Message from Head of the Department
I hope you and your family however far and wide they are spread are all keeping well and safe and that you are finding ways to keep your spirits up during these very challenging times.
First, I would like to say how extremely grateful I am to you all for showing such a great level of flexibility and adaptability in moving all of our office operations into a remote working mode and for keeping the Department’s business going as best as we can.
I thought it would be useful for you to know some details of key decisions that have been made in relation to Covid-19 arrangements so far:
- There will be no face-to-face teaching and learning taking place in term 3 and we are working through options to fulfil our teaching on-line.
- All examinations/assessments will be on-line and again we are working through various options here.
- All exams for Year 1 students have been cancelled.
- We have created C19 Advice webpages for our current and future students
- We will be creating C19 Advice webpages for staff with support and guidance, including all messages that have gone out. We will also have links to resources for home-schooling and keeping the family entertained and will encourage staff to recommend and share the resources they use.
I am also seeking further support from you, please, to make sure that the online activities planned for term 3 run smoothly and successfully to enable our students progress in their study as well as finalists and MSc students to graduate without delay. I will be sending colleagues separate emails with specific requests and I hope that you will be able to act on them with a sense of urgency by responding to them quickly and efficiently. I am very hopeful that we will all pull together in time of crisis and we will show how strong and resilient we are as a Department.
And last but not least, keep well and safe and please read the advice in the 'Department HR Support' section below collated by Lisa about maintaining our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Also, please try to stay connected with your colleagues by using MS Team, Skype or Zoom and let us know if you have a story to share with us either via this newsletter or social media (Twitter: @warwickecon and Facebook: @warwickeconomics).
I sincerely hope that we all get through this as unscathed as possible and I look forward to the day in which we can all meet face-to-face back in the Department – that will be a great day to celebrate.
With best wishes,
Professor Jeremy Smith
Coronavirus Official Advice
As the health and wellbeing of our students and colleagues remains our top priority, we continue to review all of our work at Warwick in relation to Covid-19. We wish to make current students aware of the following key advice and decisions we have made in addition to Public Health England (PHE) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice as we ready ourselves for more significant impact.
University Advice for Current Students
Please continue to pay close attention to further updates that we will send to you by email and also the Department's dedicated webpage which is regularly updated with information on teaching, exams and wellbeing advice. Please also follow advice issued by the University which is being updated regularly: Coronavirus Advice at Warwick
Robert Horton - Acting Head of Administration (Business and Research)
Robert Horton has temporarily joined the Economics Department as Acting Head of Administration (Business and Research), as backfill for Sarah Duggan while Sarah is seconded to the Faculty of Social Sciences as part of the University’s staffing changes and reorganisation to address COVID-19. Robert has previously worked at the University as Finance Office Systems Accountant, History Department Administrator, and Physics Department Senior Administrative Officer. Robert can be contacted at R.S.Horton@warwick.ac.uk.
Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange - Call for expert insight
Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit is seeking researchers who can provide expert insight relating to Coronavirus and its impacts. They are asking people with relevant expertise to sign up to a database so that they can be contacted by Parliament. A link to the sign-up form is found here.
Research Groups - Online Meetings
Due to the cancellation of seminar/conferences, colleagues within the Department will not be given the opportunity to talk about their research with others. Jeremy has recently emailed colleagues separately regarding the Department's research groups and asked if research groups could perhaps set up some kind of work-in-progress (Zoom/Microsoft Teams) events through Term 3 (possibly including Easter) in order to keep people engaged and feeling less isolated. This could be a weekly social get together on-line or be organised around a colleague's research paper.
If anybody has any other thoughts on this topic, then please get in touch with Jeremy Smith/Research Group Leads – we do need to try and engage colleagues during these trying times.
An Interview with Michela Redoano
Associate Professor of Economics, Michela Redoano talks to us on how Facebook micro-targeting affects electoral elections, why she decided to specialise in the areas of Public Economics and Political Economy and what brought her to work at the University of Warwick in a new staff profile interview.
