Migration from the European Union is a pretty controversial issue in Britain. Particularly in politics: the strength of the anti-EU UK Independence Party and the anxiety it causes for the two major parties is thought to be linked to public antipathy towards the high-levels of migration that followed the accession of eight eastern european countries to the EU in 2004 (EUA8).

Others have pointed out that perhaps something else is going on. The British public tend to overestimate the proportion of the country who are migrants and have been in favour of lower levels of migration for the past 50 years, even when the country was experiencing net emigration. So perhaps migration is just a vehicle for other concerns.

So I thought I would look at the relationship between the number of migrants in an area and public opinion about migration. Read more

 

Ordinarily, nominal gross domestic product grows faster than real GDP, but the deflation that followed Japan’s lost decade reversed this and led to both a fall in private consumption and a rise in the country’s public debt.

 

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In the aftermath of the financial crisis most major developed economies embarked on a programme of austerity, with mixed success. Ireland stands out — it has managed to reduce its deficit from 29 per cent of GDp to 4 per cent.

 

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That might be changing. The British government and a few others including Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia and Paraguay are working towards opening up the information about public procurement through an ‘open contracting data standard’.

The first version is launched today and sets out a technical standard for the data and documents that ought to be published at each stage of the contracting process, from the invitation to tender through to completion. Read more

 

At least 10 million people around the world are not recognised as nationals by any country, many are members of minority ethnic groups who have been denied citizenship by the countries in which they live.

 

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Yesterday the first ever man made object landed on a comet. The robot Philae travelled 6.4bn kilometres before touching down on the surface of comet 67P. So far in human history the moon has been the most popular destination for trips off planet with six manned landings.

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