Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Week 6

Department News

Fixing capital gains tax: CAGE research contributes to the Chancellor’s tax review

In July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak requested a review of capital gains tax. The recommendations of the review were published on 11 November, and draw significantly on research by Arun Advani, CAGE Impact Director and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick.

Read the full news release.

Warwick economists help inform Italian public health guidance on coronavirus

A team of international researchers including economists from the University of Warwick has helped to inform public health messaging adopted by government officials in Italy to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full news release.

Economics PhD Conference - Summary

The eighth edition and the first virtual version of Warwick Economics PhD Conference was held on 6-7 November 2020. The event was organised by PhD students with the help of the Marketing & Communications Team and with financial support from the Department. This year, the conference received over 150 applications from graduate students of leading research institutions across the world.

Read the full news release.

Research Seminar: Art History & Economics

Dr Naomi Vogt from the History of Art Department would like to invite faculty and research students to join the next History of Art research seminar with the two art and economic historians Dr Sophie Cras (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne) and Dr Diana Greenwald (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum). The short presentations and roundtable discussion, 'Intersections of Art History and Economics: Two Approaches', will take place on Teams, on Wednesday 18 November, at 5pm. Join the event on the 18th November on Microsoft Team.

The Theodore Shanin Memorial Roundtable Event

Mark Harrison took part in a roundtable on 23 October to mark the ninetieth birthday of the late Teodor Shanin, founder and first rector of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (the “Shaninka”). He discussed a scholarly debate of more than forty years ago, in which he and Shanin were protagonists, concerning trends in Russia rural inequality before the Revolution. His remarks (slides in English, simultaneous translation in Russian) are online here.

Pumpkin Carving Competition

Thank you to all who brought their creative pumpkin ideas to life and entered the competition. There were a number of entries which can be viewed here. The judges had a particularly tough job on their hands debating who would be the winner. In the end, a decision was made and the prize went to Sally Ellis (Pumpkin4).

Departmental HR Update

Health and Wellbeing

In light of Government advice, remote working has been extended. This decreases the opportunities to connect with colleagues and can be isolating as we preserve the need for social distancing. Being mindful of your health and wellbeing is paramount during this time. Please raise any concerns that you may have relating to this area with your Line Manager or the HR Officer.

Online Resources

Library Update - Helen Riley, Economics Librarian

The Library has obtained access to a number of Kortext electronic textbooks relevant to Economics - the details were released in batches, but now we can confirm that we have online access to:

  • Carlin and Soskice, Macroeconomics
  • Tadelis, Game theory
  • Nechyba, Intermediate microeconomics
  • Mas-Colell, Microeconomic theory
  • Mankiw and Taylor, Economics, 4th ed.
  • de Grauwe, Economics of monetary union
  • Verbeek, Guide to modern econometrics
  • Tooze, Crashed: how a decade of financial crises changed the world
  • Field, Discovering statistics using R

There may be more new e-books which will help your students, so please check the Library catalogue and contact Heln ( if there are any problems. Access to these books is on a very expensive annual subscription basis, but they are in heavy demand at all times. The University and the Library want to improve textbook provision, so please give us your feedback!

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.

Publications, Presentations & Workshops

Sascha O. Becker's paper “Multiplex Network Ties and the Spatial Diffusion of Radical Innovations: Martin Luther’s Leadership in the Early Reformation” (with Yuan Hsiao, Steven Pfaff and Jared Rubin) is now available on the American Sociological Review website.


This article analyzes Martin Luther’s role in spreading the early Reformation, one of the most important episodes of radical institutional change in the last millennium. We argue that social relations played a key role in its diffusion because the spread of heterodox ideologies and their eventual institutionalization relied not only on private “infection” through exposure to innovation but also on active conversion and promotion of that new faith through personal ties. We conceive of that process as leader-to-follower directional influence originating with Luther and flowing to local elites through personal ties. Based on novel data on Luther’s correspondence, Luther’s visits, and student enrollments in Luther’s city of Wittenberg, we reconstruct Luther’s influence network to examine whether local connections to him increased the odds of adopting Protestantism. Using regression analyses and simulations based on empirical network data, we find that the combination of personal/relational diffusion via Luther’s multiplex ties and spatial/structural diffusion via trade routes fostered cities’ adoption of the Reformation, making possible Protestantism’s early breakthrough from a regional movement to a general rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church.

Sascha O. Becker's paper “Prussia disaggregated: the demography of its universe of localities in 1871” (with Francesco Cinnirella) is now available on the Journal of Demographic Economics website.


We provide, for the first time, a detailed and comprehensive overview of the demography of more than 50,000 towns, villages, and manors in 1871 Prussia. We study religion, literacy, fertility, and group segregation by location type (town, village, and manor). We find that Jews live predominantly in towns. Villages and manors are substantially segregated by denomination, whereas towns are less segregated. Yet, we find relatively lower levels of segregation by literacy. Regression analyses with county-fixed effects show that a larger share of Protestants is associated with higher literacy rates across all location types. A larger share of Jews relative to Catholics is not significantly associated with higher literacy in towns, but it is in villages and manors. Finally, a larger share of Jews is associated with lower fertility in towns, which is not explained by differences in literacy.

Sascha O. Becker will start on 1 Jan 2021 as Associate Editor at the Journal of the European Association and has received the 'Excellence in Refereeing' award at the Review of Economic Studies.

Claudia Rei been invited to be part of the conference committee of the Economic History Society conference to occur virtually at Warwick in April of 2021. Claudia will also serve on the conference committee to the 2023 conference. The EHS is a UK based organisation

Claudia Rei was invited in summer to continue the organisation of a Virtual Economic History Seminar started in the Spring by US-based economic Historians at NYU, UC-Davis, and Ohio. Claudia has been serving as co-organiser for this event this term (from September to December), but recently the Economic History Association (US-based organisation) has appointed a 4-person committee to carry the organisation of the event into 2021, and Claudia was invited to be part of this committee. Claudia is the only Europe-based individual in the organisation of this event. Here are the websites for the Autumn 2020 series and for the Spring 2021 series.

Daniel Sgroi delivered a virtual seminar entitled “Self-awareness and Dishonesty” at Purdue University on 6 November.

Andrew Oswald delivered a talk on COVID-19 Policy at Cass Business School on Saturday 7 November.

Andrew Oswald and Thijs Van Rens delivered a joint talk at UCL (in the Institute of Global Prosperity). Title: COVID-19 and Health Policy on Tuesday 5 November.

Arun Advani has the following updates:

Working Papers

Thiemo Fetzer's working paper ''Subsidizing the spread of COVID19 : Evidence from the UK’s Eat-Out to-Help-Out scheme'' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Emma Duchini's working paper ( with Stefania Simion and Arthur Turrell) 'Pay Transparency and Cracks in the Glass Ceiling ' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Media Coverage

'The Economics of the Great War: A Centennial Perspective - VoXEU' - Mark Harrison's e-book - 6 November 2020.

'Letter: It's time for cost-benefit analysis of restrictions' - Andrew Oswald's research mentioned - Financial Times - 3 November 2020.

'Study suggests Eat Out To Help Out is responsible for “significant” rise in infection rates' - Thiemo Fetzer's research mentioned - The London Economic - 30 October 2020.

'The effect of unequal voting rights on policies - VoXEU' - Sascha Becker (with Erik Hornung) authored - 17 May 2020.

Dates For Your Diary