In The News

Sidney Leng February 13, 2020
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in China has climbed to more than 60,000 cases with more than 1,300 dead. Chinese authorities early on took steps to curtail crowds, resulting in an economic slowdown and “firms faced with tough decision whether to reduce staff levels and wages to be able to survive,” reports Sidney Leng for the South China Morning Post. Restaurants, hotels, retail stores...
Carlos Amato February 1, 2020
Wage inequality thrives on secrecy. Members of society have some insights: some positions pay minimum wage, teacher and government salaries are public information, and annual reports disclose CEO salaries and benefits. It’s no coincidence that Norway, Sweden and Finland are societies with greater equality and “every taxpayer’s annual income and tax payments are transparent,” explains Carlos Amato...
Fiona Weber-Steinhaus and Kazi Riasat Alve December 19, 2019
Workplace schedules establish cultural patterns for nations, and governments often must step in to end grueling routines. For example, in the United States, Congress mandated an eight-hour workday in 1916 and the five-day workweek emerged a decade later. A pattern has emerged in the world’s most populous developing nations with low labor costs: Parents leave rural communities for work in...
Murray Hunter December 10, 2019
Malaysia relies on a broad mix of foreign workers. The nation’s median age approaches 30, the fertility rate dips below replacement levels, and foreign workers often do the work that many citizens reject, from cleaning to construction and warehouse work. Unofficial estimates suggest as many as 6 million foreign workers represent more than 18 percent of Malaysia’s population and up to 40 percent...
Josephine Cumbo and Robin Wigglesworth November 26, 2019
Since the financial crisis in 2008, many central banks have implemented easier monetary policies and other tools to stimulate economic growth. Due to those efforts, the interest rates have dropped in many countries, in turn reducing investment gains and swelling debt of pension funds. In some extreme cases, such as Sweden and Switzerland, the central bank policy rate falls below zero, or negative...
Tim Harford November 23, 2019
As many as 2.5 billion people worldwide need but do not have eyeglasses. The Vision Council of America suggests that 75 percent of adults need eyeglasses to read, drive and work. Glasses, often taken for granted in developed nations, support worker productivity and safety. Yet millions worldwide lack access to eyewear. “And many of those people may have no idea glasses could help them,” explains...
Kazuaki Nagata November 9, 2019
Companies could save money by trying a four-day workweek, sharpening employee focus while providing more time for home life. Microsoft tested a four-day workweek for one month in Japan and discovered that productivity increased among sales staff by 40 percent. The experiment did not reduce pay, and every Friday in August was a paid holiday. Management also asked workers to communicate more over...