Archive for the ‘Social policy’ Category

It’s World Kindness Day – so try to be kind today … and always

November 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

World Kindness Day is observed internationally on 13 November each year. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs. It is observed in many countries including Britain. It is very easy to be cynical about such events, but the world really needs more kindness and sometimes as […]

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Good work matters – so we should measure it

September 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Measuring good work matters. The UK has an excellent record of strong job creation, with each record low unemployment statistics celebrated in the national media. But why do we not have any similar measures for understanding quality of work and how we can make work better? Today the Carnegie UK Trust-RSA Measuring Job Quality Working […]

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Who benefits when improvements in life expectancy grind to a halt?

August 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, the Office for National Statistics said the UK has experienced one of the largest slowdowns in life expectancy growth among 20 of the world’s leading economies. It confirmed earlier figures that show that, since 2010, Britons’ life expectancy has stopped increasing, with the change most pronounced in women. There is major debate going […]

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Our universities need to start teaching economics differently

August 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“Despite the pressure on universities to feed the financial industry with young, focused minds, there are efforts under way to broaden the outlook of economics graduates. The Core project was adopted by 13 UK universities last September and has won £3.7m from the Economic and Social Research Council. It is an improvement, albeit an incremental […]

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Would a universal basic income really work?

December 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

We need some new, big and bold, ideas to tackle poverty and inequality.  I have done an earlier posting about the intriguing idea of a universal basic income.  I don’t know if this approach would work but I think we should try it. There is a trial in Canada; there is a trial in Finland; […]

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My congratulations to Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

October 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

US economist Richard Thaler, one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, has won this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics. Professor Thaler, of Chicago Booth business school, co-wrote the global best seller “Nudge”, which looked at how people make choices. To mark the award, I reproduce below my review of his seminal book. ************************************************************** “Nudge” […]

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How close are we to stopping Alzheimer’s?

July 31st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the question posed at the head of a very short six-part feature currently on the BBC’s website here. I was particularly interested in the section on the special role of sleep which states: “New research by Professor Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Copenhagen suggests that regular, good quality sleep throughout life may powerfully […]

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Would a universal basic income actually work?

March 6th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Rutger Bregman is a Dutch economist who is causing a stir with his book “Utopia For Realists – And How We Can Get There” which is published in English this week. He has an article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper in which he summarises his case that “Poverty is not a lack of character. Poverty is […]

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How the world’s population is becoming heavier and heavier

October 10th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“In 2010, 11.5% of adults, or 565 million people, were obese. By 2014, that had already risen to 13% (670 million) … if the trajectory does not change, 17% of adults will be obese by 2025. There will be 170 million adults with a BMI above 35, which is the threshold for urgent medical treatment, such […]

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Why is opinion polling becoming harder and less reliable?

July 27th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

All the pollsters failed to forecast accurately the result of the British General Election in May 2015. We are still awaiting the outcome of an inquiry by the British Polling Council to determine what went wrong and how it can be fixed. Most of my work as a consumer advocate involves working  with regulators and […]

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