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Week 38

Department News

CESifo Venice Summer Institute 2018

Thiemo and Sascha organised a workshop as part of the CESifo Venice Summer Institute 2018, on the topic of "Globalisation and Populism – Past and Present". The workshop took place on June 4-5 2018 and brought together Economists, Political Scientists and Economic Historians. The workshop was a great success according to the feedback received from participants.

Keynote lectures were delivered by Kevin O'Rourke (Oxford), taking an Economic History perspective, Dani Rodrik (Harvard), taking a contemporary Economics and Political Economy perspective and David Laitin (Stanford) taking a Political Science perspective.

Economic Theory Workshop

This year’s Economic Theory workshop was held during 8-9 June in Scarman House. Following the usual format, 12 leading theorists were invited to give one-hour talks on their recent research. The workshop was very well attended with an attendance exceeding 40. You can learn more about the speakers that attended by visting the webpage here.

Pensions Workshop - Tuesday 17 July

A UPS DC Member Engagement event will be held on Tuesday 17th July 2018. This event is for members of the University of Warwick Heritage Defined Contribution Pension Scheme.

A representative from the pension provider Zurich will be available for an informal drop in session from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. to answer any questions you may have. Zurich will also hold a brief presentation on the times listed below. Members of the in-house staff as well as a Zurich representative will be in attendance to answer any questions at the end of the presentation.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m - Zurich Q&A informal drop in session in the Library’s Seminar Room, Floor 2

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m - Zurich UPS DC Presentation in the Library’s Seminar Room, Floor 2

Please note the Library Seminar Room has a maximum capacity of 50 people and seating is available on a first come first serve basis.

There is an event scheduled later in the afternoon in the same Seminar Room but this will be for a different pension scheme. The presentation relevant to you will be held at the times listed above. If you have any questions about this event, please email HR Pensions at hr dot pensions at warwick dot ac dot uk. Should you wish to attend and require additional support to provide office cover, please let Sarah Duggan know.

Autism Event - Tuesday 26 June

A training session on Autism Awareness is being held for all Research Active staff (staff on research, academic or teaching contracts) on Tuesday 26 June from 9.30- 12pm in OC1.02 (Oculus building). This workshop would be ideal for those wanting to develop their understanding and to increase awareness of how autism may affect staff, colleagues, collaborators and students.

Spotlight on Widening Participation at Warwick - Wednesday 27 June

The Widening Particaption and Outreach Manager will be hosting their 'Spotlight on Widening Participation at Warwick' on Wednesday 27 June from 10-3pm in Warwick Business School. Find out about some of the great WP-funded activity taking place across the University and enjoy an opportunity to network with colleagues from different Faculties and departments. They will also be launching the 2018-19 round of WP funding, with details of how colleagues can submit proposals for this funding. Lunch will be provided.

Sign up to this event here and read more about the event programme. This event is free to attend and open to all staff across the University.

Merit Pay Scheme 2017/2018

The merit pay scheme for 2018 has now been launched for all staff in grades FA1-FA8. Nominations should be made by Line Managers. Nominations should be forwarded to Lisa Hayes, HR Officer by Friday 6 July 2018. Further information about the Merit Pay scheme can be found here.

Should you wish to self nominate, please complete the nomination form (found by clicking here) and forward to Jeremy Smith (cc’d to Lisa Hayes) by Friday 6 July 2018.

PDR - submission deadline of 20 July 2018

The PDR window is now open and will run until 20 July 2018. As we have commited to try to increase participation in the PDR scheme in our Athena Swan submission and in our Pulse Action Plan, your involvement in the process is encouraged. Please click on the link here to learn more about the process and to action the PDR form.

The deadline for all submissions is 20 July 2018. Please send all completed PDR forms to Lisa Hayes, HR Officer in the first instance.

Summer Term - Staff Buffet Lunch

In the Summer Term, Staff Buffet Lunch will take place on Thursdays in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Room S2.79, 12.30pm-1.30pm. PhD and MRes Students will be invited to join in Weeks 1 & 9.

