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Week 34

Department News

Who gains? - Top 1% receive a sixth of the nation’s income (pre-crisis) due to hidden rise of capital gains

New research published on Thursday 21 May by Arun Advani (CAGE), Andy Summers (LSE) and Adam Corlett (Senior Economist for Resolution Foundation) shows that the top 1% received a far greater, and faster growing, share of the nation’s income pre-crisis than previously thought, if capital gains are included in official statistics.

Read the CAGE news release here.

Covid-19: Six lessons for international trade

After COVID-19, policy makers might have to rethink their approach to international trade in fundamental ways. Taking lessons from the Grade Trade Collapse of 2008/9, Dennis Novy sets out six crucial lessons for international trade.

Read his CAGE policy briefing.

Warwick Economics Alumni Newsletter

The fourth edition of the Warwick Economics Alumni Newsletter was sent out to all registered alumni contacts on Friday 15 May (7600 recipients). In this edition, we presented our key academic research and commentary on Covid-19 and contributions by two Economics alumni: Stephen Pope and Caroline Escott. Also in this edition, a free downloaded e-book by two CAGE researchers; Mark Harrison and Stephen Broadberry marking the VE-Day anniversary that took place on Friday 8th May.

Read the full newsletter here.

Economics Student selected for the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences

We are proud to announce that Karmini Sharma, a PhD student in the Department of Economics, has been selected as one of the qualified Young Economists for the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences.

Read the full news article on the department's news page.

Warwick Economics student chosen to participate in the JMUCC

A Warwick Economics student - Christian Orr, was part of a team that represented the University of Warwick at the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC). Christian, who is in the final year of the BSc Mathematics and Economics, was amongst four students chosen to represent the University of Warwick at JMUCC in February 2020.

Read his seven day overview as he reflects on the tasks and the opportunity to be part of the competition.

Monash University and University of Warwick - Applied Young Economist webinar

The Applied Young Economist Webinar, organised by Ashani Amarasinghe (SoDa Laboratories, Monash Business School) and co-hosted by Ivan Yotzov (University of Warwick), provides an ideal platform for PhD candidates and Post-Doctoral researchers to connect, interact and engage with each other, while sharing their enthusiasm for the discipline of Economics.

You can sign up the seminar which is taking place on Zoom via the Monash University website.

Staying Connected

There are a number of virtual events taking place throughout the week for PSS/Research and Teaching/Teaching Focussed staff – please check the COVID-19 staff webpage on the Economics staff intranet to keep up to date with all activities.

Should you wish to advertise seminars/workshops/work related activities, please email

FP15 - Purchasing Guidance

A reminder to all staff that an email was sent out by Stephanie Caven in Finance on Wednesday 6 May to remind everyone of the University's procedures around the purchase of goods and services.

Department HR Support

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

During the COVID-19 emergency the Library is continuing to support you and your students as much as possible, so please contact Helen any time if you have any questions or requests, especially requests to purchase new e-books if they are available. Some publishers are offering temporary free access to all of their content, e.g. Cambridge Core - access this collection through the Library Databases list.

The Library has been offered temporary access to textbooks in Kortext too, and more information about this will be provided soon. Please email Helen if you would like any new journals or databases and she will submit them to the Library wish list. Any requests need to demonstrate that the resource would provide value for money. Helen will update you soon about new resources gained in the last few months – she is told that Global Financial Data will soon be available.

Helen Riley - 

Thomson Reuters - Temporary Access Granted to Eikon

During the COVID-19 crisis, Thomson Reuters have offered temporary access to Eikon, which includes data from Datastream and also mergers information which used to be in Thomson OneBanker. There is a guide available online.

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 next talk will take place on May 22nd (Maximilian Kasy), after that the current plan is to have biweekly 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.

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 and create an account using your email address. Should you experience any problems with signing up or using the site please email or email 

Publications, Presentations & Workshops

Federico Rossi's paper (with De Philippis, M) 'Parents, Schools and Human Capital Differences across Countries' is forthcoming in Journal of the European Economic Association.


