Should the informal sector be regulated?

The informal sector plays a very important role in economic development in both complex and simple economies alike. Informality embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and it is the way people ensure their livelihoods even when excluded from the informal sector (Allen). Development literature puts most emphasis on the establishment of democratic capitalism as the only path to economic development in low and middle-income countries. This research largely ignores the fact that some rich countries with high HDI still have a large informal sector that fuels the economy; such as it is the case of Italy (with 33%) and Sweden (15%) of their economic activity coming from the informal sector. … More Should the informal sector be regulated?

Closing the gender pay gap: the importance of not confusing ‘support’ with ‘permission’

The struggle for gender equality is over 100 years old. While many victories have been won in the public policy realm, the biggest battle to the success of this initiative remains in the domestic setting. This is due primarily because many men are supportive of gender equality in theory but very few understand what it means. … More Closing the gender pay gap: the importance of not confusing ‘support’ with ‘permission’

The HE Green Paper: (Don’t) Read it and Weep – Part 1: The TEF & Social Mobility

Britain’s Conservative government recently released its much-awaited (or much-dreaded) ‘green paper’ on higher education (HE), a consultation document that sets out broad ideas for the sector’s future. Masochistically, I have read this document – so you don’t have to. This first post describes and evaluates the centrepiece of the green paper, the Teaching Excellence Framework … More The HE Green Paper: (Don’t) Read it and Weep – Part 1: The TEF & Social Mobility

Inequality and the poverty of atomistic reductionism

The essence of this critique of the market lies in insisting on the structural relations that hold among individuals. The classic conception of the market sees individuals atomistically and therefore maintains that an individual’s holding can be justified by looking only at that individual. This was the original appeal of the libertarian picture: that the validity of an agreement could be established by establishing A’s willingness, B’s willingness, and the fact that they are entitled to trade what they are trading. Justification could be carried out purely locally. But this is not the case … More Inequality and the poverty of atomistic reductionism

At what level does the culture of entitlement becomes morally wrong?

The term ‘entitlement’ is often used in political discourse to refer to welfare and social net ‘handouts’ that create debate among liberals, realists, socialists and postructuralists alike. These debates focus around the issue of fairness considering that some people work ‘harder’ than others. However, I would like to dissect this term from the definition that … More At what level does the culture of entitlement becomes morally wrong?