Recognition Scheme - Nominations
Well done to the following individuals who were nominated and will be awarded vouchers in as part of the Department's recognition scheme:
Roland Rathelot, Christine Braun and Costas Cavounidis – collaboration during the Junior Hiring process
Roberto Pancrazi – successfully leading the Junior Hiring process
Amira Elasra – absorbing additional responsibilities and taking a pro-active approach to student pastoral care at short notice
Ramkumar Govindaswamy – proactively organising health and wellbeing events within the Department
Stephanie Seavers – developing instrumental change to the CAGE webpage
Lisa Hayes and Rosie Narayan – championing diversity initiatives for staff and students
International Survey on Coronavirus
CAGE researcher Thiemo Fetzer is part of an international team of researchers from ten different institutions, including Harvard, Cambridge, and Warwick, as well as others, and is collecting survey data on how citizens prepare and cope with the spreading coronavirus. So far there has been no assessment of how individuals perceive the situation and behave in response to it.
So far, more than 83500 completed surveys from 100+ countries. You can learn more about the survey and complete it here: http://covid19-survey.org
Read about Self Isolation and Social Distancing - a new post by Economics Student Blogger
"It is important to remember that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel and as a human race, we've gone through much worse and we will get through this."
The above quote is from a recent post by Shreya Sridharan, the Department's UG student blogger and contains some useful tips on 'How to navigate through self-isolation and social distancing'.
Department HR Support
Remote Working and Home Schooling
We are now at the end of our first week of working remotely as a University – this is a surreal experience but is also necessary to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus. For those with children, home schooling is challenging as schools have not had time to prepare comprehensive learning packages to ensure children continue to engage in school life. The links below provide additional resources to support home learning. Online learning is subject to a subscription fee, however, for this period, subscription fees have been waivered. Please click on the links below for more information:
- https://classroomsecrets.co.uk/free-home-learning packs/
Many of our museums/galleries/children’s attractions are offering virtual tours:
Should your child be struggling to understand the situation or is frightened/confused, the site below is very helpful:
Good luck with the home schooling, hope it is successful!
Health and Wellbeing
As the Government have introduced more stringent measures regarding social distancing, opportunities to meet with extended family members, colleagues and friends is becoming increasingly limited. Lack of social interaction can have an impact on our mental health and emotional wellbeing and as a Department we are mindful of this. We are devising new ways within teams to stay connected, with the use of Zoom, Teams and Skype for formal and informal interactions.
We have established new ways of working and ways of working remotely and this can be isolating and lonely as we work at different times to suit our particular circumstances. It is important to consider how this new way of working may impact upon our mental health, please see below a series of links which offer practical advise on how to manage our health and wellbeing during these unprecedented times:
Gyms, swimming pools, wellness centres are closed for the foreseeable future, preventing normal exercise routines which are intrinsic to staying well mentally and physically. The links below have been recommended – happy exercising!
C-19 Advice to all Staff - useful link
You can find a link to the University's page on C-19 advice here: Staff FAQs about coronavirus
The Gary Chamberlain Online Seminar in Econometrics
A new inter-university online econometrics seminar has been launched in honour of Gary Chamberlain (1948-2020) with the idea that is open to all those interested, including faculty and graduate students.
The inaugural Chamberlain Seminar will be on Friday 27 March, when Elena Manresa will be talking about "An Adversarial Approach to Structural Estimation," coauthored with Tetsuya Kaji and Guillaume Pouliot.
Future talks will be on Friday 10 April (Tim Armstrong) and Friday 24 April (Mikkel Plagborg-Moller), after that the current plan is to have bi-weekly meetings. The seminars will at least initially be at noon Eastern Time (initially that is 4pm London time, after daylight savings time starts that will be 5pm in London).
Zoom, is the platform that will be used to deliver these seminars. Seminars last for 90 minutes.
Future announcements will be posted on their website, and you can sign up for the seminars as well as subscribe to their email notifications.
IT Support - New Online Systems
Andrew Taylor has created a dedicated webpage on the staff intranet named ‘Working Remotely’, where he has documented the various tools we are using to collaborate with one another, i.e. Microsoft Teams and how to access your email and the H and M drives.
NOTE – this webpage is constantly being updated with new information so please revisit it if you have any questions.
