adelina gschwandtnerby Adelina Gschwandtner, University of Kent, and Richard McManus, Canterbury Christ Church University. Discussion paper KDPE 1807, May 2018.

Non-technical summary:

The pay of university vice-chancellors (VC) in the UK has caused a strong debate in the press recently leading to some VCs having to resign.

Academics protest that at a difficult time for UK academia caused by the insecurity faced in the outset of Brexit, the gap between VC and staff pay is increasing. Students claim that at a time when tuition fees are increasing and they are accumulating high levels of debt the increase in VC's pay is unacceptable. Remuneration committees of universities however, argue that the increase is justified giving the VCs outstanding performance, especially during these turbulent times.

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nizar allouch 120x120by Nizar Allouch, University of Kent, and Maia King, University of Oxford. Discussion paper KDPE 1806, May 2018.

Non-technical summary:

Voluntary contributions account for the provision of many public goods, ranging from essential infrastructure, education, to health care, while at the aggregate level charitable giving represents a significant proportion of GDP in many countries. The seminal contribution of Bergstrom, Blume, and Varian (1986), built on an earlier striking result by Warr (1981), provides a rigorous investigation of the standard model of private provision of pure public goods.

Recent work on public goods in networks, initiated by the key paper of Bramoullé and Kranton (2007), has many interesting facets and applications. The technology of network analysis allows us to generalise from the provision of pure public goods, which benefit all agents, to a more detailed model of local public goods with a heterogeneous benefit structure shaped by a network.

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keynes collegeby Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, University of Essex, CEPR, CESifo and IZA; Andrey Launov, University of Kent, CESifo and IZA; and Jean-Marc Robin, Sciences Po and UCL. Discussion paper KDPE 1805, March 2018.

Non-technical summary:

In this paper we investigate the recent fall in unemployment, and the rise in part-time work, labour market participation, inequality and welfare in Germany. Unemployment fell because the Hartz IV reform induced a large fraction of the long-term unemployed to deregister as jobseekers and appear as non-participants. Yet, labour force participation increased because many unregistered-unemployed workers ended up accepting low-paid part-time work that was offered in quantity in absence of a universal minimum wage.

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iain fraser 120x120A food and consumers research forum was held at the University of Kent on Friday 6th April, the same day in which the UK's so called "sugar tax" came into effect. The event was organised by Professor Iain Fraser (Economics), Professor Ben Lowe (KBS) and Dr Diogo Souza-Monteiro (Newcastle University). Around 30 people registered for the event and speakers came from all over the UK and Europe. We were delighted that Professor Klaus Grunert (Aarhus University, Denmark) could join us to deliver his keynote speech on "Consumer food quality perception and food choice: The rise of credence qualities and the role of labelling information". Professor Grunert is a world leader in the area of food marketing and consumer behaviour and the talk focused on marketers' use of credence attributes such as healthfulness, sustainability and authenticity in positioning new food products.

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miguel leon ledesma 120x120A paper by Professor Miguel León-Ledesma on ‘Population structure and asset values’ has received the 2017 International Centre for Pension Management Award.

The paper, co-authored with Kate Rybczynski, Lori Curtis, Stephen Bonnar (University of Waterloo), Jaideep Oberoi (University of Kent), and Mark Zhou (CMHC), analyses the effect of changes in the age structure of population on the prize of risky and non-risky assets. Its results are important for the management of pension systems, as it helps forecasting future returns in countries where the age structure is rapidly changing towards a larger weight of pension-age population.

The prize, endowed with 10,000 CAD, will be used to fund further research in the area by the team. The paper also received the Best Paper Award 2018 by the International Conference of Actuaries 2018.

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