EconDialog

Situated between research and society, the EconDialog department works along 4 axes: knowledge sharing, the creation of instruments to help non-specialists understand current developments, public debates, and training. It operates via expertise provided to organisations and public bodies, lectures and forthcoming digital animation films.
Its review « Economic Dialogues », brings tools to understand economic mechanisms offering knowledge as a common good accessible to everyone. It is in partnership with the UCL review Regards économiques.
  • Economic dialogues

Blowing the whistle : a new European agreement

In April 2019, at the insistence of the civil society, the European Parliament enacted a new agreement for better protection of whistle-blowers. This is potentially good news not only for human rights but also in the fight against corruption. This proposal is bound to take the EU a step closer in its fight against corruption and push the member states to move in a similar direction.
August 01st 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Entrepreneurial motivations impact business performance

Microcredits help microenterprises get started. They are an innovative way to address financial exclusion and unemployment. But business performance is closely linked to entrepreneurial motivation. Renaud Bourlès and Anastasia Cozarenco show that businesses started by « necessity » are less likely to make profits than those that are the result of « opportunity ». So differentiating between entrepreneurial motivations is a challenge for public policies.
Reference: R. Bourlès, A. Cozarenco, Entrepreneurial motivation and business performance: evidence from a French Microfinance Institution, 2017.
July 19th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Whistle-blowing is not just necessary, it’s also measurable

Whistle-blowing has been the subject of far-reaching discussions regarding its justification and its legal support. Although there is a range of laws protecting those who blow the whistle, especially in the G20 countries, whistle-blowers are still at risk. Enhancing their protection seems to be a challenge. Examining the issue, political philosophers Manohar Kumar and Daniele Santoro call for better protection backed up by a set of assessments. They reopen the debate through a three-part series of articles.
Reference: A justification of whistleblowing, Manohar Kumar, Daniele Santoro, Philosophy and Social Criticism, 2017.
July 15th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Of rice and folly in Cambodia: from Angkor to Democratic Kampuchea

From the Angkor Empire to Democratic Kampuchea, Cambodia has been in turn a land of plenty and of poverty, a prosperous and then battered country. Connecting these two stories, historian Ben Kiernan draws a line: Cambodia has always been a master in the art of rice-growing. Since the glacial era, climatic conditions have shaped a fertile land, home to both the Khmer civilisation and modern Democratic Kampuchea.
Reference: Interview of Ben Kiernan, professor of History at Yale University
July 03rd 2019
  • Economic dialogues

PORTFOLIO - Between permanency and change: Cambodia and its culture

Econdialog interviewed Ben Kiernan, professor of History at Yale University, about Cambodian history. He explains how its natural resources are a key to understanding the glory of the Angkor Empire. Cambodia was a land of plenty.
July 03rd 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Addressing inequalities through the social ladder

Going beyond the battle against income inequalities, some look to equal opportunities as a way of offering everyone the same chances and enabling deprived people to escape the poverty trap. Social mobility gives everyone the chance to move upwards. Economists Cowell and Flachaire present a mobility index to add to the existing inequality measures.
Reference: Measuring mobility, F. A. Cowell and E. Flachaire, Quantitative Economics
June 19th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Do mothers always bring happiness?

When is a mother « the mother of all evils »? According to the book « the origin of happiness », written by A. Clark, S. Flèche, R. Layard, N. Powdthavee et G. Ward, a child’s happiness relies on the mother’s mental health. Misery crosses generations and the consequences last into adulthood. To address this issue, the authors call for more attention to mental well-being and recommend preventing depression from an early age.
Reference: Clark, A E, S Flèche, R Layard, N Powdthavee and G Ward, The Origins of Happiness, Princeton University Press.
June 05th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Economy holds the keys to happiness

While depression continues to grow in developed countries, a new paradigm is emerging: not wealth-creation, but the creation of well-being. Isn’t that every government’s main goal? Meeting this objective means investigating what determines fulfilment. In “The Origins of Happiness” Andrew Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee and George Ward conclude that mental health makes us happier than money.
Reference: "The Origins of Happiness” A. Clark, S. Fleche, R. Layard, N. Powdthavee and G. Ward
May 08th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

Violence in Africa: multinationals take some of the blame

Multinationals don’t find it easy to trace the origin of minerals produced in conflict-prone areas, but firms are held liable for human and social damage. In a recent scientific article, Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner and Mathias Thoenig show that the violence induced by variations in mineral prices is associated mainly with foreign-owned firms. For some time now, companies, NGOs and States have been implementing transparency measures. The authors examine their impact on the regions’ stability.
Reference: N. Berman, M. Couttenier, D. Rohner, et M. Thoenig, American Economic Review 2017
April 26th 2019
  • Economic dialogues

How the commodity boom encourages violence in Africa

The rise in mineral prices often has bloody consequences for Africa. This was the conclusion of Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner, and Mathias Thoenig in a recent pan-African survey. The 2000s commodity boom accounted for up to one-fourth of the conflicts across African countries over the 2000-2009 period. Worse still, local battles escalate into regional ones because mines make rebellions financially feasible, spreading conflicts across space and time.
Reference: N. Berman, M. Couttenier, D. Rohner, et M. Thoenig, American Economic Review 2017
April 24th 2019