Friday, 24 March 2017

European Union - 60 years treaty of Rome- check out these free resources

The EU has been celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
The Treaty of Rome, yis an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

 to mark the occasion it has also been discussing its future.
It also has a special commemorative page where tyou can view EU60 in 60 seconds.

Eurlex - the official EU legal site has a special feature on the Rome Treaty . It includes the full text plus explanations and glossaries of terms.
The EU bookshop has a new publication called the Europe Story with interesting facts and figres which you can download. It also has a selction of free books on European Union history.

 AEI Archive of European Integration
 is a great  electronic repository and archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification which has been created by the University of Pittsburgh and provides free aces to thousands of historic documents, reprts and journal articles covering all aspects of history
CVCE √† l’Universit√© du Luxembourg has historic materials in French . It has a good section on historic events.

The Historical Archives of the EU are administered by the European University Institute of Florence. Get access to their catalogues and study guides from the website

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What is the link between house prices and schools?

Do houses close to the best performing schools cost more?

Yes according to research released this week by the Department of Education.
According to the report 'The average home in England cost £233,000 in July 2016. If the average home were in an area close to one of the 10% best performing schools, this is holding other factors constant, £15,800 higher when close to one of the bestperforming secondary schools and £18,600higher near the best performing primary schools'

This reiterates earlier reports.

in 2016 Lloyds Bank research found that the parents they surveyed were prepared to pay £53,000 to live near a 'top school'.

In 2015 the Telegraph published a map prepared by Savills which showed where the top schools were causing house prices to rise.

from the LSE Centre for Economic Performance. These are summarised with links on this blog posting.

Sources of House Price data

The UK Land Registry publishes official UK data UK House Price Index

Price Paid dataset

Nationwide House price Index - from leading mortgage supplier.

Halifax House Price Index

Free access to reports on residential property markets from Savills

IMF Global House Price index and housing prices research

Remember those who cannot afford a home

Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just released the annual 2017 Homeless Monitor for the UK which shows an increase over the last few years.

On a world wide scale consult data from UN Habitat. The most recent World Cities report records a decline in affordable housing and a rise in slum dwellers.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Where are the world's happiest countries? Research happiness using our free resources

International Day of Happiness is celebrated on the 20th March
the theme for 2017 was

aiming to encourage children to make the world a happier more peaceful place.

Where are the world's happiest places?
World Happiness Report 2017, ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels. It found that Norway is the happiest nation. Download the data and consult the methodology on the website.

How can you measure happiness?
The OECD has discussed methodology (in terms of OECD nations) in a number of its reports.
this includes the very interesting
How Was Life? Global Well-being since 1820 - which covers 25 nations.

Other well known measures include:
  Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research's works on Gross National Happiness. relates to public agendas in Bhutan 

World Database of Happiness research from Rotterdam University has a bibliography and searchable database of more articles and reports on all aspects of the topic of Happiness

Thursday, 16 March 2017

National insurance and tax reform- get some academic facts

This week the chancellor Philip Hammond made a statement regarding the cancellation of changes to National insurance payments for the self employed which were announced in the budget 2017.

The UK government website has basic facts on National Insurance system and its categories.
Taxaid charity has basic understandable guides for citizens.

on 10th March 2017. Fact checking organisation fullfact examined economic cliams about the impact of changes to the NI rates

Why was the change necessary? what was the reaction to the original budget?
See comment on the original NI changes from a number of newspapers and pre4sure groups

Federation of Small Businesses
Institute of Directors

Research on UK tax reform.

Adam Smith (Free Market think tank)