CELEBRATING A YEAR IN ECONOMICS
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS NEWSLETTER 2019
2019 A YEAR OF SUCCESS
This year has been one of achievement for the School of Economics. We have enjoyed many successes, from awards and research partnerships, to watching a new cohort of students don their gowns and graduate. It is appropriate then that this newsletter is a celebration, a celebration of the many individual and collective achievements of the School. If there is one award that sums up 2019, it would have to be “School of the Year” from the SU’s Transforming Education Awards. We were delighted to receive this award which recognises our collaboration with our students, our efforts to promote the ‘student voice’ and to enhance the quality of learning and teaching in the School. This award also recognised our involvement with external partners, both in supporting the improvement of our students’ employability and in addressing the gender imbalances in our discipline. Our research has taken our academics far and wide. Work on big data took a group of ECO academics to Tohoku University in Japan; Ghana is the subject of research for another colleague’s work on governance and transparency, and under the auspices of the UK Global Challenges Research fund, our economists developed research capacity in Columbia, working alongside natural scientists. Closer to home, our behavioural economists are now supporting Anglian Water in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, creating a behavioural change toolkit that will shift consumer behaviour. CELEBRATING SUCCESS . . . . . . . . . 6–9 NEW FACES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 MEET THE STRATEGIC ADVISORS . . . . 11 GETTING RECONNECTED . . . . . . . 12-13 TEACHING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-17 YOU HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL! . . . 18-19 EMPLOYABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20-23 EQUALITY IN THE FIELD . . . . . . . . 24-25 ECO ABROAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27 RESEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28-31 ECO EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33
As I write this, the academic year is not yet finished for our PGT students, but already we are setting the scene for the exciting new initiatives and challenges that lie ahead. Next year, we will be offering a new UG module on Programming and Data Analytics and preparing a new MSc in Applied Behavioural Economics and Data Science. We aim to widen the range of opportunities for our students on the Year in Placement and to increase the number of employer-led dissertation projects. Research wise, a research workshop: “Focal Point”; will be held in September to celebrate Bob Sugden’s contributions to the field in this area, and more broadly, we are looking ahead at a year where we will be working on our submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. Earlier this year, it was with great sadness that we lost a dear colleague and teacher, Odile Poulsen, who unexpectedly passed away. Odile joined the School of Economics in 2005 and taught macroeconomics and over time developed a keen research interest in behavioural economics. She was a vibrant and valued member of the ECO community and will be greatly missed. I would like to end my welcome to this newsletter with a feeling of an enormous privilege to be leading the only Department of Economics in the UK to be ranked “Top 10” for both Research Outputs and for Student Satisfaction.
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10 UK TOP
FOR ECONOMICS IN THE UK (Guardian University League Table 2020)
FOR RESEARCH OUTPUTS IN ECONOMICS (Research Excellence Framework, REF 2014)
FOR OVERALL STUDENT SATISFACTION IN ECONOMICS (National Student Survey, NSS 2019)
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UEA UK TOP
The Times / Sunday Times 2019 and Complete University Guide 2019
AWARDED TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework 2017-20
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019
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TRANSFORMING EDUCATION AWARDS
ECO GETS SCHOOL OF THE YEAR!
SCHOOL OF THE YEAR! NORWICH ECONOMIC PAPERS THE ZIGGURAT CHALLENGE PRIZES AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Each year UEA Studentsâ€™ Union holds the Transforming Education Awards, a series of prizes which celebrate the hard work of academics, support staff and student representatives at the University. Students are given the opportunity to nominate any member of staff for a Transforming Education Award. This year there were 16 different award categories, with over 450 nominations. We are delighted to have made the shortlist in four different categories! Third year Business Economics student Bradie Manning was shortlisted for the Convenor of the Year award for his commitment and hard work leading our Student Staff Liaison Committee and Dr James Watson was shortlisted for the Most Inspiring Teaching Award! Second year Economics student Maria McDonald won the Course Rep of the Year Award for her valuable contributions at our SSLC meetings, and we were very proud to win the award for School of the Year!
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NORWICH ECONOMIC PAPERS
THE POWER OF THE POSTER The Norwich Economic Papers (NEP) is our online student journal, and an invaluable resource for the School. In addition to publishing our students’ most innovative and insightful essays from various modules, it features staff spotlights and the winning entries from our annual student competitions. The NEP was created to recognise and showcase the outstanding work of our students and has a long history of publishing high quality studentauthored academic analysis. Now in its tenth year, the NEP is run by our students and with guidance from our academic editor, it strives to provide a platform to advertise excellence in all forms. In previous years we have organised essay competitions however this year we decided to adopt a poster competition format, representing an exciting opportunity for our students to apply their knowledge in an unconventional way. We encouraged entries on a wide range of topics, from the newly implemented data protection regulations to the behavioural economics behind the “Hypebeast” phenomenon! Posters were displayed at The Forum in Norwich, where we held an awards ceremony. This gave students the opportunity to engage with members of the public and discuss their work. First, Second and Third place prizes were allocated by year group, and a People’s Choice award was given to the student whose poster was voted the best by members of the public. Congratulations Ashini Shah for receiving the People’s Choice award. All posters can be viewed online in Volume 19 of the Norwich Economic Papers.
