Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Somme - a 1916 viewpoint

The centenary of the Battle of the Somme is this week.

On the first day of the battle alone 19, 240 British Soldiers alone were killed with twice the number injured
a number of vigils are being held

The British Legion has produced a Somme 100 toolkit which can be downloaded. It contains a selection of poems 

Look at the Imperial War Museum website for background histories, podcasts, images of materials (eg uniforms, artifacts) and case studies of individual

But what were contemporary accounts of the war like?
The recent British Library 20th Century Literature website has a digitised version of an editorial of Hydra, the magazine of Craiglockhart War Hospital from September 1917 in which Wilfred Owen vents his anger and frustration at the content of the daily newspapers. He refers to their 'jokes' 'Punch grinning at the 'Derby blokes'.
For examples of film reels showed in the cinema see the British Pathe news selection .
This includes a section from the famous Battle of the Somme film  which is referred to as 'British tommies@ in the trenches.
 I have also tried to explore this a little by examining some contemporary newspaper coverage in the Digital archive. Links given refer to LSE subscription database.

The Times 30th June 1916.
The main mention of the battle are in the article
entitled British activity increasing - from  the special correspondent on page 8. This notes  effective attacks- deep mud and flooded trenches. It has a sub-heading heading Twelve successful raids where it states  the initiative rests almost entirely with us.
Elsewhere the newspaper has on page 5 accounts of deliveries of potatoes from Holland which would mean the retail price falling to 2.5 d per lb
The dominance of war can be seen in some of the advertising. An ad for Burberry on page 4 features an officer in a raincoat.with the slogan safeguards health and comfort by ventilating naturally ' driving back 'poisonous exhalations' . It also promises officers' complete kits in 2-4 days.

Times 1st July
Page 8 refers to a determined British bombardment and presents an eye witness account from the special correspondent which refers to  a'terrible spectacle' but focuses upon desolation of ground and buildings not people It  does not mention  numbers of casualties. Instead it focuses upon feebleness of resistance from Germany and deserters from German trenches.

 Times 3rd July
an official account mentions the battle of the some under the heading forward in the West - a great attack, 9,500 prisoners . The tone is of victory casualties are not mentioned. However, on page 9 in a longer account of the battle. There is more temperance and reference to the war not being over in a day requiring a 'long sustained and probably costly pressure'

Craiglockhart War Hospitalfrom 1st September 1917.
While being treated for shell shock at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Wilfred Owen edited six issues of the hospital’s magazine, The Hydra, - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/wilfred-owens-draft-editorial-for-the-hydra-1-september-1917#sthash.WMEZUp3K.dpuf

Monday, 20 June 2016

World Refugee Day 20th June 2016- try our free academic resources

Today is World Refugee Day
the UNHCR has launched the #WithRefugees campaign to encourage worldwide solidarity

Why is this necessary?
According to the United Nations UNHCR the number there were 65.3 million people displaced persons in 2015. This compared to 59.5 million in 2014.
Get the full facts in the 2015 Global Trends report.

Refugee data sources
Try these sites for authoritative statistical resources on refugee numbers and trends.
The specialist UNHCR data site allows you to explore interagency data and reports on  specific areas of the world.
Global Migration Data Analysis Centre from the IOM seeks to provide coordinated transparent data on the wider issue of migration which also covers migrant workers.
The IOM also produces an annual World Migration report- which considers the impact, nature and extent of migration worldwide. The 2015 issue considered urbanization as a theme.
It also produced  with the Economist Intelligence Unit -The Migration Governance Index which considers which national migration policies enable  orderly, safe and well managed migration. This includes welcoming and integration of refugees and asylum seekers.

What Does the UN do?
The UN website provides access to resolutions, documents and project reports on the activities of the United Nations. These include the key resolution on the status of refugees

Refugees in Europe.
How many refugees have entered Europe?- see UNHCR data on the Mediterranean
How many have died  getting to the Greek Islands in 2015?- see IOM data
How many asylum applications have been made in individual European nations and how many have been successful see Eurostat data.
Also available EU bookshop publications and reports on all aspects of asylum and immigration. Includes European Commission publications

Refugees in UK
Official statistics from the Home Office on asylum applications
includes data tables.
see commentary on the statistics from the Refugee Council
and the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

Euro 2016- who will win? predictions from economics!

