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Cass Business School research highlights 2018

A look back at some of the most influential research projects emanating from Cass in 2018

Cass report recommends 'active ageing' environment

Published in January, The Dependency Trap: are we fit enough to face the future?’, by Professor Les Mayhew of Cass Business School, argued that the UK Government should support an ‘active ageing’ environment, which would improve health and economic activity among those aged over 50.

A focus on improving economic activity in the lengthening run-up to retirement would raise lifetime earnings and saving levels, as well as providing the tax revenues needed to fund state benefits. For this to happen the report showed that there must be improvements in health and work capability.

The report also recommended introducing particular pension and savings measures for women. As men earn – on average - 80 per cent more than women over a lifetime, this has a knock-on effect on their respective pension prospects.

Life expectancy significantly worse in deprived areas

Professor Les Mayhew again made headlines in March as the lead researcher on the paper Inequalities matter, which detailed the link between lower life expectancy and deprived communities.

The paper highlighted that while life expectancy is increasing overall and the life expectancies of men and women are converging, any improvements are slower paced in more deprived areas, with the net gap between rich and poor slowly worsening over time.

The research confirmed that deprivation in England is heavily skewed towards urban areas, with the top five districts of deprivation in Northern England – Middlesbrough, Knowsley on Merseyside, Kingston-upon-Hull, Liverpool and Manchester. By contrast in London, only Tower Hamlets, Haringey and Hackney fall into the top 50 deprived districts.

Investment Trust managers outperform Unit Trust counterparts

In June, research from Cass Business School made the first direct comparison between the performance of Investment Trusts and those of Unit Trusts – making the first “apples to apples” comparison of their alpha generating record.

Cass researchers, Professor Andrew Clare and Dr Simon Hayley, took into account a whole range of issues that could have potentially distorted the picture but still found that the performance difference between the funds managed within an Investment Trust and that of a comparable Unit Trust averaged around 0.8% per annum over any one year.

The groundbreaking research was presented for the first time at the Future of Investment Trusts conference on June 14th at The Ned in London.

The Ownership Dividend urges a more productive and inclusive economy

Supported by the academic expertise of Professor Ajay Bhalla and Dr Aneesh Banerjee of Cass Business School,  and Professor Joseph Lampel from Alliance Manchester Business School, The Ownership Dividend report recommended that employee ownership is essential to the benefit of the economy.

The panel of the Ownership Effect Inquiry, comprised of 20 leading business organisations, conducted a year-long independent review and heard evidence from 100 employee-owned businesses and advisers at national hearings across the UK.

Its findings concluded more employee-owned businesses would improve UK productivity, enhance the resilience of regional economies  and motivate more engaged employees through transparent and effective models of corporate governance.

Hard work could be harming you and your career

A study by Cass's Dr Hans Frankort and Dr Argyro Avgoustaki, Assistant Professor of Management at ESCP Europe, found that employees who apply too much effort at work generally feel worse and also feel held back in their careers.

The research project studied data from 51,895 employees from across 36 European countries, looking at the relation of work effort to stress, fatigue, and job satisfaction, as well as to career prospects, job security, and recognition.

The research paper, ‘Implications of work effort and discretion for employee well-being and career-related outcomes: an integrative assessment suggests that one way workers can relieve some of the pressure is by having greater freedom to make more autonomous choices regarding how and when they complete their tasks, also known as ‘discretion’.

The secret to being more likeable on first dates

People wanting to make a good impression on dates or in job interviews should concentrate on communicating the hard work and effort behind their success, rather than emphasising their talent.

This was the central tenet of Dr Janina Steinmetz's research paper Impression (Mis) Management When Communicating Success.

Dr Steinmetz said it was clear from her research that communicating success and talent in job interviews or on dates is important but it is equally important to tell the story of the hard work and effort behind it to create a warmer, positive and more likeable first impression.

Breastfed babies earn more and score higher in memory tests as adults

A research study from Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with University College Dublin, University College London and Cass Business School, found babies who were breastfed went on to have a higher household income and scored higher on memory tests in adulthood, in comparison to babies who were not.

The study examined the potential economic benefit associated with breastfeeding by tracking a nationally representative sample of babies born in England, Wales and Scotland in 1958.

Cass's Dr Rosalba Radice said the research was made possible by advances in statistical methodologies which allowed for modelling and quantification of the long term societal benefits of breastfeeding.

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