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Week 17

Department News

Sascha Becker appointed to the Editorial Board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics

Sascha Becker, Professor of Economics at the University of Monash and the University of Warwick, and a CAGE associate, has been appointed an Associated Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics (QJE).

Warwick economist will help map the route to a healthier and fairer food system

The Mandala Consortium, a group of internationally renowned academics from the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, Warwick, Exeter, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been awarded a five-year grant by the UK Government for a research project which could transform the local urban food system and its relationship with the wider regional economy.

Dr Thijs van Rens, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, will play a key role in the team. Find out more about this research project.

How working women have changed the US labour market: new CAGE video short.

Listen to Christine Braun reveals why a larger female labour force may have an unanticipated negative impact on the economy in the US.

Accessing the Social Sciences Building

As you will know from previous communications, for the duration of the current lockdown the University has designated several buildings on campus as ‘non-operational’, and this includes the Social Sciences Building. This is currently in place until the 8th March 2021 but may be extended.

Please refer to Robert Horton’s email on 26 January on the detailed process, which has now been introduced for those staff and PGR students who need to access the building during this period. If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact Robert.

Financial Times Online Subscription - Reminder

We are very pleased to inform you that our departmental subscription to the Financial Times Online has been renewed for 2021 and you should be able to access it now. Follow the steps on the FT webpage to set up your individual access.

If you experience any difficulties in obtaining access, please contact the FT Online Support Team by email: customer dot support at ft dot com and if this fails, please contact Bozena: Bozena dot Beauclair at warwick dot ac dot uk who will liaise with the FT Online Subscription Team to resolve the issue.

360 Lecture with Elina Ribakova - In Pursuit of National Economic Security

The Department of Economics is pleased to announce a guest lecture by a former student of the Department – Elina Ribakova (MSc Economics 1999), as part of the 360 Guest Lecture Series 2020/21 for this academic year. Elina works as Deputy Chief Economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington and directs economic research on global emerging markets.

This event is for staff and students only and registration is required in order to attend. We hope to see many of you there.

Warwick Economics Summit 2021

The 20th Edition of the Warwick Economics Summit 2021 will take place online from Friday 5 February to Sunday 7 February. The conference will be an interactive three-day experience with a great line up of speakers include: Nobel Prize Winner (2014) - Oliver Hart, Former Secretary of State for Exiting the EU - David Davis, CEO of the Financial Times - John Ridding.

Tickets for departmental staff are available. Please follow this link: in order to get hold of your ticket using the following access code: WESECON.

WES have provided a word document outlining the process, as a couple of people have struggled with the access code.

Coffee Connections

‘Coffee Connections’ is an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues on an informal basis. This initiative has been trialled in the Department amongst PSS and has been a real success. We will be extending this initiative across the academic community next week, details to follow next week.

Laptops for Disadvantaged Children

Annie Simper recently launched a charity appeal aimed at raising funds to buy a laptop to help disadvantaged children during lockdown. Thanks to your enormous generosity, not one, but three laptops have been purchased and the donations just keep on coming! Annie and the team really can't thank you enough for your support. This has gone beyond all expectations.

The three laptops will become the property of three schools and it will be their decision as to whom they loan it out to. As soon as the schools have been chosen an update will sent out.

Please contact Annie: A dot Simper at warwick dot ac dot uk if you would like to donate to this cause.

Departmental HR Update

Health and Wellbeing

Good health and wellbeing is paramount for staff at all times, but more especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The University offers a range of remote sessions dedicated to improving our wellbeing. We encourage as many of you as possible to explore any one of these opportunities. Click the link below for more information:

Online Resources

Library Update - Helen Riley, Economics Librarian

The Library is now fully open from 8.30 a.m. to midnight every day - please check our website for any COVID-19 service updates and contact me if you have any questions. There is some good news:-

  • Selected major textbooks in electronic format have been obtained from Kortext for one year initially, with a few more titles still to be confirmed. I will send you full details as soon as I have them; several books already have catalogue records and links. Many thanks to Jeremy for indicating the most vital priorities. Our managers are now lobbying for more money to improve e-textbook provision further.
  • We always look for e-books when we are told that you recommend them, so if you have not yet published your reading list in Aspire, please do it very soon or ask Helen Riley for help. We have provided guidance on e-books - not all titles are available or affordable, unfortunately.
  • The Library has had to cancel printed newspapers temporarily on grounds of health and safety. We are sorry that this includes the Financial Times, which is available online via our catalogue but with one month's embargo. The Economist is also available online via the catalogue, and all issues are available to date.
    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 (joint with Stephan Heblich (Toronto), and Daniel Sturm (LSE) on "The Impact of Public Employment: Evidence from Bonn” is forthcoming at the Journal of Urban Economics.


    This paper evaluates the impact of changes in public employment on private sector activity using the creation of the new West German government in Bonn in the wake of the Second World War as a source of exogenous variation. To guide our empirical analysis, we develop a simple economic geography model in which public sector employment affects private sector employment through its impact on wages and house prices and also through potential productivity and amenity spillovers to the private sector. We find that relative to a control group of cities, Bonn experiences a substantial increase in public employment. However, this results in only modest increases in private sector employment with each additional public sector job destroying around 0.2 jobs in industry and creating just over one additional job in other parts of the private sector. We show how our model can explain this finding and provide several pieces of evidence for the mechanisms emphasized by the model.

    Atisha Ghosh's article "Moving to online teaching for a final year module" has been published on the Economics Network Ideas Bank.

    Andrew Oswald participated in a Question Time panel on 'Economic Recovery after COVID' alongside MP Margot James and City Economist Gerard Lyons, on Wednesday 27 Jan organised by the Warwick University Politics Society.

    Working Papers

    Daniel Sgroi & Anthony Tuckwell's working paper ( with Emmanouil Benetos and Alessandro Ragano) 'Measuring national happiness with music' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

    Carlo Perroni's working paper (with Kimberley Scharf, Oleksandr Talavera & Linh Vi) 'Online Salience and Charitable Giving : Evidence from SMS Donations' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

    Media Coverage

    'Blanchflower aiming to counter ‘disastrous’ austerity economics' - Andrew Oswald's research mentioned - Times Higher Education - 4 January 2020.

    'Chancellor Rishi Sunak rejects wealth tax hike' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - Money Marketing - 19 January 2020.

    'UK sets new record for COVID-19 deaths as mortuaries warn they are being overwhelmed' - Thiemo Fetzer's research mentioned - ABC News - 19 January

    'UK government figures hide £800 billion hoarded by super-rich' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - World Socialist Web Site - 10 January 2020.

    Dates For Your Diary