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Week 40

Department News

Is it time for a UK wealth tax? Ambitious collaborative research programme launched

CAGE and the Institute of International Inequalities at the London School of Economics launch a new research project to determine whether a UK wealth tax would be desirable and deliverable. An initial report setting out the key research questions for the project was launched today at an online event hosted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Speakers include Arun Advani and Emma Chamberlain, members of the project team, and Lord Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, 2005-11.

Read the full news release.

Online events hosted by CAGE

CAGE hosted two successful online events on Monday, 22 June 2020.

Austerity: Where next?

The 10th anniversary of the austerity budget inspired a special edition of CAGE’s Advantage Magazine, bringing together expert commentators to explore its impact on public spending, welfare, crime, education, inequality and wellbeing. This special issue was launched with an online debate looking back at the legacy of austerity but also asking what trends are likely to be important in a post-austerity and post-COVID-19 UK.

Our speakers were Nicholas Crafts, Thiemo Fetzer, Monica Langella (LSE) and Liam Halligan (The Telegraph). The discussion was chaired by Mirko Draca, CAGE Director. We had 89 viewers, many from government departments, and over 180 views of the event video.

Mirko Draca said “The COVID-19 pandemic raises the prospect of Austerity Mark 2 once we start to think about paying for the crisis measures that were taken. The government made a spectacular U-turn on austerity in 2017. Are we set for another one? Is this wise given what occurred in the UK during the 2010s? Are there alternatives? This is what we wanted to discuss.”

Read Advantage Magazine: Austerity 10th Anniversary Special

Economic History of Race in the United States

CAGE hosted a webinar on the economic history of race in the United States in order to shed light on the historical, economic and cultural context of enduring racial disparities. The speakers were Warren Whatley (University of Michigan), Trevon Logan (Ohio State University), Jhacova Williams (Clemson University) and William Collins (Vanderbilt University), and it was chaired by Bishnupriya Gupta, CAGE Research Director.

Bishnupriya Gupta said “These talks have given us important insights into the historical context of the racial economic inequalities that still pervade our culture today. We were delighted to welcome such a fantastic panel working on such diverse areas of the economic history of race in the United States. The audience was the most international we have had. The numbers of views of the event (over 200) demonstrates a widespread interest in learning from the past in order to better understand issues of race. This is important if we are to eradicate not only racial violence and inequality but also unconscious bias.”

View a summary and slides from the event.

Georgiana Puscas takes home first place prize in the New Economics Talent 2020

Georgiana Puscas, a final year Undergraduate student studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) was recently selected as a finalist to present her Research in Applied Economics (RAE) paper online at the New Economic Talent competition and went on to win first place.

Read the full news release.

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.

For next week, the online seminars are on Wednesday, 8 July:

8-9am BST – Kevin Pallara (Lausanne): “Fiscal space and the size of the fiscal multiplier”

3-4pm BST – Ying-Kai Huang (Pittsburgh): “Attribution Bias on Online Reputation Systems – An Example Using Yelp”

For the Zoom link, people can either sign up to the mailing list here, or they can contact Ivan Yotzov ( directly and he will be happy to provide it.

Virtual Open Days

The university will be running Virtual Open Days in July as follows:

  • Student-led Event: Monday 6 July – Friday 10 July
  • Academic-led Event: Monday 13 July – Friday 17 July.

Bookings were opened last week and there will be over 700 sessions taking place for the two weeks with nearly 500 speakers.

New Staff Appointment

We would like to give a warm welcome to Assistant Professor Andreas Stegmann who has joined Warwick (remotely) this week – welcome to Andreas!

Department's Virtual Yearbook

The Department has created a Virtual Yearbook to record the thoughts and reflections of the 2020 cohort of graduating students and the staff they interacted with, and is hosted on the publicly accessible departmental website so that it remains available to graduates after leaving the University. All departmental staff, both academic and PSS, are invited to participate by completing and submitting the webform, which will remain available for submissions until Friday 31 July 2020. Please do take the time to look through the messages already published on the Economics Virtual Yearbook.


Staying Connected - Sunflower Competition Update

Jo Turrall from the UG office shared a photo of her sunflower this week (however, the top of it snapped and little sunflowers have emerged).

A reminder that 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

Voluntary Leavers Scheme (VLS)

Geraldine Mills, HR Director outlines the Voluntary Leavers Scheme as part of the Extended Leaders' Group update video (begins from point 45:37).

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

Access to Eikon online has been extended by Thomson Reuters until 11th August, so you and your students can contact Helen Riley for a password, If a queue develops, everyone will be allocated a time slot of one or two days, depending on the length of the queue, and no one will be cut off without at least 12 hours’ warning! Eikon provides Datastream data, stock market news and data on M&A.

Module leaders have been advised by the University that any essential textbooks must be available online next year, to avoid the problems which students experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown. If the Library does not already have your essential reading in electronic format, please contact Helen Riley or the reading list team as soon as possible, and they will advise you on what can or cannot be obtained. Unfortunately, e-books advertised by publishers may not be available for Library purchase, but Library staff will check and help you to find suitable e-textbooks. The Library is exploring e-textbook providers such as Kortext or VitalSource, but it will be some time before we know what is available and affordable. It is hoped that at least some vital textbooks can be provided in this way next year, budget permitting.

Finally good news – your standard book loans have been renewed and no fines will be charged. Full details are given on the Library website.

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.

Zoom, is the platform that will be used to deliver these seminars. Seminars last for 90 minutes.

Future announcements and upcoming talks 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.

Publications, Presentations & Workshops

Dennis Novy gave an online research seminar to a joint group of economists and historians at the University of Trier, Germany, on June 23rd. He presented his paper on "Trade Blocs and Trade Wars during the Interwar Period" (with David Jacks).

Arun Advani has the following updates:

  • Presentation to Australian Tax Policy Institute on my 'how much tax do rich really pay' work - 23/6
  • Appointed as a World Inequality Database (WID) Fellow
  • Presentation to DfID regarding my work on carbon taxes in Ethiopia - 25/6
  • Presentation to Dan Carden (shadow financial chief secretary) on wealth tax work - 29/6
  • Presentation to Anneliese Dodds (shadow chancellor) on my 'how much tax do rich really pay' work - 29/6
  • Presentation at IFS for launch on wealth tax work - 02/7

Working Papers

Christopher Roth's working paper ( with Leonardo Bursztyn, Akaash Rao & David Yanagizawa-Drott ) ''Misinformation during a Pandemic'' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Christopher Roth's working paper (with Ingar Haaland & Johannes Wohlfart ) 'Designing Information Provision Experiments' has been released as part of the Warwick Economics Research working paper series.

Media Coverage

'The rich pay more tax than ever — but some hand over more than others' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - The Times - 02 July 2020.

'Call for ‘alternative minimum tax’ on UK’s richest' - Arun Advani's research mentioned - Accountancy Daily - 15 June 2020.

'Labor Productivity Grew Less Than 0.4 Percent Annually During the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom ' - Nick Craft's research mentioned - Information Technology & Innovation Foundation - 22 June 2020.

Dates For Your Diary

Staff Spotlight

Stefano Caria is in the spotlight for this week's new starter interview - find out more about him

Favourite Quote

This week’s favourite quote came from Ricco Giovanni.

"The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession" - Sherlock Holmes.