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Posts Tagged ‘economic performance’

Helping Europe tackle undeclared work

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Undeclared work, or what is sometimes called the ‘cash-in-hand’, ‘informal’ or ‘off-the-books’ economy, is a growing problem and governments throughout the European Union have been looking at what can be done about it. Until now national governments have had few opportunities to systematically share information with each other on what works and what does not.

Professor Colin Williams was asked by the Eurofoundation based in Dublin to evaluate what could be done to facilitate a joined-up approach towards this issue and his research highlighted the need for a ‘knowledge bank’ to share good practice. As a first step an on-line ‘knowledge bank’ was created, which evaluated the effectiveness of policy measures in five countries and a synthesis report was produced calling for a more coordinated approach.

The European Parliament then took up this issue, citing his work in a 2008 Resolution to step up the fight to combat undeclared work. The Resolution recommended the development of a more extensive knowledge bank of best practice policy measures as well as investigating creating a European platform to join up the fight against undeclared work. An EU body called Eurofound – the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions – asked Professor Williams to expand the knowledge bank to 31 European countries and he was awarded the European Commission contract to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a European platform for tackling undeclared work.

As a result, national governments now have a ‘learning hub’ to identify a whole range of possible innovative policy measures from other countries for tackling undeclared work as well as access to evaluations of their effectiveness. The European Commission is now discussing a concrete proposal for a European-wide institution for tackling undeclared work.

For more information, please see: labourmarket/tackling/search.php

Management School academics awarded best paper and best presentation in Sofia

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams were awarded both the best paper and best presentation award at a conference on the subject of Economic Resilience, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development that they attended in Sofia in June.

The conference was the 5th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development, held in Sofia, Bulgaria. More details about the conference can be found here.

The title of the paper was “Economic Resilience and Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the Sheffield City Region” and focused on investigating how entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking in individuals and in organisations can affect an economy’s resilience, even in challenging economic times.

Resilience is an emerging concept within the social sciences, which has been employed to examine economic performance and responsiveness to shocks such as the 2007 financial crisis. The concept of resilience has been applied to examine individual and organizational resilience as well as studying the performance of regional, local and city economies. Drawing on evidence from a case study of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Dr Vorley’s and Dr Williams’ paper contributes to the emergent literature by considering the link between entrepreneurship and economic resilience.

Entrepreneurship has come to be viewed as integral to sustaining a dynamic and diverse economy, by stimulating competition, driving innovation, creating employment and increasing productivity. As such entrepreneurship is being fore fronted in policy debates as an important aspect in creating more resilient economies and also providing an engine for economic growth.

Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams

Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams accept their awards in Sofia.