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Week 38

Department News

Alex Brazier, Bank of England Guest Lecture - Summary

On 13 June 2019, Alex Brazier, Executive Director of The Bank of England and former Warwick Economic alumnus delivered our fourth 360 Guest Lecture of 2018/19 called “Financial Resilience and Economic Earthquakes”. The Department have developed close links with The Bank of England as we have previously hosted guest lectures with other individuals from the government institution. Over 30 students and members of staff from the Department of Economics attended the lecture followed by Q&A session.

During the talk, Alex reflected on what the Bank of England is doing to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and to mitigate risks to the UK's financial system. He highlighted that the build-up of household debt is linked to more severe recessions, illustrating evidence from across states in the US. He also went into detail about how highly indebted companies were forced to cut back more than others and that the UK has been reliant on the kindness of strangers drawing upon data collected on UK current account balance as a percentage of GDP since 1955.

You can read more about this talk from the press release written by the Bank of England.

Warwick Applied Workshop (WAW) - Summary

The 2019 edition of our Warwick Applied Workshop took place on 13 – 14 June at the Radcliffe Conference Centre and hosted 10 speakers from across Europe throughout both days.

The 2019 edition of our Warwick Applied Workshop took place on 13 – 14 June and hosted presenters from across Europe throughout both days. Early career researchers working on applied aspects of economics (Labour, Development, Public Economics and Econometrics) had the opportunity to discuss their work with other researchers in the field, including top academics from the Department. We were happy to welcome:

  • Mitch Downey (Stockholm IIES)
  • Pauline Rossi (Amsterdam)
  • Daniel Reck (LSE)
  • İrem Güçeri (Oxford)
  • Teodora Boneva (Oxford)
  • Noriko Amano-Patino (Cambridge)
  • Marta Santamaria Monturiol (UPF)
  • Irene Botosaru (Bristol)
  • Anna Bindler (Gothenburg)
  • Eva Vivalt (Australian National University)

The event workshop was organised by the Department of Economics of the University of Warwick and funded by the Labour and Econometrics and the Public and Political Economy research groups.

SMF & CAGE Seminar - Report Launch on Tax Revenues and Audits - Summary

On 11 June 2019, Dr Arun Advani (University of Warwick) launched a new research paper on audits and tax revenue, as part of the SMF’s partnership with the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

How can HMRC address the critical problem of non-compliers?

Dr Advani’s latest research provides a thorough analysis of HMRC’s audit performance, and the potential scope and reward of policy change in relation to non-compliance. As part of his presentation, Dr Advani launched the report and discussed its conclusions. There was opportunity to engage with Dr Advani about his research in a Q&A session as part of the seminar. The SMF believes that Dr Advani’s work is a significant milestone in analysing HMRC’s audit performance and his conclusions merit real consideration amongst those shaping policy in this area.

Open Days - This Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd June

On Friday 21st June and Saturday 22nd June, the Department will be welcoming prospective students to our first of four Open Days this year. There will be a taster session on both days with Thijs Van Rens and Andrew Oswald delivering talks that will focus on why study Economics, followed by a question and answer session towards the end. Prospective students and their parents will also have a chance to talk to current Economics students and find out about social and internship opportunities offered by the two student societies: Economics Society and Economics Summit.

These Open Days allow prospective students to find out more about studying economics at Warwick from our academic staff and current students, and have been crucial as a valuable conversion opportunity. Past feedback received for these events has been positive.

Please save the below dates in your diary as we will be requesting both academic and administrative support for the October Open Days nearer to the time.

  • Friday 21 June 2019
  • Saturday 22 June 2019
  • Saturday 5 October 2019
  • Saturday 19 October 2019
CAGE Conference

The "Policy and the UK’s Competitive Advantage: Evidence from 10 Years of Research", conference will discuss the impact on policy, and more broadly, of the research that CAGE researchers have been conducting since the centre began in January 2010.

