Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Economics seminars and workshops

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

We run a regular programme of seminars for staff, students and the wider public.

Our seminars usually take place on Wednesdays between 16:00 and 17:30. In addition, there are also workshops, which take place on Fridays between 13:00 and 14:30.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all seminars and workshops will be held online until further notice.

Please contact the economic seminar organiser, Dr Pipat Wongsa-art, if you are interested in attending these events or require additional information.

Upcoming events

Speaker: Egor Malkov, University of Minnesota

Date: Wednesday 24 November 2021, 16:00-17:30
Title: Optimal Income Taxation of Singles and Couples


How should singles and married couples be taxed on their income?

I answer this question using a general equilibrium overlapping generations model that features single and married households facing uninsurable idiosyncratic labour productivity risk, intensive and extensive margins of labour supply, and human capital accumulation.

I analyse the optimal tax reform within a parametric class of tax and transfer functions that are allowed to depend on marital status. I estimate the model to match the U.S. economy and find that tax progressivity should be lower for couples than for singles. Next, the optimal tax schedule has a higher degree of progressivity for singles and lower progressivity for couples relative to the actual income tax policy.

Replacing the U.S. tax and transfer system with the optimal schedule is associated with sizable welfare gains. I show that explicitly modelling couples and accounting for the extensive margin of labour supply combined with human capital accumulation is quantitatively important for the design of optimal policy.

Private within-household insurance through responses of spousal labour supply reduces the desired degree of tax progressivity for couples. Higher progressivity increases the employment of single women at the lower end of the income distribution. Under joint taxation of spouses, a decrease in progressivity leads to higher employment of married women.

Speaker: Yiliang Li, University of Oxford

Date: Friday 26 November 2021, 13:00-14:30
Title: The Congestion Effect of Oil Transportation and Its Trade Implications


This paper uses new granular data of oil tankers to study how the shipping market tightness (i.e., the imbalance between the demand for, and the supply of, shipping services) determines congestion in the oil transportation markets that is critical to the trade and prices of oil and production of a final good.

We construct a unique shipping dataset encompassing the entire fleet of product tankers during 2017-2020 and establish three novel facts:

  1. the presence of shipping market congestion significantly reduces the contracting probability for oil tankers
  2. tankers switch between operating markets frequently
  3. oil trade shocks propagate in the economy through a transportation network.

We develop a novel search and matching model of oil transportation that centers on the formation of shipping market congestion; the model accounts for the novel facts and incorporates the interactions between oil exporters, tankers, and a final good producer in giving rise to congestion.

We show with counterfactual exercises that congestion entails a trade-off as it attenuates over one third of the volatility in oil trade and production of a final good, while increasing oil price fluctuations by more than tenfold. We also show that the endogenous adjustment of the oil transportation network and the resulting congestion effect are almost irrelevant for aggregate fluctuations; it is the exogenous oil trade shocks that generate large fluctuations.

Speaker: Luca Corazzini, Ca Foscari University of Venice

Date: Wednesday 1 December 2021, 16:00-17:30
Title: Narratives on COVID-19 and Policy Opinions: A Survey Experiment


Narratives impact people’s opinions on relevant policy issues, and their political context may influence these effects. Indeed, some specific contexts may be more easily swayed by certain stories that provide explanations for current social and economic phenomena.

We explore this issue by considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a natural experiment that creates the ideal conditions for existing narratives to gain momentum and spread. In particular, we run a survey experiment in the US by exposing subjects to two media-based popular explanations on the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lab narrative attributes the upstart of the pandemic to human error and scientific misconduct in a laboratory in China, while the Nature narrative describes the genetic and biological causes of the virus. We find evidence that subjects’ beliefs on the origins of the disease are influenced by the narrative they are presented with. Moreover, the Lab narrative leads subjects living in Republican leaning states to express less favorable opinions about trade openness and the relevance of climate change relative to those living in Democratic leaning states.

Thus, our findings provide support for the idea that recalling stories that are part of larger narratives can lead to divergence of opinions on crucial issues leading to an increase in policy polarization. Finally, we explore the underlying features of social contexts associated with US states’ political orientation, that moderate the impact of narratives on policy opinions.