THE ZIGGURAT CHALLENGE
TEAMING UP WITH DEV ON THE FIELD! The Ziggurat Challenge is a recreational programme of sporting events open to all students, alumni and staff at UEA. It is run by UEA’s Sportspark and a dedicated team of student volunteers. The programme is designed to promote enjoyable participation in the spirit of sporting competition, as well as to encourage friendly competition (and rivalry!) between Schools. Students and staff compete for their School of study, and points are scored by winning at different sports and for numbers of spectators who turn up to events. This year, the School of Economics paired up with the School of International Development to form Team ECO/DEV! As in previous years, the Ziggurat Challenge involved a huge range of different sporting events, including a fun run, tag rugby, swimming and tug of war! Team ECO/DEV performed admirably, achieving a respectable third place overall. We are looking forward to competing again next year, and hopefully finally toppling BIO from first place!
GRADUATE SCHOOL STUDENT PRIZE
ECO-COMMUNITY MINDED Paul Gorny, 4th year PhD Student, was awarded the PeerNominated Award for Outstanding Contribution to the PGR Community. Besides being a valuable member of the community here in the School of Economics and providing informal support for his fellow PGRs, Paul was also the founder of the ECO PGR Reading Group. This group has proven invaluable for our students, giving them all an opportunity to learn about other areas of the discipline and to use their shared expertise to help colleagues. The jury was further impressed by Paul’s contributions beyond ECO, as Paul has also devoted time and energy to arranging and delivering Matlab courses on a voluntary basis, for other PGR students across the Faculty.
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JOSEPH B GITTLER AWARD
DEFENDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF ECONOMICS Professor Bob Sugden has been awarded the 2019 Joseph B Gittler Award for his book The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market. This annual award by the American Philosophical Association (APA) is given for an outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences. The selection committee said, “Robert Sugden’s book is a significant and powerful defense of a theory of the foundations of economics, which attempts to derive fundamental axioms and theorems of welfare economics from a contractarian approach in which the criterion of individual interest is not the satisfaction of preferences but rather opportunity. The result is a defense of a regulated and psychologically/socially stable market economy (as opposed to a planned economy). Sugden offers an argument for what is mistaken about neoclassical economics and its problematic reliance on a preferencesatisfaction criterion of individual interest.”
EDE & RAVENSCROFT PRIZE Lea Sixtl, second year BSc Economics student, received the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize. This is an annual prize which is awarded to an undergraduate student who has made a considerable contribution to both the academic and communal life of the School and University. Lea was nominated for this award by Head of School, Emiliya Lazarova, recognising both her extracurricular and academic achievement.
NORTH WALSHAM VIKINGS SCHOLARSHIP Joe Milligan, first year BSc Economics and Finance student, received the The North Walsham Vikings Scholarship which supports an undergraduate student studying at the University of East Anglia to enable them to undertake their course whilst simultaneously playing for the North Walsham Vikings Rugby Football Club.
GRADUATE SCHOOL STUDENT PRIZE
EXPLORING PROMISE-KEEPING Kevin Grubiak, 3rd year PhD Student, received this award for his paper “Exploring Image Motivation In Promise Keeping – An Experimental Investigation”. Kevin was nominated by Prof Robert Sugden, who said that the paper “addresses a currently hot topic in the economics of non-selfish behaviour: how far is such behaviour motivated by agents concerns about social image (appearing good to others) and/or self-image (appearing good to oneself)? Kevin’s design is able to pick up both motivations and to discriminate between them.” Importantly, as Bob pointed out, “much more than is normal for the first chapter of a PhD thesis, this paper and the whole project on which it is based is almost entirely Kevin’s own work.” We are particularly proud of both the ambition and the independence which Kevin has shown through this work. Congratulations!
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NEW FACES BOON HAN KOH | LECTURER Boon Han (pictured above) joins the School of Economics as a Lecturer in September 2019. He previously worked at the University of Melbourne as a Research Fellow between 2018 and 2019, after completing his PhD in 2018. Boon Han’s primary research interests are in behavioural and experimental economics, with an emphasis on biases in belief updating and information processing, leadership, and experimental methodology. His current research focuses on how individuals evaluate others’ outcomes in environments where the determinants of outcomes are unobservable. This has implications on many social decisions.
GUSTAVO FRUET DIAS SENIOR LECTURER IN ECONOMICS Gustavo obtained his PhD from Queen Mary, University of London in 2013. Gustavo’s research areas are econometrics (financial econometrics, time series analysis, forecasting, Big Data, and highfrequency econometrics) and financial economics (empirical finance and empirical market microstructure). Specifically, he has focused on two fields that covers econometric theory and applied work: forecasting macroeconomic variables using rich datasets and financial econometrics using both low- and highfrequency data. Gustavo has taught a number of courses in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at different institutions. He is also an International Fellow of the Center for Research in Econometric Analysis of Time Series (CREATES).
LAURA HARVEY | LECTURER Laura studied for her PhD at the University of Leicester, focusing on Inequality. Laura is a Lecturer in Economics and a Widening Participation Officer at the University, in this role she works to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study economics. Her area of study is applied econometrics, with an emphasis on inequality and econometric methods. In particular, she is interested in inter-generational and social mobility, effects of demographic changes, and the interrelationships between poverty, inequality and economic growth.
