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

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

A Warwick Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) student 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.

Georgiana Puscas, a final year Undergraduate student was amongst four finalists who presented their papers via a video conference to the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute (CERGE-EI) evaluation committees. Due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's final round took place online and was open to a global audience who were able to watch the four finalists live.

Georgiana was awarded the first place prize of 2,000 USD for her RAE paper entitled “The winner takes more? Assessing the role of political alignment for transfers to Romanian municipalities” which was based on her final project she undertook as part of the Research in Applied Economics module. She is extremely grateful to her dissertation supervisor, Eugenia Nazrullaeva, who notified her about the competition and persuaded her to submit her paper during one of their discussions.

Professor Gianna Boero, the RAE Module Leader commented on Georgiana's success: "I am very proud of Georgiana's achievement and I am also pleased to see how this module creates opportunities for students to showcase their research skills through winning external competitions or by discussing their projects with future employers."

Summarising her RAE paper, Georgiana had this to say: "My research question is ‘Does the political alignment of mayors with the central government influence transfers to Romanian municipalities?’ and I find that the allocations of three out of the four transfer types I analyse present discretionary tendencies in favour of municipalities whose mayors belong to parties in the national governing coalition. In terms of my empirical strategy, I use a regression discontinuity design (RDD) and look at municipalities where the aligned mayoral candidate either won or lost by a very small vote margin; as political alignment is as-if random in these cases, we can be confident that the effects we find are unbiased. My paper also includes a methodological discussion about regression discontinuity designs and advances a transparent procedure of visualising coefficients and their confidence intervals".

Commenting on her achievement, Georgiana said: "Writing my RAE dissertation was the highlight of my academic experience at Warwick and I feel very happy that I had the opportunity to present at the final stage conference of the New Economic Talent competition. Discussing my paper with accomplished economists and talented students from universities around the world was a unique experience and, as the conference took place shortly after my last exam, a very special and fulfilling way for me to finish university."

The New Economic Talent competition is organised by The Centre of Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGI-EI), an educational institution dedicated to promoting economic research and education. The competition is open to all students from various disciplines, and not only Economics.

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