Lunch time Tennis

We have booked out a couple of tennis courts at Lakeside Tennis Courts for the next 5 weeks (until 11 July). If you are interested in attending on your lunch break, please email Charlotte White charlotte dot white at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Publications, Presentations, Talks & Awards

Marcus Miller's paper 'Waiting for a haircut? A bargaining perspective on sovereign debt restructuring' was recently accepted by Oxford Economic Papers for forthcoming Special Issue on Sovereign Debt Restructuring.This is joint work with Sayantan Ghosal (University of Glasgow) and Kannika Thampanishvong (Thailand Development Research Institute).

Furthermore, Marcus delivered a presentation at the 19th Trento Summer School on ‘Macroeconomics after the Financial Crisis’ on 7 and 8 June.

Abstract: Recent investigation of sovereign debt negotiations finds that serious debt restructuring typically involves multi-period delay. We develop an incomplete information bargaining model to account for this, highlighting economic recovery and sustainability considerations as complementary reasons for delay. Evidence relating to settlements, along with the policy implications of our analysis, are discussed.

Marcus Miller's paper 'The blind monks and the elephant: contrasting narratives of financial crisis' has had his paper accepted for forthcoming Conference Issue of The Manchester School. This is joint work with Lei Zhang (University of Warwick) and Songklod Rastapana (Sichuan University).

Abstract: Three persuasive narratives of the US subprime crisis are explored with reference both to theory and to emergency acts of public policy undertaken. First the role of pecuniary externalities that amplify any shocks to the quality of risk-assets held by Investment Banks and others. Second is adverse selection in marketing these assets; and third the role of financial panic in making investment-banking disaster-prone. How relevant these differing perspectives proved is attested by the nature of state support and by subsequent findings in courts of law.

As Chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen argued that vulnerabilities within the US financial system in the mid-2000s were “numerous and familiar from past financial panics”. That the varied threats to stability featuring in these narratives should be complements and not substitutes is of more than technical interest: it helps to explain why the US financial system was so exposed to radical failure.

Natalie Chen's paper 'Quality and the Great Trade Collapse” with Luciana Juvenal, has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Journal of Development Economics.

Abstract: We investigate theoretically and empirically the heterogeneous effects of the global financial crisis on international trade flows differentiated by quality. Our model, which identifies the effect of quality on trade that arises on the demand side, through the relationship between income and quality choice, predicts that a negative income shock disproportionately reduces the demand for higher relative to lower quality traded goods (a "flight from quality"). Using a unique dataset of firm-level wine exports for an emerging market economy, Argentina, combined with experts wine ratings as a measure of quality, we find strong evidence of a flight from quality as we show that the values, volumes, unit values, and markups of higher quality exports contracted more sharply during the crisis. Our results imply that the exports of countries producing higher quality goods are likely to collapse more severely during recessions.

Andrew Oswald delivered a lecture on the subject of 'The Midlife Crisis in Humans and Other Animals' at University College Dublin on Tuesday 5 June. Andrew also attended a meeting at HM Treasury to advise on ways the government intend to use wellbeing data in future policy on 13 June.

Sascha O. Becker presented "Austerity and Brexit" (joint work with Thiemo Fetzer) at the Paris School of Economics on Thursday 14 June.

Kirill Pogorelskiy presented his paper “News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes” (joint with Matt Shum) at the Political Economy Workshop at Erasmus University Rotterdam on 7 June, and at the Nottingham Centre for Economic and Political Research conference on 18 June.

Abstract: We study the relationship between news sharing on social media and information aggregation by voting. Our context-neutral laboratory experimental treatments mimic the features of social networks in the presence of media bias to address concerns that voters getting political news via social media may become more polarised in their voting behavior. Our results suggest that these concerns are warranted: subjects selectively share news that is favorable to their party and do not account for biased news signals in their voting decisions. Overall, subjects behave as if news sharing and voting expresses their induced partisanship even though by design, their preferences have a common value component. Given these patterns of individual behaviour, the welfare implications of social networks reflect the underlying quality of the shared news: with unbiased media, social networks raise collective decision making efficiency, but efficiency deteriorates markedly in the presence of media bias, as news signals become less reliable.