MARTIN BRUNS | LECTURER Martin received his PhD from Free University Berlin in July 2019 and his MSc degree from Toulouse School of Economics in 2014. He worked as a research associate in the forecasting department of the German Institute for Economic Research (2016-2019). Martin is interested in time series econometrics and empirical macroeconomics. His recent work is concerned with Bayesian estimation and the effects of uncertainty on the economy.
ANDREA CALEF | LECTURER Andrea received his PhD in Economics from Queen Mary University of London, where he was also promoted as a Teaching Fellow. Andrea conducts micro applied research in banking and international finance with a particular focus on policy making prescriptions, due to his previous working experience at the European Central Bank.
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MEET THE STRATEGIC ADVISORS In September 2018 the School of Economics proudly launched its Strategic Advisory Board. This Board brings together members of the School’s management team and careers specialists from UEA, with business and industry leaders, with a view to expand the reach and impact of the Schools’ activities and enhance employability activities and student placement opportunities. ECO’s Strategic Advisory Board membership is currently; Paul Harvey (GFP Juniper), Richard Lim (Retail Economics), Steve Mobbs (OxFORD Asset Management) and Richard Ross (Chadwicks), Catherine Waddams (Norwich Business School and Water Services Regulation Authority), Andrea Finegan (Norwich Business School and Greencoat Capital/Greencoat Renewables PLC), Ed Potton (House of Commons Library) and Alex Plant (Anglian Water). The insights provided, thanks to their expertise in industry, have proven invaluable in the
development of the School’s Strategy. We have been able to enhance methods of assessment on our programmes and the content which we teach to better equip our students for future employment, and have been able to feed in to the development of new modules and CPD courses. One of the Boards’ key functions is overseeing the pilot of our Year on Placement programme, and ensuring the successful launch of our full Year in Placement degrees in September 2019. Board members are actively participating in establishing contacts with industry and developing connections which will be of benefit to our students for years to come! We are looking forward to working alongside our Advisory Board to enhance the impact of our research, our teaching output and the success of our students.
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ALUMNI NETWORKING EVENT
STUDENTS, ALUMNI AND ECO STAFF RECONNECT IN LONDON In May we held our annual alumni networking event. This year we hosted the event in London, and combined it with a Q&A panel with our newly established Strategic Advisory Board. This was the first time that we have had the opportunity to introduce the Advisory Board to students and alumni, and it was a great success! During the Q&A session Board members introduced themselves, summarising their academic and career backgrounds before explaining why they wanted to help shape ECO’s future strategy. Students and alumni were given the chance to ask any questions they wanted. These ranged from general advice for graduates, to detailed questions about succeeding in specific industries. For the rest of the evening students, staff, alumni and Board members were able to network informally – making connections and gaining insight with people from a range of different fields. Students had the chance to network with people in industry, and alumni welcomed the opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and teachers. We are very much looking forward to expanding on our successes this year, and hosting an alumni event again in 2020!
It was really useful to be able to speak to alumni about their experiences after leaving UEA. I was really nervous about applying for jobs and the labour market. However, after speaking to the alumni I felt much more confident about my future prospects and gained a lot of useful advice from talking to people.
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TEACHING PROGRAMMING AND DATA ANALYTICS HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS OF SPORT
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INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE Dr Fabio Arico | ECOâ€™s Teaching Director In this time of rapid change in the Higher Education sector, it is a true privilege to be leading a team of dedicated, prepared, and enthusiastic colleagues here at the School of Economics. We have been developing a range of new exciting initiatives to enhance the experience of all our students. Thinking about Undergraduate provision, after the success of History of Economic Thought and Business and Economics of Sports, we are about to launch a new module on Programming and Data Analytics and we are discussing an intriguing proposal for a module exploring the relationship between culture, gender, ethnicity and economic behaviour. Our new Undergraduate Dissertation module is also very popular; it invites students to become independent researchers, but it also offers them the option of directing academic inquiry to the real world, working in partnership with businesses and the local community. There is news for our Postgraduate teaching provision too; we are preparing for the launch of our brand new MSc in Applied Behavioural Economics and Data Science, which will develop expertise in analysing Big Data to model economic decisions. The School of Economics thrives in every dimension of learning and teaching, and it is not surprising that we set the example for other providers to follow. At the next international Development in Economics Education Conference, ECO will be represented by four different contributions, where colleagues will demonstrate our excellent practice at developing innovative assessment and fostering student progression in the labour market. Staff and student partnerships are also an essential ingredient to our success. Our teaching innovations are always developed through dialogue with the student body, and this dialogue is what energises our whole community. For the first time this year, our student-led Norwich Economic Papers initiative has transformed essay submissions into a more visual experience: a poster competition. We brought this to the heart of the city, where our students presented their work to the public, engaging them in debate on contemporary themes such as cryptocurrencies, economic development, taxation, and policy-making. Town and gown, home and international communities, academic rigour and fun, we can be so proud of our achievements and our ambitions. As the song saysâ€Ś there is no place I would rather be! Fabio received a National Teaching Fellowship in Autumn 2017
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PROGRAMMING AND DATA ANALYTICS
RESPONDING TO THE NEED FOR CUTTING EDGE DATA ANALYSIS In recent years, a number of new techniques for data analysis have been developed by statisticians and computer scientists. These techniques use statistical and machine learning algorithms to draw insights from data. Due to the innovative and ever developing nature of these techniques, there is a gap in the market for analysts with these skills. In response to this gap, we have developed our new module; Programming and Data Analytics. This module has been designed and developed by specialist data science practitioners within ECO. The module will be focused on developing our students’ skill sets so that they are able to tackle complex data science projects and perform cutting edge data analysis. Programming and Data Analytics will give students the ability to take a data set and pose interesting questions, suggest hypotheses, transform and analyse the data using various cutting-edge techniques and then communicate the results of the analysis. This module will greatly boost student employability and the quality of learning for our students, particularly as it is taught using the programming language ‘R’ which is used professionally for advanced data analytics.