This paper studies the contribution of parental influence in accounting for cross-country gaps in human capital achievements. We argue that the cross-country variation in unobserved parental characteristics is at least as important as the one in commonly used observable proxies of parental socio-economic background. We infer this through an indirect empirical approach, based on the comparison of the school performance of second-generation immigrants. We document that, within the same host country or even the same school, students whose parents come from high-scoring countries in standardised international tests (PISA) do better than their peers with similar socio-economic backgrounds. This finding is not driven by differential selection into emigration. We provide several pieces of evidence that support the transmission of cultural values as a leading channel behind the cross-country variation in the parental component. Unobserved parental characteristics account for about 15% of the cross-country variance in test scores, roughly doubling the overall contribution of parental influence.

Andrew Oswald's paper 'American Misery: The Rise of Extreme Distress in the United States, 1993-2019' has been accepted by the American Journal of Public Health.


OBJECTIVES: To investigate changes through time in the percentage of U.S. citizens suffering extreme distress.
METHODS: Using data on 8.1 million randomly sampled Americans from 1993 to 2019, the paper creates a new proxy measure for extreme mental distress (focusing upon the subsample who report for the last month that every-day-of-my-life-is-a-bad-day). Time trends for different groups, and predictors of distress, are examined.
RESULTS: The proportion of the United States population in extreme distress has risen from 3.6% in 1993 to 6.4% in 2019. Among low-education midlife whites, the percentage has more than doubled, from 4.8% to 11.5%. Regression analysis reveals: (i) At the personal level, the strongest statistical predictor of extreme distress is ‘I am unable to work’. (ii) At the state level, a decline in the share of manufacturing jobs is a predictor of greater levels of distress.
CONCLUSIONS: Increasing numbers of U.S. citizens report extreme levels of mental distress. This links to poor labor-market prospects. Inequality of distress has also widened.
POLICY IMPLICATIONS: Policy needs to recognize the crisis of a growing group of Americans in extreme distress.

Daniel Sgroi was interviewed on YouTube by “Data Driven” on the topic of “Wellbeing in Crisis & Beyond: How Can Data Science Help Us Learn What Makes Us Happy?” on May 11. The video has already been viewed by over 1350 people.

Working Papers

Daniel Sgroi's working paper (with Anthony Tuckwell and David Ronayne) 'Evaluating the Sunk Cost Effect' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Nicholas Craft's working paper 'Slow Real Wage Growth during the Industrial Revolution:Productivity Paradox or Pro-Rich Growth?' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Media Coverage

'Top 1% of British earners get 17% of nation's income' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - The Guardian - 21 May 2020.

'The economics of the Second World War: Seventy-five years on – a new eBook ' - Mark Harrison's e-book mentioned - VoxEU - 4 May 2020.

'Wartime lessons on deficits, debt and the size of the state' - Mark Harrison's research referenced - The Times - 10 May 2020.

'Live interview with BBC journalist ' - Andrew Oswald interviewed - BBC News - 10 May 2020.

'Covid-19: can the vaccine race benefit everyone?' - Lucie Gadenne's article - Liberation - 14 May 2020 (in French).

Dates For Your Diary

  • Metrics-Labour Coffee break | Weekly | Weds - 2.00-2.30pm | via Microsoft Teams
  • Economic History of Developing Regions Virtual Seminar | Various seminars | if you would like to be on the email list, please email J dot Fenske at warwick dot ac dot uk
  • #EconTEAching Chat: Economics student group video: assessment and beyond | 27 May 2020 | 11-12pm | via Zoom - register here
  • Virtual Tea/Coffee Break | Tuesdays throughout May | 10.30am | Online Zoom Meeting

Favourite Quote

This week’s favourite quote came from Mike Waterson.

On game theory, but from a non-economist, Conan Doyle; the famous Holmes-Moriarty exchange:

"The question that I am about to ask you has no doubt already passed through your mind”
“In that case, the answer has also passed through yours”