CAGE Advantage MagazineWednesday 24 Apr 2019
Welcome to the Spring 2019 issue of Advantage.
The magazine of the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy.
Our research, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) addresses issues related to improving living standards, raising productivity, maintaining global competitiveness and facilitating economic well-being.
In this issue, Chris Anderson looks at the diverging opinions of Leavers and Remainers about our economy and compares this state of affairs with the US after Trump’s election. He explores the ideas of whether this really makes a difference? Do voters change their economic behaviour after a vote? And is their economic behaviour politically motivated?
Conversely, Mark Harrison looks at another superpower, the former Soviet Union, on the eve of the Second World War, and talks about his latest publication: The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 7: The Soviet Economy and the Approach of War, 1937–1939 (co-written by R. W. Davies, Mark Harrison, Oleg Khlevniuk, and S. G. Wheatcroft). In it, he shows how official statistics exaggerated the growth of the economy and the population, and concealed how low productivity and living standards persisted.
Back in the UK, in his article on bus travel, Michael Waterson tells us how the increased cost in bus fares is leading to fewer people using these crucial public services. These declining numbers and deteriorating local government subsidies is leading to passengers increasingly having to shoulder the operating costs. From here, we move to the online world. Specifically social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and politicians’ have used it to micro-target voters. Looking mainly at the US, Michela Redoano shows how Facebook ads have been successfully used in elections to inform and ultimately persuade voters. So, can we trust governments? Specifically can we trust them to spend revenues they receive in ways that improve the welfare of their citizens? And do they spend tax revenues and non-tax revenues in different ways? Lucie Gadenne answers these questions and more in her article starting on page 19.
Lastly, we also publish an article by Ashok Manandhar, who was the winner of our 2019 essay writing competition. His article, a summary of Morgan Kelly and Cormac Ó Gráda’s working paper, shows how, using a variety of novel data sources, the authors piece together a picture of working class migration to Paris, and the changes wrought by the expansion of the railways.
We hope you find this issue enjoyable and informative!
Established in January 2010, the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) is a research centre in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick
The Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy produces a wide range of publications which are available to download from the Centre’s website.