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HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT
LOOKING BACK TO SEE THE FUTURE The launch of History of Economic Thought (HET) in 2017-18 was a milestone in our teaching provision. We have an established tradition of equipping our students with analytical skills at the forefront of research in Economics, but we can now challenge them to debate about how these economic ideas have developed through history. HET takes our students on a fascinating journey exploring how philosophy of science, discourses about law and ethics, as well as technological change, have contributed to shape contemporary economic thinking as we know it. The module develops critical thinking and creativity in different ways. It invites students to produce a video presentation, to delve in research through a critical essay, and to practice debating skills through one-to-one evaluative conversations between the lecturer and the students. A recent pedagogical evaluation of HET oral assessments found that this innovation generates a significant impact on students’ ability to process and use feedback, to discuss about economics ideas, and to develop core employability skills.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS OF SPORT
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT FOOTBALL Our module Business and Economics of Sport has now been running for two academic years. And no, this is not just about football! Students have the opportunity to investigate how economic analysis applies to a variety of sports. Different competitive environments generate new and interesting challenges for economists, which our students are being invited to study and analyse. The assessment for this module is characterised by a report assignment, which has seen the submission of some truly exceptional work. These have included contributions associated with the sports of biathlon, NASCAR and women’s basketball amongst others. This module has provided a platform for our students to work on real world issues in an area they are passionate about. We look forward to seeing and reading about other sports when the module runs for the third time in the autumn semester.
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YOU HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL!
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What I enjoyed about UEA is how international it is, how inclusive and how many things can be done outside the normal curriculum. ANELIA KOSTOVA BSc ECONOMICS WITH A YEAR ABROAD, 2019
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR GRADUATES
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UNIVERSITY BUSINESS CHALLENGE INTERNSHIPS PLACEMENTS ALUMNI CASE STUDY
CREATING CAREER READY GRADUATES Every year we are pleased to see ECO graduates securing amazing jobs in a wide variety of careers, right across the globe. But career success doesn’t happen by itself, and competition in the graduate jobs market remains intense. So, we make sure that our employability strategy, through curricular and extra-curricular activities, allows students to build a set of knowledge, skills and attributes that are highly valued by employers in a wide range of fields. We continuously review our strategy to make sure our students are well prepared for the graduate market. Every year we introduce changes to the curriculum that enhance our students’ experience and employability development. We complement our teaching material with examples on topical economic issues and examples that use real world data. We have introduced a wide range wide range of assessment modes that directly enhance employability skills. We don’t just have our students write essays, we train them to write business reports, policy briefs and blogs, we help them to develop and conduct extended data projects, to deliver presentations and to participate in debates. Through these methods, we are able to ensure that our students have a wide range of skills and demonstrable examples of their experiences for when they apply for graduate jobs. We encourage our students to recognise the importance of thinking about employability development at early stages of their studies. To achieve this, from the very first week of student induction we run sessions on essential employability skills and improve awareness of the graduate market. We have also incorporated employability workshops into a range of compulsory first and second year modules, because we know employability is an essential part of our students’ education.
We make sure that our employability strategy, through curricular and extra-curricular activities, allows students to build a set of knowledge, skills and attributes that are highly valued by employers in a wide range of fields.
Our goal is to create career ready graduates, and we believe that employer involvement is integral to achieving this. Our newly established ECO Strategic Advisory Board provides a valuable source of external perspective and advice that help us evaluate and improve our curriculum. We also liaise with several businesses who help us build work-related and work-based projects, employer guest lectures, and much more! Based on employer input and recognising the increasing role of data analysis in the workplace, this year we are introducing a new optional module on programming and data analytics. We also involve businesses in our undergraduate dissertation module, giving them the opportunity to propose business questions for our students to research.
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UNIVERSITIES BUSINESS CHALLENGE
DEVELOPING EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS For the past three years we have sponsored at least three teams of ECO students to attend The Universities Business Challenge. This is a leading simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skill for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The competition includes multiple rounds, held at different institutions across the country. This can be expensive for our students, so by sponsoring our student teams we are able to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to attend, regardless of background. A number of teams from ECO participate every year; this year our postgraduate team reached the competition’s final and got 4th spot. A great achievement!
IN-HOUSE INTERNSHIPS We know how valuable internships are, and that the most effective applicants for graduate jobs are those with additional work experience. That’s why we do everything we can to support our students in securing opportunities at top companies in the field. We work with our specialist economics careers adviser to organise workshops and CV sessions to help students apply for and make the most of internship opportunities. In recent years we have successfully supported our students in acquiring internships at a whole range of exciting businesses, including the Government Economic Service, ONS, Willis Towers Watson and Handelsbanken. In order to provide even more opportunities for our students, we organise internships within the School. We offer both full time and part time opportunities, giving students the chance to work alongside academics on real life research projects. These paid positions help our students gain invaluable experience as well as a good insight into what our staff do when they aren’t teaching, marking or doing admin!