The ESRC-funded centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE), based at the Department for Economics at the University of Warwick, completes 10 years of funding at the end of 2019. To mark this occasion, CAGE is hosting a policy impact day on Thursday 27 June at the University of Warwick.

Academics and MRes/PhD students from the Department are welcome to register for this event by visiting the CAGE Conference webpage.

Economics - Refurbishments

Refurbishment work to the ground and first floor areas around the Economics foyer is due to start next week. However, the actual start date is still to be confirmed.

During the works, access to the Department will be via the back door (by CAGE/Arts Centre) or via the Social Sciences Café. Our main entrance and the side door (opposite library café) will be emergency use only. Staff based in the areas affected are still being relocated and information will follow on where staff are based.

Thank you to all staff who have been disrupted by having to move office and thank you to those who have offered to let others use their office when not here and/or for letting items be stored in it.

Publications, Presentations, Workshops & Talks

Arun Advani's paper : Mostly Harmless Simulations? Using Monte Carlo Studies for Estimator Selection was accepted for publication by the Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Abstract: We consider two recent suggestions for how to perform an empirically motivated Monte Carlo study to help select a treatment effect estimator under unconfoundedness. We show theoretically that neither is likely to be informative except under restrictive conditions that are unlikely to be satisfied in many contexts. To test empirical relevance, we also apply the approaches to a real-world setting where estimator performance is known. Both approaches are worse than random at selecting estimators which minimise absolute bias. They are better when selecting estimators that minimise mean squared error. However, using a simple bootstrap is at least as good and often better. For now researchers would be best advised to use a range of estimators and compare estimates for robustness

Arun Advani presented Uncollected Tax Revenue: Who is underpaying and what we should do about it at the Social Market Foundation in London on Tuesday 11 June.

On Thursday 20th June, Warwick hosted its second annual Behavioural Science Summit this year on the topic of health and wellbeing. Andrew Oswald and Daniel Sgroi took part in the round table discussion on the topic of Understanding, Measuring and Improving Wellbeing.

Working Papers

Clément Imbert's working paper 'How to Improve Tax Compliance? Evidence from Population-wide Experiments in Belgium' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Bingsong Wang's working paper 'Search Frictions and Evolving Labour Market Dynamics' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Michael Waterson's working paper 'Testing for collusion in bus contracting in London' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Media Coverage

'Want extra nurses and police? Give the taxman more auditors' - authored by Arun Advani - The Times, 11 June 2019

'Treasury 'loses £8bn a year' from self-assessment under-reporting' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - Financial Times, 14 June 2019

'D-Day Landing: Strategy and Logistics' - Mark Harrison's radio interview - The Brent Loucks Show, 6 June 2019

''iDe portada! Destaca Expansi a egresado del Tec por cultura laboral'- Andrew Oswald mentioned - Tecnologico de Monterrey, 31 May 2019

'Advertising may make people miserable, but still has its uses'- Andrew Oswald mentioned - World News, 5 June 2019

'Four years after its steelworks shut, Redcar is recovering'- Sascha, Dennis and Thiemo's research mentioned - The Economist, 6 June 2019

'Advertising may make people miserable, but still has its uses'- Andrew Oswald mentioned - The Economist, 6 June 2019

'Trump’s trade wars are spinning out of control'- Dennis Novy's research mentioned - The Globe and Mail, 6 June 2019

Department Diary

  • CORE Conference | 25-26 June | All day | Scarman Conference Centre, University of Warwick
  • CAGE Conference | 27 June | 10.00-8.45pm | M1 (WBS) and Radcliffe Conference Centre, University of Warwick
  • India-China Conference 2019 | 1 - 2 July | All day | Radcliffe Conference Centre, University of Warwick
  • Staff + Family and PhD/MRes Students BBQ | 12 July | 4pm - 7.30pm | Cryfield Sports Pavillion, University of Warwick
  • Summer Graduation and Reception | 19 July | 3.00pm onwards | Butterworth Hall and then Panorama Suite
  • Tea @3 (every Wednesday) | 3.00-3.30pm | Staff Common Room | Social Sciences Building