Tag Archives: Social Science Research

Internet use in Britain

The latest report in a series of Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) that cover the changing landscape of Internet access, use and attitudes in Britain has been launched.

The OxIS 2007 Report includes headline findings on:

  • Internet users in Britain are moving to high speed connections: 85% use a broadband connection for home access.
  • People think the Internet is more reliable than newspapers, but only Internet users think it is just as reliable as television. Those who do not use the Internet trust television more.
  • 17% of Internet users currently maintain an online social networking profile.
  • One third (35%) of student users have met someone online, and 13% have met a person offline who they first met online.
  • Ex-users are most likely to have stopped Internet use due to a lack of interest and access, whereas non-users give ‘lack of skill’ as the main reason for not being online.
  • 72% of Internet users believe that ‘the Internet can be addictive’.
  • 93% of all internet users send emails and as many as 60% use instant messaging.

Intute: Social Sciences features more web resources on the issue of internet use.

Too many UK companies fail to see the point of history

ESRC logoUS companies take their corporate history far more seriously than most of their UK counterparts, according to a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). American companies are more likely to draw attention to official published histories on their websites, more likely to invest in historically orientated visitor attractions or museums, such as The World of Coca Cola in Atlanta, and more likely to publish official histories.

The research was carried out at Queen Mary, University of London and is based on a survey of 36 British companies in the 2004 Fortune Global 500 ranked by revenue, 46 US companies from the Global 500, plus the joint British and Dutch companies Unilever and Royal Dutch/Shell Group and companies including Microsoft (US), Bertelsmann (Germany) and News Corp. (Aus). Researchers analysed websites, annual reports, entries in directories and, for a smaller sample of companies, published company histories.

Find out more about this piece of research from the ESRC website and explore similar Internet resources via the Intute: Social Sciences sections on Economic History, Business History and the Intute: Arts and Humanities section on Economic History.

ESRC Society Today gets updated

ESRC logo

ESRC Society Today, the website of the Economic and Social Research Council has been updated with a revised look and feel, the development of audience specific channels depending on what type of user you are and improvements to the way in which registered users can personalise their own view of the website.

Users can set up alerts about specific ESRC research projects and for defined sets of search results, use the cross search facility which interrogates a number of key Social Science websites, including Intute and browse the Social Science repository, derived from their Awards and Outputs database.

Intute: Social Sciences features more ESRC related resources.

Understanding and responding to housing market change

Can public policy shape housing market outcomes to achieve wider social and economic goals or must it belatedly respond to mitigate some of the negative consequences of change?

Understanding and responding to housing market change is a new research summary from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that looks at the UK housing market. The paper:

  • summarises evidence, largely from studies funded by the JRF, on recent changes in the housing market in England at national, regional, local and neighbourhood levels
  • highlights key challenges for developing public policies, intervention programmes and reforms.

Search for more Internet resources on the topic of housing at Intute: Social Sciences

Smoking During Pregnancy: Giving Up By Month 5 Can Prevent Underweight Babies

Royal Economic Society logoIn the latest of a series of interviews from the Royal Economic Society Conference 2007, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to Emma Tominey about the effect of smoking during pregnancy.

Listen to the interview

[audio:http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/blog/wp-content/files/tominey128.mp3%5D

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy will have smaller babies. But much of the harm is due to unobservable traits of the mother. If mums stub it out by the time they are five months pregnant, the damage is as good as undone.

At the same time, the lasting harm to babies is greatest if the mothers have low education. So a much more holistic approach to improving child health in pregnancy is needed to help thousands of children break out of the poverty trap.

Read more about the research at the Economics in Action blog.

Read more papers by Emma Tominey at EconPapers and search for more Internet resources on the issue of Women and Economics at Intute: Social Sciences

The ‘Part-time Occupational Penalty’: Lower Quality Jobs For British Women Who Don’t Want To Work Full-time

Royal Economic Society logoIn the latest of a series of interviews from the Royal Economic Society Conference 2007, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to Victoria Prowse about the ‘Part-time Occupational Penalty’ for UK women.

Listen to the interview

[audio:http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/blog/wp-content/files/prowse128.mp3%5D

No matter what qualifications they have or how big their family is, British women face a substantial ‘occupational penalty’ if they work part-time. That is the central finding of new research by Victoria Prowse, presented to the Royal Economic Society’s 2007 annual conference at the University of Warwick.

Read more about this research at the Economics in Action blog.

Find more papers by Victoria Prowse at EconPapers and search for more Internet resources on the issues of women and employment and the labour force and market at Intute: Economics.

Underpaid Academics and the Damaging Consequences for the Quality of UK Higher Education

Royal Economics Society logoIn the latest of a series of interviews from the Royal Economic Society Conference 2007, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to James Walker about the pay of UK academics.

Listen to the interview

[audio:http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/blog/wp-content/files/walker128.mp3%5D

Academics are underpaid and overworked compared with other graduate professions – and this is likely to have consequences for the quality of UK degrees. That is the conclusion of new research by James Walker and colleagues, presented to the Royal Economic Society’s 2007 annual conference at the University of Warwick.

Read more about this research at the Economics in Action blog.

Find more Internet resources on the issue of the economics of education at Intute: Social Sciences.

Higher Divorce Risk Raises Women’s Working Hours

Royal Economic Society logoIn the latest of a series of interviews from the Royal Economic Society Conference 2007, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to Kerry Papps the effect of divorce on women and work.

Listen to the interview

[audio:http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/blog/wp-content/files/papps128.mp3%5D

Married women work more hours in the labour market when they face a high likelihood of divorce: for example, a woman who is unhappy with her marriage will work on average 283 hours more in the following year than a woman who is very happy with her marriage. In contrast, married men are unaffected by the probability of divorce.

These are among the findings of new research by Kerry Papps. The study also finds that both single men and single women work more when they have a high chance of marrying in the near future.

Read more about this research at the Economics in Action blog.

Find more papers by Kerry Papps at EconPapers and search for more Internet resources on the issues of women and economics and labour economics.

Opportunistic Monetary Policy: Why UK Interest Rates Are Often Constant For Long Periods And Why They Are Likely To Rise Soon

Royal Economic Society logoIn the fourth of a series of interviews from the Royal Economic Society annual conference 2007, Romesh Vaitilingam talks to Costas Milas about UK interest rates.

Listen to the interview

[audio:http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/blog/wp-content/files/milas128.mp3%5D

Monetary policy-makers do not make minor adjustments to interest rates when inflation is close to the inflation target – but they do respond vigorously when inflation begins to move further from the target. That is the central argument of new research by Professors Christopher Martin and Costas Milas, presented to the Royal Economic Society’s 2007 annual conference at the University of Warwick.

Read more about this research at the Economics in Action blog.

Find more papers by Christopher Martin and Costas Milas at EconPapers and search for more Internet resources on the topic of interest rates at Intute: Economics.

Digital information and the NHS

ESRC logo New research from the ESRC has highlighted the impact that digitizing information is having on patients, managers and staff in the NHS

A survey of 200 patients and their representatives, clinicians and other healthcare professionals (librarians and IT staff) from across eight NHS trusts, by Professor Ann Blandford and Professor Peter Lunt  found that attention is required on areas such as:

  • designing technologies to fit with established working practices at the individual and team level within the NHS
  • ensuring that the values of workers are not at odds with the new technologies; ensuring that users trust the technology;
  • ensuring that the new technologies do not undermine health service workers’ pride in their knowledge

This is the latest report from the ESRC E-Society Programme who have prepared a full briefing on the issue.

Search Intute: Social Sciences for more on health services.