YEAR ON PLACEMENT SCHEME
THE FIRST OF OUR PLACEMENTS This year saw the first cohort enrolled on the Pilot Year on Placement scheme. Thirty first year students were selected and have received training and support in developing their CVs, searching for placements and understanding the application process. There have also been some fun social events too, including a Christmas quiz which involved placement students from across the whole University. We are now looking forward to helping students on their next stage of their journey in terms of securing a placement. A number of local businesses have expressed interest in hosting placement students, and there are many opportunities available nationally and internationally that would be suitable for our students. We also look forward to welcoming our second cohort of students on the programme who will be joining us in September. Finally, we would like to take the opportunity to welcome Esther Palin to the School of Economics, who has recently been appointed as Placements Programme Coordinator. Esther, together with Jemma Carter and Dr Peter Dawson, are the main contacts in the School for all matters relating to placements.
I have been impressed with the level of autonomy and input given to me. I really feel that I am not only reinforcing prior knowledge, but also learning new skills and techniques that will no doubt prove useful for my career afterwards. Moreover, contributing to research that I can see will directly affect people’s lives is extremely rewarding – a wonderful complement to my studies. SAM HORSFIELD SECOND YEAR BSc ECONOMICS
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ALUMNI CASE STUDY
A REWARDING CAREER – APPLYING ECONOMIC THEORY TO REAL LIFE Amber Dale | BSc Economics 2016 Economic Consultant at Frontier Economics HOW HAS YOUR CAREER DEVELOPED SINCE GRADUATING? Immediately after graduating I completed two internships for the Civil Service; at the Committee on Climate Change and then the Home Office. There I applied economics to policy issues and advised policy colleagues on the economic viability of their ideas. Since then, I’ve taken up a permanent role as an economic consultant at Frontier Economics. At Frontier I’ve had the chance to apply economic theory and econometrics to a wide range of topical issues; from cartels to electricity prices. WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF YOUR CURRENT ROLE? As clichéd as it sounds: applying economics to real world problems. Issues I work on are often in the news and impact the lives of many people, so working on these issues is very rewarding. For example, I recently completed some work to understand what ‘fairness’ is, and how it can/should be applied in a regulatory setting. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO CURRENT STUDENTS INTERESTED IN WORKING IN YOUR FIELD? Internships! Do as many as you can. They look good on your CV, but also help you figure out what you want to do after university. I did an internship in my second year in tax accounting, hated it, and decided to become an economist instead! WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LEARNT AS PART OF YOUR COURSE? The most important thing I learnt at UEA was how economic theory can be applied to real life. The School of Economics made sure students knew how to apply models and theory to real life situations and topics in current affairs, a skill that I use a lot in my current role. The second most important thing I learnt was how to give a presentation. Luckily for me, ECO encouraged us to give several presentations throughout the course, so that I can now give a half-decent one at work.
HOW DO YOU THINK STUDYING ECONOMICS AT UEA HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER? The main way that studying economics at UEA has helped me in my career is by giving me a tremendous amount of confidence. Studying there was like being in one big team; we got to know our lecturers and fellow students well and on a personal level, through the many social events organised. The lecturers were extremely dedicated and helpful, which allowed me to thrive academically. The School also helped a lot with extra-curricular activities, either by providing opportunities themselves or putting us in touch with external contacts. These allowed me to gain confidence and other softer skills. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM STUDYING IN ECO? Coming second in the student-staff quiz!
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EQUALITY IN THE FIELD
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EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IN ECONOMICS (EDE) In 2016 ECO was the first Economics department in the UK to achieve the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for our work advancing gender equality in the discipline. This was achieved through the hard work of our Gender in Economics Committee. In order to reflect the School’s commitment to both equality and diversity, the Committee was renamed as Equality and Diversity in Economics (EDE) in January 2019. Representation on the Committee includes members of academic staff at all career stages, members of local support staff and UG, PGT and PGR students. Meetings take place monthly and the committee reports to the School Board, the School Executive and the Staff Student Liaison Committee. Through these routes EDE is able to influence decision making and policy in the School. OUR AIMS FOR EQUALITY – To SELF-ASSESS equalities issues faced by the School for both staff and students – To actively PROMOTE equality – To RESPECT the dignity of all people who visit, study and work in the School of Economics – To provide conditions which ENCOURAGE everyone to participate, progress and achieve in their learning.
