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Fundamentals of Happiness

An Economic Perspective

Lall Ramrattan and Michael Szenberg

Examining the fundamental thinking underpinning the foundation for economic studies of happiness, this book explores the theories of key economists and philosophers from the Greek philosophers to more modern schools of thought. Lall Ramrattan and Michael Szenberg explore the general measures of happiness, utility as a method, metrical measures of happiness, happiness in literature and the scope of happiness in this concise book.
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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

Whether you want to be successful in life or want to beat the next pandemic, the key recipe will be the five Ps: prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. COVID-19 reminded us that a virus cannot be stopped by border measures. Thus, Earth needs to prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. We know that the next pandemic is coming, and that the frequency of pandemics is increasing. That is why the five Ps are vital.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

The best description of the 'present' that I came across durng the COVID-19 pandemic is that of 'data fog'. Reality is always difficult to guage, but during the early phase of the Corona crisis this was especially difficult. We learned the hard way that the only certainty during a pandemic is uncertainty. Since the virus is new, its characteristics - in particular the speed by which it spreads and its severity and mortality - are unknown (and while we are on a steep learning curve much remains unclear). Therefore, epidemiological modelling is an art rather than a science, and that is true even though its approach is scientific, evidence-based and contains a lot of mathematics.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

For decades scientists all around the world have steadily predicted that a new pandemic with significant loss of life would occur within a generation. The case is clear. Pandemics have been with us a long time. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, already discusses the bubonic plage and the 'Cough of Perinthus' in the fifth century BC.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

It is important that we start to think about the future. Not about the immediate future and the fallout and hardship that the COVID-19 crisis will bring, but the future starts after humanity has found a way to cope with the Corona virus, We need to think about the world post-COVID-19, because we cannot afford to react in the same manner as we we did to COVID-19. And we need to start thinking now.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

It is probably true that the COVID-19 pandemic should not be seen as a Black Swan in view of of the evidence discussed in the previous chapter. Academics, policy analysts and policymakers all around the world had recognized the substantial (and increasing) risk of pandemics. Preparations - although still far from sufficient - were underway. Economists understood the risk and knew what to do.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

Discussing the Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDs, SARS and Ebola against the background of Covid-19, Pandemic Economics demonstrates how scientists consistently warned the world about pandemics, and how, despite this, the possibility of global lockdown caused unprecedented economic policies and ruin. The book prepares for the next pandemic, that unquestionably will arrive, the impact of which is predicted to potentially exceed that of the current Covid-19 wreckage.
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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

With hindsight the latter part of the post Second World War period probably has been an exceptional blessed period in which mankind has not been confronted with significant global disasters. World Wars were avoided, the major economic crisis (the Great Recession) did not develop into a full-blown depression and natural disasters, by and large, remained local in nature (although their frequency increased due to Global Warming). Future generations will undoubtedly observe that the generations that grew up since the 195s healthwise were extremely lucky. Lucky makes lazy and is a discentive to invest in risk reduction.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk