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Our areas of expertise

The Department of Economics concentrates primarily on applied research, but with strong theoretical and empirical foundations, and of direct relevance to economic policy formation at local, national and international levels.

The Department and centres reflect our areas of research strength, notably in the fields of behavioural economics, development economics, sport economics, business economics and finance, labour and household economics, and econometrics with data science.


World-leading research

100% of our research impact has been classed 'outstanding' or 'very considerable' (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4* and 3* submissions – Business and Management Studies, and Anthropology and Development Studies).

Research groups

Research in the Department is organised into several research groups and clusters. PhD students are assigned to one or more of these.

Behavioural Economics

The research topics of this group covers everything from cooperation and prosocial behaviour, organisational economics, social identity, social norms and lots more.

Members of the cluster share a methodological use of controlled experiments with the wider field of behavioural economics, but are distinctive in their interest in the social underpinnings of economic institutions, and how these forces generate economic disparities.

Development Economics

Research within this cluster focuses on a wide range of development issues.  Members conduct mainly applied research using a wide range of data including survey data, big data and archival data. 

Sport Economics

This cluster applies economics to sports and uses day-to-day examples of sport to understand more about economics. We consider a broad range of issues, including recent outputs relating to labour economics, financial economics, and forecasting.

Business Economics and Finance

Business economics research has been a centre of excellence at Reading for more than fifty years. The research focuses on the economics of entrepreneurship, international business, organisation of firms and institutional structures.

The cluster has strong research links with the International Capital Markets Association Centre and the Henley Business School, both located adjacent to the economics department.

Labour and Household Economics

This cluster undertakes a variety of applied research using state of the art econometric techniques and a broad set of datasets for the UK, other developed and developing countries.  It focuses on a number of topical issues as well as drawing on historical events using both micro and macro approaches.  

Econometrics with Data Science

The cluster embraces the big data trend and brings together researchers with expertise in theoretical econometrics, applied econometrics, forecasting and various data science techniques, including text analysis, indicator saturation, functional data analysis and vine copula.

Research centres

Our research centres focus on specific areas of economic research, partnering with various institutions to create innovative projects.

Centre for Institutions and Economic History

The Centre for Institutions and Economic History promotes innovative inter-disciplinary research on economic institutions, behavioural economics and economic history. Its research provides rigorous analysis and long-run historical perspectives on topical issues.

Group for Economic Analysis at Reading

The Group for Economic Analysis at Reading (GEAR), known until 2022 as the Economic Analysis Research Group (EARG), focuses on the analysis of core areas of  macroeconomics, microeconomics and econometrics, with an emphasis on the practical application of theoretical concepts.



As a postgraduate research student in Economics at Reading you will be part of a vibrant community, working alongside a thriving group of young and established researchers.

News and events

Find out more about what is happening at the  Department of Economics, including upcoming events and more. 


Our staff

Learn from our active researchers and experts. Their research informs policy decisions for governments, multinational organisations and international agencies like the UN.