WOMEN IN ECONOMICS
CHALLENGING STEREOTYPES – A WIN FOR WOMEN As it currently stands, women and girls are underrepresented at every stage of the economics profession, from undergraduate students to professors. We want to change that. We’re committed to promoting gender equality within the field. That’s why we were so excited to welcome 40 year 10 girls from local Norfolk schools to our Women in Economics event (or WinECO for short!). Held in July at UEA, this event was a great opportunity for us to discuss the opportunities available for young women in Economics and to challenge stereotypes about the subject. The aim of WinECO was to demonstrate that economics is a field which welcomes talent from across genders and socioeconomic backgrounds and that it’s a viable and worthwhile option for young women to pursue! The event saw a number of invited talks; from alumni, private sector economists and academics. The Keynote talk was given by Prof Sarah Smith from the University of Bristol, who is also chair of the Women’s Committee at the Royal Economic Society. Sarah spoke passionately about why economics needs women and why women need economics. The event was supported by the Royal Economic Society and the University’s Outreach team. In addition to the presentations, students were able to experience a taster session led by Dr Bahar Ghezelayagh in addition to a researcher and employer exhibition in the form of a ‘Meet an Economist’ Session. A number of our own PGR students presented their work alongside other scholars and employers such as NatWest and Chadwicks. The event closed with a panel discussion chaired by Prof Jacqueline Collier, which saw alumni, current students and our guests answer questions submitted throughout the day. While the students were busy, we also ran a session for the teachers. Dr Fabio Arico (National Teaching Fellow) and Emiliya Lazarova (Head of School), led a session on how teachers can support students interested in Economics, and the vital role they can play in increasing diversity in the field.
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Economics is everywhere, and so are our economists! This year, our team have been all over the globe conducting research and building partnerships. Here are just a few examples of what our staff have been up to!
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The School of Economics has over the past year been working with Tohoku University, Japan, to develop closer research links. Tohoku is a top university in Japan, which shares several areas of specialism with us, namely; Environmental Economics, Big Data, and Econometrics. Prof Yasumasa Matsuda visited us in ECO in Autumn 2018 to discuss potential collaborative opportunities. Following on from this visit, we have begun developing research collaboration and a PhD student exchange programme. This programme will allow students from either institution to visit the other for a year.
Prof Peter Moffat spent two weeks in Vietnam, presenting seminars, and having meetings to discuss research and teaching collaborations at: Vietnam Institute of Economics; Academy of Finance; Vietnam National University; Saigon University; Banking University; Foreign Trade University. The trip finished with a visit to Taipei, Taiwan, where he delivered a 3-day course in Experimetrics to staff and postgraduate students at National Taipei University.
As part of this research collaboration, in March the first ever Tohoku-UEA Research Symposium was organised at Sendai and included presentations from researchers and PhD students at Tohoku, and three talks by UEA Academics:
Dr Emiliya Lazarova joined our Vice Chancellor on his visit to Fudan University to increase the visibility of Fudan Tyndall in China and to strengthen cross-disciplinary activities. Emiliya also met with Dr Dan Li, Assistant Head of the School of Economics, discussed potential student and staff exchanges, and delivered a talk on how to prepare for your studies at UEA to students holding an offer for study at UEA.
– Peter Moffatt (pictured below) – Using Supermarket Loyalty Card Data to Predict the Differential Impact of the UK Sugar Tax on Buyer Behaviour – Corrado Di Maria – Electoral Incentives and Firm Behavior: Evidence from US Power Plant Pollution Abatement – Michael Kummer – Market Concentration and Privacy in Online Markets – Evidence from the Mobile App Industry. We are looking forward to holding the Second Tohoku-UEA Research Symposium here at UEA in September 2019.
To follow up on her previous visits to China, she then visited Jilin Normal University where she was welcomed by the Dean of School of Economics and Law and a group of academics before dashing off to meet with the Head of International Office and the Dean of Business School and Head of Marketing Department at Jilin University of Finance and Economics (JUFE, Changchun). Further visits included a trip to School of Continued Education Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE, Beijing) and a meeting with staff from Wuhan University which had been organized by Lian Xue (ECO alumna) where she also delivered a research seminar.
THAILAND Dr James Watson had the wonderful opportunity to visit Bangkok in April 2019, made more exciting with this being immediately before the coronation of King Vajiralongkorn, and almost 70 years since the last coronation in Thailand. James visited three of the top Economic Departments in Thailand, all of whom the School of Economics has links with through former students and colleagues. Over the coming years we hope to investigate further links with these universities in areas including teaching enhancement, student exchange and research.
