken as a proxy for regional economic decline, particularly in skilled ‘blue collar’ work) is a statistically significant predictor of an area’s pro-Brexit vote. Whilst focussing on a particular region, the rise in populism globally gives these results a broader salience.
8 July 2020: Covid-19 Commentary
Dr Hanna Szymborska, Senior Lecturer in Economics, has published a well-articulated commentary for The Conversation on the economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the piece, she argues why COVID-19 is not the root cause of the deepest economic crisis in a century, and reflects on how different approaches to economic thinking will shape the type of recovery our societies will face.
7 July 2020: A presentation on blockchain and public administration
Dr Stefania Paladini, Reader in Economics & Global Security, presents her work on ‘Blockchain and its use in the public administration and public utilities’ at the workshop ‘Innovation intermediaries and emerging digital technologies: policy and practice’ co-organised by CIMR, Birkbeck and the University of Florence. This is part of her on-going research on Blockchain with Dr Erez Yerushalmi and others.
1 July 2020: We are sad to say goodbye to Diya
CAFÉ is really sad to say goodbye to Dr Diya Lulla who is leaving BCU’s Finance and Economic Teams. She has been a fantastic colleague and CAFÉ member. We wish her good luck in her new role.
6 July 2020: Covid-19 and a Basic Income in the UK
The current COVID-19 pandemic has brutally exposed the shortcomings of a flexible labour market combined with a limited welfare safety net in the UK. Centre for Brexit Studies Academics Professor Alex de Ruyter and David Hearne (also our CAFÉ member) have published their ongoing research into the concept of a Basic Income in the UK. The report, titled ‘Covid-19 and a Basic Income in the UK: Making it Work’, makes the case for the adoption of a Basic Income in the UK.
Identifying the potential for wealth taxes as addressing any funding shortfall, the Academics discussed in their recent webinar about their research why a limited Basic Income fails to address the fundamental problem of the current system. As the UK struggles to cope with the pandemic and calls to re-open the economy gather pace, the team have analysed in their research whether a Basic Income could become an accepted part of the political landscape.
11 May 2020: CAFE researcher joins the COVID-19 expert database
Senior Lecturer in Economics Dr Hanna Szymborska has joined the COVID-19 expert database coordinated by the UK Parliament and the government. As part of the database, She provided expert advice to the Parliament about the short, medium and long-term concerns and issues relating to COVID-19 and its impacts on the economy and society.
Dr Szymborska has highlighted the need for the Parliament to scrutinise the government’s policy responses to the crisis to ensure that the measures taken are effective in supporting of the most financially vulnerable members of society (including low-paid workers, workers on insecure contracts, carers, women, BAME individuals, and the young). She has emphasised that both the macroeconomic policy responses (such as the fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing) and the more target measures (including the employee furlough and business lending) that had been adopted by the government carry implications for inequality in the short run and in the long term.
She has argued that a boost in government spending is likely to provide a more direct financial support to vulnerable workers and thereby mitigate inequality, while quantitative easing is more likely to contribute to higher inequality by increasing prices of financial assets, the ownership of which is concentrated among the richest members of society. Dr Szymborska continues to provide expert insight about the equity implications of the government’s exit strategy from the lockdown, as she sees inequality as a major factor that is likely to make the imminent economic crisis more long-lasting and severe by dampening demand levels in the economy.
5 May 2020: New publication that analyses the effects of Nocturia on productivity using General Equilibrium Modelling
Senior Lecturer in Economics Dr Erez Yerushalmi has published a new paper in the Journal of Medical Economics that assess the burden of nocturia in the workplace, i.e., a condition whereby individuals wake up to urinate at least two times per night. This bothersome symptom negatively affects individuals’ health and productivity. A workplace survey of 92,129 individuals was conducted. The analysis finds that nocturia impairs work productivity by around 4% due to absenteeism and presenteeism.
15 April 2020: International Webinar: To Panic or…to Panic? Allow your Brain Guide you on how to Embrace Crisis and Lead People
Prof. Alexandros Psychogios delivered a highly successful webinar on Leadership & Covid19 Crisis. Prof. Psychogios argued that as any other large-scale crisis, the COVID-19 one is characterised by enormous levels of uncertainty due to overload of information that generates complexity. This complexity in turn can enhance fear and of course panic at both individual and collective level. However, beyond your personal, family and social safety that is a priority, there is another threat in the air.
People management is under threat. Our ability to lead people for various projects and processes through this crisis is very important. Our actions as leaders will highly affect the level of the outcome. In this respect, this webinar explored questions like: Where can we find the strength to lead our people? How Neuroscience can help us understand what to do? How can we boost our brain capability to guide others? Prof. Psychogios by drawing on brain science and leadership practices, informed and explained to professionals, managers and informal leaders on how to adjust with crisis and use brain approaches to lead people through it.
22 January: New journal publication on the link between wackiness and event spaces
Dr Lucia Aquilino has recently published a new paper in Event Management. This paper considers the ways in which wackiness is central to event spaces within the town of Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. Based on a social constructivist approach, this work sheds light on aspects of the concept development, planning and organisation of events within a particular locale. It shows how wackiness is an important element of the event management development in the town and a key part of wider rural tourism development.
20 January 2020: New publication that explores Corporate Governance and Firm Performance in Pakistan: dynamic panel estimation
Congratulations to Senior Lecturer in Finance Dr Muhammad Akbar and co-authors on their new paper in ABASYN Journal of Social Sciences. Their research analyzes the association between corporate governance and firm performance. Using a dynamic penal estimation, they quantify the impact of CEO duality on board characteristics and its relationship with firm performance. Findings are based on a sample of 191 listed non-financial firms over the period 2004-2014.
They show that corporate governance plays a pivotal role in determining financial performance of firms operating in Pakistan, and that there are statistical variations among the sampled firms (large and small size). Furthermore, CEO duality compromises the efficiency of board independence, and that there are non-linear relationship of managerial ownership with performance.
30 November 2019: New book analyses Sustainable Economy and Emerging Market
Dr Stefania Paladini co-edited the book Sustainable Economy and Emerging Market published by Routledge. This edited volume provides a snapshot of the different dimensions of sustainability and analyses how they interact and configure themselves, case by case, in selected emerging economies. The parameters of economic growth in developing economies are explored in the context of systems, climate change, and environmental challenges.
21 November 2019: New publication on a Malaria Vaccine for children using General Equilibrium Modelling
Senior Lecturer in Economics Dr Erez Yerushalmi and co-authors have published a new paper in Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice that estimates the benefits of a new experimental malaria vaccine for children. The paper uses a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) calibrated to Ghana. They find that a vaccine for children would raise GDP growth by 0.5% per year, even though children are not yet in the labour market.
1 September 2019: Dr Hanna Szymborska joins BCU and CAFÉ
CAFÉ welcomes Dr Hanna Szymborska, Senior Lecturer in Economics as a new member of the Economics Team at BCU and a new member in CAFÉ. Hanna focuses on economics of inequality and financialisation, gender and racial inequality, among other social-economic topics. She was previously a lecturer of economics in the Open University and holds a PhD from University of Leeds.