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Week 36

Department News

Warwick PhD student enables the launch of a global webinar series for young scholars

As conferences worldwide have been cancelled in the wake of Covid-19 and due to stringent lockdown measures, Economics PhD student Ivan Yotzov has co-organised a series of online webinars for young economists with the assistance of colleagues from the Monash-Warwick Alliance and Monash SoDa Laboratories.

Read the full news release on how it has already become a success.

Pandemics and asymmetric shocks: evidence from the history of plague in Europe and the Mediterranean

The history of plague suggests that severe pandemics can have extremely important and potentially permanent asymmetric economic consequences. In a recent CAGE working paper, Guido Alfani (External Research Associate - Bocconi) states that given the final demographic and economic consequences of COVID-19 are impossible to predict, collective solutions to the crisis are highly advisable.

Read his CAGE working paper.

The Economics Observatory Initiative

The Economics Observatory (ECO) is a new website that is being launched this week to answer questions from policy-makers and the public about the economics of the Covid-19 crisis and the recovery.

CAGE is part of the initiative, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and draws on the expertise of economists from a wide range of universities and research institutions. It will gather and evaluate the best possible data and evidence and use these as the basis for Q&A briefings on the ECO website:

Travelling during Covid-19


Read a short account from Teaching Fellow, Dr Eman Abdulla about her experience of travelling home to Bahrain during lockdown.

Eman contacted the Embassy in Bahrain who provided transport for her from Kenilworth to Heathrow airport as a safeguarding measure to eliminate the use of public transport. There were no ‘boarding issues’ from the UK side, however in Bahrain, they have exercised cautionary measures. Upon landing, Eman was checked to ensure she did not display any signs/symptoms of Covid-19. Eman tested negative, but was asked to self isolate for 14 days at her home. Before leaving the airport, Eman was ‘tagged’ with a bracelet to monitor movement. The ‘tag’ can only be removed by a Doctor if an individual after testing, the individual receives a negative result for Covid-19. Luckily, Eman tested negative after the isolation period, and was free to enjoy Eid, pictures below!


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

Departmental HR Update

The University's Cost Saving and Efficiency Measures

As outlined in the Vice Chancellor’s recent announcements, UK Universities are facing financial risks on an unprecedented scale. The focus for Warwick is to protect jobs. As a result a number of cost saving and efficiency measures have been put in place already, however, further cost savings are required, and this includes reducing pay costs.

On 9 June 2020, the University will announce details of the Voluntary Leavers Scheme (VLS) and a number of Time Back Benefits (TBB) which are available to all staff (who have not already tendered their resignation) for a defined period. Time Back Benefits will include the following opportunities:

  • Career breaks
  • Buying additional annual leave
  • Reducing working hours

The scheme will be launched via Insite and staff email and applications for either VLS or TBB will be available form 9 June-18 September 2020. Central HR will offer colleagues the opportunity to join virtual VLS forums where both schemes can be discussed in more detail, dates to follow.

Please check Insite next week, and if you have any questions regarding either scheme, please email Lisa Hayes, HR Officer l dot hayes dot 2 at warwick dot ac dot uk in the first instance.

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 5 June 2020 (Christoph Rothe (Mannheim): "Bias-Aware Inference in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs" (with Claudia Noack), 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

Daniel Sgroi delivered a keynote talk at the UEA Textual Analysis Workshop at the Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science entitled “Using Language in the Behavioural Sciences”. The talk is available on YouTube.

Dennis Novy gave a seminar at The University of the West Indies, Barbados, on the economic analysis of trade policy, with particular reference to free trade agreements and Brexit on 27 May 2020

Working Papers

Thijs van Rens' working paper (with Jordi GalÌ ) 'The Vanishing Procyclicality of Labour Productivity' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Debraj Ray's working paper (with S. Subramanian) 'India’s Lockdown: An Interim Report' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Media Coverage

'Covid-19 practises age discrimination' - Andrew Oswald's research mentioned - Financial Times - 31 May 2020.

'The World Health Organization: A GRID for reform' - Column piece by Lucie Gadenne and Maitreesh Ghatak (LSE) - VoxEU - 30 May 2020.

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

'Universities’ Covid planning must take account of age-related risk ' - Andrew Oswald & Nick Powdthavee's research mentioned - Times Higher - 2 June 2020.

'Richest people in UK have grown even richer over past two decades, new research confirms' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - The Independent - 21 May 2020.

Dates For Your Diary

Favourite Quote

This week’s favourite quote came from Andrew Oswald.

"My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time" - Steve Jobs. 

General Items

Spare Room to rent

One room to rent in house, situated between the University and Canley train station. Rent is £550 per month including all bills. Room is ready for occupancy from 10th May. Please email James dot Massey at warwick dot ac dot uk for more details.