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  • Author or Editor: Mark Lee x
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For some the association of credit unions with tackling financial exclusion has been seen as a source of growth while others argue that it threatens their sustainability. This paper argues for an approach in which the future credit union development in the UK is confined neither to tackling financial exclusion nor to an effort to attract a diversified membership. Rather, it proposes an approach based on progressive universalism in which unions offer services open to all while focusing additional help on those sidelined by mainstream financial services. This is illustrated with examples from Wales to show how credit unions can overcome the tension between tackling financial exclusion and achieving sustainability.

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The Cambridge Hundred Rolls Source Volume

One of the most important manuscripts surviving from thirteenth-century England, the corpus of documents known as the Hundred Rolls for Cambridge have been incomplete until the recent discovery of an additional roll.

This invaluable volume replaces the previous inaccurate transcription by the record commission of 1818 and provides new translations and additional appendices.

Shedding new light on important facets of business activity in thirteenth-century Cambridge, this volume makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of the early phases of capitalism.

This unique text will be of interest to anyone working in the fields of economic and business history, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and medieval studies.

A research monograph based on recently discovered historical documents, Compassionate Capitalism: Business and Community in Medieval England, by Casson et al, is also now available from Bristol University Press.

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Business and Community in Medieval England

It may seem like a recent trend, but businesses have been practising compassionate capitalism for nearly a thousand years.

Based on the newly discovered historical documents on Cambridge’s sophisticated urban property market during the Commercial Revolution in the thirteenth century, this book explores how successful entrepreneurs employed the wealth they had accumulated to the benefit of the community.

Cutting across disciplines, from economic and business history to entrepreneurship, philanthropy and medieval studies, this outstanding volume presents an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the early phases of capitalism.

A companion book, The Cambridge Hundred Rolls Sources Volume, replacing the previous incomplete and inaccurate transcription by the Record Commission of 1818, is also available from Bristol University Press.

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Highly educated parents hold high educational expectations for their children, which influence children’s motivation and achievement in school. However, it is unclear whether grandparents’ (G1) education influences parents’ (G2) expectations for children (G3) independently of, or in interaction with, parents’ own education. We address this question using data from 477 families in the US Youth Development Study, which has followed a cohort of young people from adolescence through adulthood. Using mixed models to account for shared characteristics of children in the same family, our results demonstrate both main and interaction effects. First, they indicate that grandparents influence parents’ expectations for their children directly. Grandparents’ income and the educational expectations they held for their G2 children when they were in high school predict the G2 parents’ expectations for their own children, even after controlling G2 college attendance. G1 college attendance does not directly affect G2 expectations for G3 after accounting for other relevant family characteristics. However, G1 college attendance moderates the effect of G2 college attendance on their expectations for G3. If G1 did not attend college, G2 college attendance does not significantly heighten their expectations for G3. But G2 college attendance does significantly boost their expectations for G3 if G1 also attended college. We partially replicate these findings using nationally representative data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – Child and Young Adult cohort. This study highlights the need to expand the scope of status attainment research beyond the parent–child dyad to examine the influence of prior generations.

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Tackling health inequalities is a policy priority for the Labour government in the UK. We use Kingdon’s model of ‘policy streams’ to explain how the issue of health inequalities gets onto the policy agenda nationally and locally, and how it is being implemented. Using empirical evidence from local agencies, we suggest that the issue of health inequalities is on the agenda nationally and locally but implementation is hampered by deficiencies in performance management, insufficient integration between policy sectors, and contradictions between health inequalities and other policy imperatives. Thus, the government’s expectations are not only dashed locally, but also local expectations are being dashed at the centre.

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New Labour has emphasised a collaborative discourse (Clarence and Painter, 1998; Huxham, 2000; Ling, 2000). This, they argue, represents a Third Way, “a new model for a new century” which is distinctive from both the hierarchy of Old Labour and the market of the Conservatives (DoH, 1997, p 11; DoH 1999, p 8; Powell, 1999). Partnership is the zeitgeist of the Labour government and one of the essential features of the ‘third way’ (Hudson, 1999). Documents in a number of fields stress notions of partnership, interagency working, coordination and a seamless service (for example, DoH, 1997, 1998a, 1998b, 1998d, 1999, 2000; DETR, 2000).

However, Challis et al (1988, p x) point out that partnership is a word in search of ways of giving it effective meaning in practice. In government circulars and ministerial policy pronouncements, it is largely a rhetorical invocation of a vague ideal. Ling (2000, p 82) claims that the partnership literature amounts to “methodological anarchy and definitional chaos”. No government appears to have the alchemist’s stone to transform base words into golden partnerships. Local partnerships fit well with governance, which has a central characteristic of game playing (Rhodes, 1997). However, although local agencies must work in ‘partnership’, measures of the extent of and mechanisms to achieve partnership are not fully clear. In other words, local stakeholders are told that they must play the game of partnership without being fully informed of the rules.

In this paper we aim to deduce from both the conceptual literature and from government rhetoric some of the rules of the game, and then illustrate their application with empirical data.

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Chapter 8 outlines five key findings from the book: the importance of property transactions, the significance of urban topography, the importance of the family, the importance of charitable giving to institutions and the significance of the regional and national context.

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Chapter 7 connects the book to work on the subsequent history of Cambridge, including that on the development of the University. It considers the extent to which trends identified in the Hundred Rolls continued into the fourteenth century. Cambridge adjusted to the decline in its agricultural trade after the Black Death by developing its service sector, linked to university education. The role of family dynasties remained significant, but the period was characterised by the growth of three key institutions – the borough corporation, the guilds, and the colleges. College property holdings increased, driven by increasing student numbers, and the colleges gradually obtained rights to the meadows adjoining the river to the west of the town. The foundation of King’s College transformed the street plan in the west of Cambridge, obliterating many ancient streets and buildings, but providing new economic opportunities to supply the academic community.

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Chapter 3 analyses the economic topography of the town, building on the results presented in Chapter 2. It investigates how far occupations were specialised in different part of the town. It constructs profiles of all the Cambridge parishes, showing how many properties were located in each, how much rent those properties paid, to whom they paid it, who held the properties, and in some cases their occupation too. It is also possible to chart the spatial distribution of occupational names. Because of the missing roll, it is possible for the first time to provide a definitive account of all the parishes. This corrects a bias in previous topographical accounts, which have over-emphasised the north and west of the town at the expense of the south and east.

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This chapter considers what factors contributed to the survival and success of the leading families, and to the decline of others. It identifies the crucial role of entrepreneurs in founding and sustaining the fortunes of leading families. A key finding of the chapter is the distinction between old aristocratic wealth and new mercantile wealth. Some older families fell into debt and lost their property portfolios. Others redistributed income within the family or undertook strategic marriages, and thus obtained a new lease of life.

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