Eric Melander presented 'Warfare, State Capacity and the Rise of Democratic Institutions' (joint with Sascha O. Becker, Andreas Ferrara and Luigi Pascali) at the Workshop on Growth, History and Development (University of Southern Denmark) from 4-5 June. Additionally, Eric presented 'Mobility and Mobilisation: Railways and the Spread of Social Movements' at the ASREC Europe Conference (University of Luxembourg) from 6-8 June."

Mingli Chen's paper "A Comparative Study of Causal Reward Design" (with Xinlei Pan) got accepted by Causal Machine Learning Workshop (ICML 2018) as a spotlight Presentation.

Additionally, Mingli was invited to present her paper "Quantile Graphical Models: Prediction and Conditional Independence with Applications to Systemic Risk" (with Alex Belloni, Victor Chernozhukov) at the Cambridge University Big Data in Financial Markets Workshop, the 2018 International Symposium on Financial Engineering and Risk Management and the 2018 SUFE Econometrics Workshop. Futhermore, Mingli was the session chair for the 2018 China Meeting of the Econometric Society, where she presented her paper "Nonlinear Factor Models for Network and Panel Data" (with Ivan Fernandez-Val, Martin Weidner)".

Peter Hammond attended the MET2018 conference on Economic Theory at the University of Manchester and presented a talk with the title: 'The Role of Dynamic Consistency in Consequentialist Normative Decision Theory'

Media Coverage

[Radio Interview] - Discussed Andrew's book 'The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50' - Andrew Oswald - Radio Colombia, 19 June 2018.

[Interview] - Filming for a documentary about the economics and psychology of lotteries around the world - Andrew Oswald - BBC, 7 June 2018

"Britain's tax gap grows to £33bn" - Arun Advani's research mentioned - The Times, 15 June 2018.

"AI predicts outcomes of trials with high success rate" - Elliott Ash quoted - Irish Legal News, 8 June 2018

"Why we're wired for a midlife crisis" - Andrew Oswald's research mentioned - The Times, 9 June 2018.

"Waiting for a productivity resurgene" - Nick Crafts research mentioned - Financial Times, 13 June 2018.

Department Diary

  • CAGE Workshop in Applied Economics | 29-30 June | Venice
  • Undergraduate Open Days 2018 | 22-23 June | 10-4pm | Campus
    Update: We request as many academic and administration staff to attend and still require administrative support on both days.
  • CAGE & IAS Summer School 2018 | 26-28 June | All day | Radcliffe
  • Economics Graduaton Day | 20 July | Butterworth Hall
    Update: We request both academic and administration staff to save the date in your diaries.
  • Tea @3 (every Wednesday) | 3.00-3.30pm | Staff Common Room | Social Sciences Building
  • Staff Buffet Lunch for staff (every fortnightly on Thursday) | 12.30 - 1.30pm | S2.79 | Social Sciences Building

Research Spotlight

Yannick Dupraz is in the spotlight for this week's research interview - find out more about his recent research.

Other News

Develop your teaching - support available from the Library

For those who teach at Warwick, discover how the Library can help you with flexible spaces, individual training, Window on Teaching sessions, Window on Teaching database and a Teaching Life newsletteras part of the Teaching Grid’s 10 year celebrations.

Refugee Week - 18- 24 June

All this week, there have been events and activities across the city of Coventry to celebrate the 20th year of Refugee Week. Take a look at what activities are taking place until Sunday 24th June.

Major conference event this Monday 25 June

A major conference event is taking place on Monday 25 June with an estimated 1,000 delegates coming to campus. Take a minute to read how parking will be managed for this and for other major conferences over the summer.