What is Social Ontology and why should Economists care?

Literally, social ontology is the study of social nature and it concerns itself with “how existents exist”1. It is the study of the social realm which includes the “domain of all phenomena, existents, properties”2 whose existence depends upon humans and their interactions. To paraphrase Little “almost all human action is social: socially oriented, socially embedded or socially Read more about What is Social Ontology and why should Economists care?[…]

Why has wage inequality risen?

Wage inequality has increased in many economies in recent decades. Discuss the three leading hypotheses regarding the causes of this increase. What does the empirical evidence tell us about the quantitative importance of each of these factors? The US economy has almost double since the 1970s, and labour productivity has risen over this period. Yet real wages for Read more about Why has wage inequality risen?[…]

Did small scale firms inhibit Victorian Growth?

Britain’s manufacturing firms have been accused of remaining family-run and small scale in the period 1850-1914, so ignoring the benefits of the large corporation evident in the USA. Discuss whether this represents a form of entrepreneurial failure by the owners of British firms. Chandler identifies that corporation’s in America are vertically and horizontally integrated, invested Read more about Did small scale firms inhibit Victorian Growth?[…]

Was there a Victorian Failure in Manufacturing?

Comparisons of Britain’s labour productivity in manufacturing with that of other industrialised countries, such as the USA and Germany, from 1850-1914 suggest no dramatic decline in this sector during the period. However, labour productivity performance at the whole economy level was poor in comparison to other countries. (a) How can this be explained (b) Does Read more about Was there a Victorian Failure in Manufacturing?[…]

Standards of Living during the Industrial Revolution

The debate about living standards in the Industrial Revolution has recently focused on anthropometric measures, such as height and mortality, and linked these to the ability to work more intensively. Describe how these factors may be related. Discuss what the anthropometric evidence reveals about living standards in this period. Anthropometric measures add a new light Read more about Standards of Living during the Industrial Revolution[…]

What is economic development?

‘What is economic development and how would you measure it? Does an increase in per capita national income always constitute an increase in the standard of living?’ Economic development is hard to define, but is an improvement in the living conditions of the population as a whole. Whilst closely linked with economic growth – high Read more about What is economic development?[…]

Unemployment during the Inter-War period

The 1919-20 reduction in working hours accompanied by the maintenance of the weekly wage has been argued to underlie the rapid rise in unemployment in Britain in the early 1920s and some of the persistence of unemployment through to 1939. To what extent can these aspects of interwar unemployment be attributed to this supply-side change? Read more about Unemployment during the Inter-War period[…]

A letter to my children

In Cambridge we have the weird tradition of a parenting system, where 2nd years can get college children: it’s basically a buddy system to help freshers integrate into Cambridge life. Below is info for Girton Economists, but most should apply for Cambridge Economists. Dear Kids, Hi, my name is Rhys and I’m your college father. Read more about A letter to my children[…]

Technological Revolution

Explain the debate between Allen and Mokyr on the role of institutions and resources in explaining the Industrial Revolution in Britain Mokyr believed that the Industrial Revolution was greatly aided by the technological changes which came about through an increase in scientific knowledge from what he termed the Industrial Enlightenment. This enlightenment came about through Read more about Technological Revolution[…]