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RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME THEORY THE ROYAL NORFOLK SHOW
A YEAR IN THE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS | 29
RESEARCH CASE STUDY
PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME THEORY: FRONTIER RESEARCH ON MOTIVATION AND EMOTION
By Dr Amrish Patel
Over the last two years Martin Dufwenberg (University of Arizona and University of Gothenburg) and myself have been editing a special issue of a leading journal in behavioural economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. The special issue focuses on a field called “psychological game theory”. Psychological game theory was initiated 30 years ago in the very first issue of the journal Games and Economic Behavior by John Geanakoplos, David Pearce and Ennio Stacchetti. Their opening example explained why the idea of wanting to “surprise” your partner with an unexpected gift could not be adequately captured using standard game theory. They thus began to build a game theoretic framework that could accommodate such a motivation. Since this pioneering contribution much work has been done. Nowadays, one could say that scholars working in the area develop theoretical models of belief-dependent utility that capture various human emotions and motivations (like anger, anxiety, guilt, reciprocity, regret and status seeking). They then use these models to predict how people motivated by such feelings behave in economic games in the lab and in the real world. Thirty years since the beginnings of Psychological Game Theory, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to advance the field further by editing this special issue. We received around 50 manuscripts from academics across the world. After much careful scrutiny by Martin, myself and many diligent reviewers, 15 papers have been selected to be published. These papers showcase the research frontier both in terms of what “types” of research can be done using psychological game theory and the kind of applications it is relevant for. THE TOOLS The first type of research paper is one that develops theoretical tools. As psychological game theory begins to be used to understand more challenging problems (for example behaviour in games of incomplete information), there is a need to move far beyond the tools that were set
out 30 years ago. Pierpaolo Battigalli, Roberto Corrao and Martin Dufwenberg summarise the tools we have and present a number of new methods that will prove useful going forwards. APPLYING THE THEORY A second type of paper is applied theory. Such papers take the tools and apply the theory to important economic models. Kiryl Khalmetski theoretically demonstrates how guilt affects experts’ incentives to reveal information. Alexander Sebald and Nick Vikander identify how a monopolist should set their prices when consumers care about the social image associated with buying a product. PREDICTION TESTING A third type of paper involves experimental testing of predictions. Such work is critical to check the relevance of theory. Stefano Caria and Marcel Fafchamps test psychological game-theoretic predictions in India, studying how influential people affects others’ behaviour. Giuseppe Attanasi, Claire Rimbaud and Marie-Claire Villeval experimentally examine whether guilt mediates decisions to embezzle money. SURVEYING THE LITERATURE The final type of paper surveys the literature. Survey articles are important for maturing research fields, to start to spot patterns and guide future research. For instance, Ofer Azar took a bibliometric approach to understand the influence of psychological game theory. Who is citing it? Which fields are influenced by it? And which journals publish papers citing it? Trends seem to suggest interest in the field continues to rise. As the first thirty years of psychological game theory draws to a close, it is reassuring to know that all the effort in developing theory is starting to be useful for understanding important economic problems like corruption and product pricing. I wonder what the next 30 years holds in store for us. One thing is for certain, we will still have emotions and feelings, so we will still need psychological game theory!
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RESEARCH CASE STUDY
THE ROYAL NORFOLK SHOW: LAYERS OF IMPACT By Dr Bahar Ghezelayagh Research by Dr Bahar Ghezelayagh and a team of Economics students has found that the Royal Norfolk Show (RNS) generated £20 million for Norfolk in 2018. In this research project, we see the multifaceted impact which is provided by economics. The research provides a platform to forge community links, and benefits for all. The student interns (Sam Horsfield, Ali Danesh, Jacob Rumley, Natalia Mendonca, Jian Lu, and Uzochukwu Ugochukwu) were able to apply the skills learned on their degrees to the real world, which further promotes their skills-set. The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), who organises the RNS, can build on their previous success and consider how to extend impact from future Shows. The initial stage of this study consisted of a triad of surveys: A ‘paper visitor survey’ during the Show in June 2018; an online questionnaire circulated to visitors in July 2018; and an online questionnaire circulated to all exhibitors/participants of the Show in September 2018. The starting point was to capture the Direct Economic Impact by measuring the cash inflows (positives) and outflows (negatives) from
those involved in the event. These could be attendees, participants, exhibitors and the RNAA itself. This provides an estimate of the Direct Economic impact, itself split into two strands: Visitor Spend, referring to the consumer expenditure from the non-local visitors (outside of Norfolk); and Organiser Spend, referring to the additional expenditure in staging an event in the host regional economy. Whilst the Direct Economic Impact considers the immediate transactions, we ultimately require a Total Economic Impact that measures the repercussions of this increased business activity; this is the Indirect and Induced Economic Impact. Consider, for example, a visitor who spends money at a restaurant at the Show. The restaurant might spend the additional money in the local area as the result of the increased business. This could include any extra orders made to the local farmers for the resources, which would then potentially create a positive change in local and regional jobs. Our research, using this approach, found striking gains for the regional economy. We estimate that last year the RNS generated £20 million income for Norfolk. These findings made the front page of the Eastern Daily Press, you can read their full article on the report here.
From left to right: Jacob Rumley, Ali Danesh, Natalia Mendonca, Uzochukwu Ugochukwuwas, and Jian Lu.
HOW DOES THE RNAA BENEFIT? We know that Economic Impact is a powerful approach for public sector bodies. It enables evaluation of event success. However, it should also be seen for its strategic value. It provides the provision of more fine-tuned data that enables more effective planning. Our research shows that a one day visitor to the RNS is worth £335.66 to the local economy, whilst a visitor who stays in the county overnight is worth as much as £519.23. This information can be key in developing and enriching current practices, ultimately stimulating regional GDP even further.
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THE ROLE OUR INTERNS PLAYED This research couldn’t have been completed without them. Let’s leave it to them to describe how they benefited from the experience: “As an international student from China, it was a wonderful and educational experience and a unique way to involve with the local culture. Most importantly, I learned how gathering accurate information is highly important for analysing the economic impact of an event such as the Royal Norfolk Show, and I observed how this information is processed and then used in a bigger picture. I would strongly advise other students who would like to know more about the British culture to participate in similar events, as it will provide you with a very different and unique horizon about the UK, which for me was not comparable to what I had read in textbooks or seen and heard in the media.”