As the 2016 Euro progress - who will win?
Get some predictions from economists!
Goldman Sachs has some predictions (made on June 3rd) by econometricians. This states that that France has a 23% probability of winning the trophy, followed by Germany at 20%, Spain at 14%, and England at 11%. Consult the website to find out more.

See the World Football ELO ratings. maintained by Raoul S. da Silva Curiel based on the Elo rating system, developed by Dr. Arpad Elo.

Cup-o-nomics explores the relationship between football and behavioural economics.See the full report from ING. Find out who sectators think will win and what they would sacrifice for their team to reach the final!

LSE Professor of Managerial Economics and Strategy Ignacio Palacios-Huerta has examined the football penalty shoot-out using a branch of game theory called mixed strategy play. One finding from an analysis of 2,820 penalty kicks from games held between 1970 and 2008.in national and international competitions was that team shooting first wins 60 % of the time.

 Further research.
Try searching for working papers on the economics of football via:
 SSRN  elibrary

For subscription based economics databases try the LSE Library subject guide. It has a journals tab with a list. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Euro 2016 - what is it worth? an economics perspective!

As the Euros open. Here are some interesting articles and reports on their economics
In 2015 UEFA produced a document outlining social responsibility and sustainability it includes  expected revenues and attendance as well as policies on social responsibility .
The 2016 press guide has information on the costs of the stadiums and marketing  agreements as well as lots of other facts and figures about the tournament.
 See if the predictions are right!
A recent article from the Conversation discussed the revenue and prize money
To consider sponsorship and the tournament take a look at Campaign.
It is publishing
Leo Burnett's Brandtasy League table will rank the performance of both sponsors and non-sponsors during Euro 2016
Which are the most expensive teams? CIES Football observatory has reports on transfer values.According to Weekly Post 153 England players have the highest transfer values.
AAT has also calculated squad values and concludes that
five teams with the shortest odds on winning the tournament, Germany, Spain, Belgium, England and France have the most expensive squads

 Further research.
Try searching for working papers on the economics of football via:
 SSRN  elibrary

For subscription based economics databases try the LSE Library subject guide. It has a journals tab with a list.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Carers Week 2016 - why is it important?

This week is carers week 2016
Carers Uk estimates that 6.5 million people in the Uk are carers
Carers Uk annual state of Caring report published in May 2016 over 6,149 people shared their views and experiences on what life is like for carers in 2016. A key finding is that 20% of carers providing 50 hours or more support a week are receiving no support with their caring role. They also suffer negative impacts on finances and health and many have been negatively effected by recent changes to welfare assessments.
 Carers often find it very difficult to continue to work. CIPD has recently published a report on creating a enabling workplace culture
UK Government reports on supporting working carers. have also considered future policy challenges
IPPR reports in 2014 highlighted the increasing need for social care in an aging society and the potential this has for negative impact on families and other carers 

To find more references to related reports try searching
Social Care online which indexes articles and reports.
British Library Social Welfare portal (register for some full text access).
PSSRU research has reports and programmes 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Zika Virus - what is the threat? get the facts from our recommended academic resources

With fears that the spread of the Zika virus may threaten the 2016 Olympics. Get some facts from our recommended research resources.

What is the Zika virus?
Get some facts and information on symptoms from the WHO website fact sheets.
WHO public advice on the Olympics
For more medical research studies see the WHO/ PAHO database which lists studies. 
PLOS - access free full text medical and epidemiological articles
Elsevier Zika Resource Centre- free access to materials made available by the publisher includes articles from the Lancet
Search for further articles on PubMed

Which countries are effected?
 PAHO has a timeline and interactive maps of cases.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention maps
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control maps.

National government reports.