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Warwick Econ Sounds

How do economists contribute to the fight against a global pandemic? What can we learn from studying the history of economics? Can economists accurately forecast the future?

Warwick Econ Sounds is a podcast series from the Department of Economics, University of Warwick, providing research-based discussion and expert analysis of key societal and economic issues. With contributions from leading academic and professional economists, the series discusses and debates the nature of the discipline itself, exploring how economists can help solve global problems and ultimately how economics impacts everyday life.

Our podcasts aim to provide insight relevant to students, members of the research community and wider public interested in finding out more about the issues our researchers investigate and why. In addition, the series is relevant for policymakers, journalists and other stakeholders who use research-based expertise and recommendations to inform their work.

The Impact of Toxins on Society and Children

13:14, Thu 18 Nov 2021

Dr Ludovica Gazze discusses her recent research on the economics of the environment and public health, in particular the short and long term effects of lead poisoning in children.

Dr Gazze’s work looks at lead poisoning and how prevalent it still is the United States. In particular she talks about the consequences of children being exposed to lead poisoning, the impact on society and the link with low income families.

Dr Ludovica Gazze is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. She is an environmental and health economist researching urban policy issues such, as lead poisoning.

Find out more about Dr Gazze’s research:

Infrastructure Upgrades and Lead Exposure: Do Cities Face Trade-Offs When Replacing Water Mains? (with Jennifer Heissel). Accepted at Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (2021).

Collective Reputation in Trade: Evidence from the Chinese Dairy Industry (with Jie Bai and Yukun Wang). NBER WP 26283. Accepted at The Review of Economics and Statistics (2020).

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(MP3 format, 23 MB)


How does infrastructure affect economic development?

16:11, Tue 20 Apr 2021

Dr Marta Santamaria discusses the role that transport infrastructure plays in economic development, and whether governments can and should adapt their transport networks to unexpected changes in the political and economic environment.

To answer this question, Dr Santamaria explores what happened to transport networks when Germany was divided after World War II, and how this affected economic prosperity. What are the lessons for countries today, in the context of challenges such as Brexit and climate change? How can governments design flexibility into infrastructure projects to ensure they can withstand future change?

Dr Santamaria is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. She leads the undergraduate teaching module on Development Economics (Macroeconomics).

Find out more about Dr Santamaria’s research:

Reshaping Infrastructure: Evidence from the division of Germany. (2020) CAGE working paper 456.

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(MP3 format, 19 MB)


Tax Policy in Developing Countries

13:56, Thu 18 Mar 2021

Dr Lucie Gadenne discusses how economies and governments in the developing world differ to those of rich countries, and the associated implications for designing tax policy. She talks about the challenges of fieldwork and accessing data in the developing world, and how her research is challenging conventional wisdom about the nature and impact of consumption taxes.

Dr Gadenne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Warwick University and Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She teaches on the MSc Economics module on Public Policy in Developing Countries.

Find out more about Dr Gadenne’s research:

Can Rationing Increase Welfare? Theory and an Application to India's Ration Shop System, Accepted, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Tax Revenues, Development, and the Fiscal Cost of Trade Liberalization, 1792-2006, (with Julia Cage), Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 70, 2018.

Tax Me, But Spend Wisely? Sources of Public Finance and Government AccountabilityAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 9, 2017

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(MP3 format, 19 MB)


Why is economics important? (and what can pirate ships tell us about effective organisational structure?)

13:36, Thu 18 Feb 2021

Dr Arun Advani talks about the benefits of economic thinking, the unique approach that economists bring to solving societal problems, and why more students should study economics. He discusses what his own work reveals about how we should measure inequality and shares his experiences of getting research in front of policymakers.

Dr Advani is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and Impact Director for CAGE Research Centre. He is also co-chair of the Discover Economics campaign.

Find out more about Dr Advani’s recent and ongoing research projects:

Download transcript

(MP3 format, 39 MB)


The economics of diet and health

15:42, Wed 3 Feb 2021

Dr Thijs van Rens discusses how people’s diets are affected by their income levels and the area they live in. Is the obesity epidemic due to people’s choices and preferences, or is it caused by factors in the external environment such as the price and availability of food? To what extent should policymakers intervene?

Dr Thijs Van Rens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick.

Find out more about his research.

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(MP3 format, 22 MB)


What can economic history tell us about the world today?

13:22, Wed 18 Nov 2020

Dr Claudia Rei explores why studying economic history is important for understanding and tackling the economic and social challenges we face today. She looks at how events from hundreds of years ago shape current societies and how understanding their impact can help us avoid repeating past mistakes.

Dr Rei is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Warwick and leads The World Economy: History & Theory

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(MP3 format, 16 MB)


How does social media influence voting outcomes?

16:25, Wed 28 Oct 2020

Dr Michela Redoano discusses how political campaigning on social media – especially Facebook – affected the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. She explores how microtargeting – sending voters personalised messages based on data about their interests and behaviour on social media – was used to influence voting decisions, and the threat of misinformation. What are the implications of social media for democracy? And has anything changed in the context of the 2020 election?

Dr Redoano also talks about her research into cultural inheritance, which explores how culture is transmitted between generations and affects people’s values, behaviours and ultimately voting decisions.

Dr Redoano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Warwick University. She teaches modules on the Empirical Political Economy and Microeconomics.

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Find out more about Dr Redoano’s research:

  • Politics in the Facebook Era. Evidence from the 2016 US Presidential Elections. (2020) (with Federica Liberini, Antonio Russo, Angel Cuevas and Ruben Cuevas), CESIfo working paper 8235, (under revision).
  • The Transmission of Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy. (2020) (with Daniel Sgroi, Federica Liberini, Ben Lockwood, Francesco Porcelli, Emanuele Bracco). Ethical Approval granted. TWERP working paper 1283, (under revision).
  • Happy Voters. (2017) (with Federica Liberini and Eugenio Proto), Journal of Public Economics, Volume 146, pp, 41–57.

(MP3 format, 22 MB)