The Online Library at Warwick
From midnight on Sunday 22 March, the University's library suspended its campus activities until further notice. They have, however, maintained and developed an online offer - meaning that the Library spaces were closed and moved towards online delivery. Here are the latest updates:
- Online services will continue to be available, as well as access to our wide collection of e-resources.
- To help you manage your Library loans, all 3 day loans and standard loans borrowed or renewed on or after the 18th March 2020 will be due back during the first week of term 3.
- Some publishers are supporting libraries and students by increasing access to their ebook content – Proquest have enabled unlimited access to all ebooks purchased by the Library, and Cambridge University Press have opened up free access to their Cambridge Core ebook collection until the end of May 2020. A list of temporarily freely available resources has been collated here - Digital Resources to Support Online Teaching.
Please keep visiting the Library homepage for further updates.
Financial Times Online
If you have not taken an advantage of this opportunity, perhaps this is a good time to do so. Our licence is open to all Economics staff and students and in order to start using your subscription you need to visit this webpage www.ft.com/warwickeconomics and create an account using your @warwick.ac.uk email address. Should you experience any problems with signing up or using the site please email email@example.com or email Bozena.Beauclair@warwick.ac.uk
Publications, Presentations & Workshops
Subhasish Dey's paper (with Saikat Ghosh) 'Public or Private? Determinants of Parents’ Pre-school Choice in India' was published in International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy.
Nowadays children aged between 3 and 6 years are mostly attending one of the two major forms of preschool viz. public and private preschools in India. Even though public preschools are free of any financial cost to the parents, their preference is more towards private preschools. Based on a primary sample of 1369 children from 1369 households, this study explores the determinants of parents’ preschool choices between public and private. Acknowledging the possible sample selection bias in dealing with households of only those kids who have attended a preschool, we deploy Heckman sample selection model as our main regression design. Our results show the choice of a type of preschool heavily depends on parent’s socioeconomic status. Economically better off and educationally more aspirant parents prefer private preschool over public preschool in spite of the fact that the former does not provide any other facilities other than education.
Subhasish Dey has also been awarded an International Visiting Fellowship grant by Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick to invite international collaborator in Warwick.
Subhasish Dey had four of his recent papers with co-authors accepted to present in the Royal Economic Society (RES) Annual Conference 2020 in Belfast (however the event was cancelled due to the Corona outbreak).
Clément Imbert's working paper (with Marlon Seror, Yanos Zylberbergand Yifan Zhang) 'Migrants and Firms: Evidence from China' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.
Arianna Ornaghi's working paper (with Elliott Ash and Daniel L. Chen) 'Stereotypes in High-Stakes Decisions:Evidence from U.S. Circuit Courts' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.
'British health system: creeping privatisation' - Dennis Novy'commented - Deutschlandfunk (the German equivalent of BBC Radio 4 - 20 March 2020. (in German).
Note - The German radio station Deutschlandfunk (equivalent to BBC Radio 4 in the UK) publishes a report on the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK, recent cuts to British health care provision and fears of privatization. The report includes a comment by Dennis Novy on how trade agreements post Brexit especially with the United States might affect the NHS, referring to carve-out provisions for public health services in many recent trade agreements.
'Businesses are sheltering in place. How long can the economy survive that? ' - Los Angeles Times - Roger Farmer's commented - 20 March 2020
Dates For Your Diary
- Undergraduate Mentor and Ambassador Awards Lunch 2020 | 30 April 2020 | 1.00-2.30pm | Cryfield Sports Pavillion, University of Warwick (CANCELLED)
- Discover Economics at Warwick | 26 March 2020 | 8.45-4.30pm | University of Warwick (CANCELLED)
- Postgraduate Photographs and Social 2020 | 19 May 2020 | 12.30 & 7pm | The Slate Conference Centre, University of Warwick (CANCELLED)
- The Micro and Macro of The Changing Nature of Work and Leisure | 4-5 June 2020 | All Day | Scarman (CANCELLED)
- CAGE Summer School 2020 | 13-17 July 2020 | All Day | University of Warwick (POSTPONED UNTIL 2021)
- Virtual Tea/Coffee Break | Every Fridays | 11-11.30am | Online Zoom Meeting
This week’s quote comes from Isleide Zissimos: