The Economics Research Division concentrates primarily on applied research, with strong theoretical and empirical foundations, that is of direct relevance to economic policy formation at local, national and international levels.
We work to address current socio-political issues, such as ethnicity and inequality in the job market, the gender pay gap, and UK housing reform. Our research clusters reflect our areas of strength:
We also have strong links to the Global Development Research Division through our colleagues who work on Development Economics. Together, we are part of the University’s Prosperity and Resilience research theme.
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Scorecasting: the economics of sport research
The work of Dr James Reade and Dr Carl Singleton on football scores forecasting provides data and an unusual setting in which to study the economic behaviour of people. Their work also demonstrates how economic modelling can help with all kinds of decisions and activity. It offers insights into labour markets, for example the impact of net migration and how it affects firms’ investment in workers, or the evidence for - and outcomes of - discrimination. Their regular blog, Scorecasting Economists, is followed by football fans and economists alike, and their work is regularly covered in the sports media.
Women of the 1950s and the effects of pension reforms
Current work by Simonetta Longhi and Marina Della Giusta is looking at how successive pension changes have affected the welfare of UK women born in the 1950s. Their research looks at the impact beyond income, which to date has been the government's sole focus, into wider issues such as their mental and physical health and the impact on their families (as carers for grandchildren, partners and other family members) and as volunteers in their communities.
Tweeting economists: scientists on social media
Marina Della Guista has used data analysis of social media trends to compare how economists and other scientists communicate with the general public. In this short video for the Royal Economic Society she discusses how economists can use social media to get the public more interested in economics.
Inequality and the gender pay gap
Professor Giovanni Razzu’s research looks at the gender pay gap. It investigates how both the jobs that women do and the pay they receive often do not reflect their personal qualification levels, at least relative to men, nor their improvement in recent years.
The work reveals that the labour market as a whole is failing to make the best use of women’s talents. Research shows that gender inequality is the product of many factors, most notably institutions and norms, and that gender intersects with other characteristics to reinforce inequalities. Gender inequality also has important life-cycle dimensions, starting at school and persisting throughout the life-course.
For policy this means that approaches are needed that are sensitive to individual circumstances, moving away from aggregate targets (all women, or all mothers, or all school girls) to focus on targeted, individual support.
Housing market economics
Professor Geoff Meen's research into housing markets looks at a number of social issues, of which housing affordability is just one. Following publication of the Barker Review of Housing Supply in 2004, he was commissioned to produce an economic simulation model to examine policy solutions. In 2015 he was commissioned to build an updated model, and since then has served as a specialist adviser to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, contributing to the housing market enquiry which produced the 2016 report, Building More Homes.
We are able to offer PhD supervision in all areas of our research including poverty, inequality, health, wellbeing, immigration, fiscal and monetary policy, housing and the environment.
We are part of the South East Network for Social Sciences, an ESRC-funded consortium of 10 leading universities offering PhD studentships and post-doctoral fellowships in the social sciences.
Find out more about our PhD programmes
We also offer a range of Masters degrees, including an MA in Public Policy.
For specific enquiries, please contact:Professor Simonetta Longhi
Research Division Lead