“For me this project was a good example of the realworld relevance of the economic multiplier model. A purchase at a locally owned shop is of far greater benefit to the economy than an order at Amazon, and this point was apparent during the project. This research is really important for the RNAA and the feeling of accomplishment at the end was well deserved.” Uzochukwu Ugochukwuwas BSc Economics
Jiang Lu MSc International Business Finance and Economics
COMMUNITY IMPACT ECO is always keen to help the local community. However, this research is a great example of how engaging with the community can also benefit our students. This is the first time the Show’s economic value to Norfolk has been estimated, and here in the School of Economics we are always keen to help the local community. Understanding the economic impact of the Royal Norfolk Show will allow the RNAA to better structure their planning of approaches to future shows. This means that by assessing the impact of the show, we have created an impact, which will last for years to come. This project research is a great example of how engaging with the community can also generate opportunities for our students to develop their skills.
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ECO EVENTS CONFERENCE
IT IS A CONTEST
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The conference brought together 50 leading researchers to the Fine City of Norwich from 40 different institutions around the globe, presenting their work on studying applications in war, sports, competitions for promotion, and rent-seeking behaviour in politics. This year the conference celebrated the 70th birthday of Prof Luis Corchon (UC3, Madrid), a leading researcher in this field. The conference also included special sessions on the investigation of environmental issues with the tools of contests. The keynote presentation was given by Prof Carmen Bevia from the University of Alicante. Planning is underway for the sixth edition of this conference series, to be held in Norwich in 2020.
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RE CY CL IN G
RE CY CL IN G
The fifth annual edition of Contests: Theory and Evidence Conference was held in June 2019 at the Kingâ€™s Centre in Norwich. This conference series has established itself as the leading event internationally in this active field of research, which studies the behaviour of social agents who expend costly resources in order to try to win rewards in competitions.
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CULTURAL TRANSMISSION AND SOCIAL NORMS 3 WORKSHOP
BEHAVIOURAL GAME THEORY WORKSHOP
PLAYING THE GAME
The 3rd Cultural Transmission and Social Norms workshop (CTSN) was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last December, organised by David Hugh-Jones (ECO) and Fabian Winter from the Max Planck Institute in Bonn. CTSN is an interdisciplinary workshop for researchers focusing on cultural transmission and social norms, at both macro level (cultural differences, historical change, cultural evolution) and micro level (experimental work, psychology of norms, social contexts).
This year’s fifth annual workshop on Behavioural Game Theory was hosted by the School of Economics at the King’s Centre in Norwich. Behavioural Game Theory is the study of strategic interaction using methods of game theory, experimental economics and psychology.
We had a diverse range of speakers from disciplines including psychology, economics, and anthropology, as well as our first ever speaker from the humanities – Jonathan Rose, who wrote the book The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. Highlights included: – Jonathan Schulz examining the effect of the Catholic church’s prohibition on kin marriage on European institutions over more than a millennium – Michele Gelfand presenting an overview of her work on tight and loose cultures – Danny Choi’s field experiment in Germany on discrimination against immigrants. For the first time, the workshop also featured a poster session by emerging scholars. Feedback from our post-workshop survey was very positive – quotes included “One of the best conferences I attended” and “probably the best workshop I have ever attended.” We thank David Rand and the Human Cooperation Lab, Erez Yoeli and Molly Moore for helping us bring CTSN 3 to MIT, as well as our sponsors: The Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences (CBESS), the Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods, and the Independent Social Research Foundation (https://isrf.org). The next workshop is planned to be held in Bonn in December 2019.
The workshop included three excellent keynote speakers. Alessandro Lizzeri (New York University, Stern School of Business) kicked off the workshop on Thursday 11 July, with an experimental study showing how rules and commitment can shape communication. After a number of interesting talks Maria Montero (University of Nottingham) closed the first day with her keynote lecture on hidden information. She provided experimental evidence about the kind of naivety that experimental subjects exhibit in this context. On the Friday, Erik Eyster (London School of Economics) presented a theoretical study that addressed errors in social inference and their consequences for finding the truth. The workshop featured talks on the topic of information disclosure and Bayesian persuasion as well as contributions in the wider field of Behavioural Game Theory. Across the two days of the workshop, researchers addressed interesting topics such as disclosure of verifiable information under competition, benign and self-serving information reduction, teams and individuals in repeated prisoner’s dilemma games, information defaults in public good provision, news sharing on social networks, and many others. For the fifth time now, Norwich has been the conference destination of behavioural game theorists from around the world. Attendees enjoyed high quality presentations, productive discussions, and – as every year – the summerly charm of Norwich in mid-July.
OUR GOALS FOR 2020
TO BROADEN OUR COLLABORATION WITH BUSINESSES AND SUPPORT OUR STUDENTSâ€™ EMPLOYABILITY TO ENHANCE OUR CURRICULUM BY BUILDING ON OUR ACADEMIC EXPERTISE AND REPUTATION TO TAKE OUR WORLD-LEADING RESEARCH FURTHER GENERATING IMPACT AND VISIBILITY TO NON-ACADEMIC AUDIENCES
This brochure is accurate at the time of going to print. However, courses and facilities are regularly reviewed and may change. For the most up-to-date information see www.uea.ac.uk
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA NORWICH RESEARCH PARK NORWICH NR4 7TJ, UK T +44 (0) 1603 592941
Celebrating a year in the School of Economics at UEA. Our annual newsletter celebrates staff and student success, gives examples of innovati...
Published on Sep 18, 2019
Celebrating a year in the School of Economics at UEA. Our annual newsletter celebrates staff and student success, gives examples of innovati...