Speaker: Woon Wong, Cardiff University

Date: Friday 3 December 2021, 13:00-14:30
Title: Cost of guarantee and prudence for defined benefit pensions


The cost of guarantee for defined benefit (DB) pensions has been grossly overestimated by current low interest rates. For a typical DB pension which offers similar benefits as the USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme), the index-linked gilt yield on 31 March 2020 implies 58.6% of payroll is required to guarantee the promised pensions.

However, it can be shown that the cost of guarantee can be met by members’ contributions at not more than 34.7% of payroll. Note that the USS requires contribution rate to be raised to 57% of payroll to keep the current level of benefit. The UK regulations require DB pensions to be funded with prudence, which is often expressed in terms of confidence level by industry.

At 30.7% of payroll contribution (the current level of contribution to the USS), the above studied DB scheme has zero probability (3 decimal places of accuracy) of failing to pay for promised pensions when they fall due over the next 80 years (which effectively cover all promised benefits of existing active and retired members). If the period is extended to 800 years (Oxford and Cambridge were founded 800 years ago), the probability increases to 1%.

The above findings are particularly relevant and applicable to the USS which is imposing significant cuts to its members’ benefits, prompting legal action from members and 37 universities voted for strike action.

Speaker: Inci Gumus, Sabanci University

Date: Wednesday 8 December 2021, 16:00-17:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Speaker: Kohei Takeda, London School of Economics

Date: Friday 10 December 2021, 13:00-14:30
Title: The Geography of Structural Transformation: Effects on Inequality and Mobility


Economies transform at an uneven pace: San Jose's meteoric rise coexists with Detroit's slow decline.

This paper develops a dynamic overlapping generations model of economic geography to explain variation in structural transformation across space and time. In the model, historical exposure to different industries creates persistence in occupational structure, and non-homothetic preferences and differential productivity growth lead to different rates of structural transformation.

Despite the heterogeneity across locations, sectors, and time, the model remains tractable and is calibrated to match metropolitan area data for the U.S. economy from 1980 to 2010. The calibration allows us to back out measures of upward mobility and inequality, thereby providing theoretical underpinnings to the Gatsby Curve.

The counterfactual analysis shows that structural transformation has substantial effects on mobility: if there were no productivity growth in the service sector, income mobility would be 6 percent higher, and if amenities were equalized across locations, it would rise by 10 percent.

Speaker: Francesco Moscone, Brunel University London

Date: Wednesday 15 December 2021, 16:00-17:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Speaker: Maciek Lis, OECD

Date: Wednesday 02 February 2022, 16:00-17:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Speaker: Maitreesh Ghatak, London School of Economics

Date: Wednesday 16 February 2022, 16:00-17:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Speaker: Peter Dolton, University of Sussex

Date: Wednesday 9 March 2022, 16:00-17:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Speaker: John Morrow, King’s College

Date: Friday 25 March 2022, 13:00-14:30

Title and abstract to be confirmed.

Past events

19/11/202113:00Grant Fitzner, Chief Economist, Director, Macroeconomic Statistics and Analysis Economic Statistics Group, ONS - Online seminarA tale of two recessions: the global financial crisis and pandemic recession compared
17/11/202116:00Dr Ioana Chioveanu, Associate Professor of Industrial Economics, Department of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School - Online seminarGranular Price Discrimination on an Online Platform
05/11/202113:00Emily Hopson, Head of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey, ONS - Online seminarThe Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS)
29/10/202110:00Zhenlin Yang, Professor of Economics and Statistics, Singapore Management University - Online seminarSpatial Dynamic Panel Data Models with Interactive Fixed Effects: M-Estimation and Inference with Small T
27/10/202116:00Arnab Bhattacharjee, NIESR Fellow, Professor and Head of Economics, Heriot-Watt University - Online seminarSpatio-Temporal Patterns in Portuguese Regional Fertility Rates: A Bayesian Approach for Spatial Clustering of Curves
22/10/202113:00Josh Martin, Head of Productivity, Assistant Deputy Director Productivity, Research Partnerships and Professional Development, ONS - Online seminarMeasuring productivity: challenges and opportunities
15/10/202113:00Woon Wong, Reader in Financial Economics, Cardiff University - Online seminarCan we afford a defined benefit pension in a low interest rate environment?
21/04/202116:00Hale Utar, Grinnell College - Online seminarGlobalisation, Gender, and the Family
12/03/202113:00Aldo Elizalde, Adam Smith Business School (Glasgow) - Online seminarPublic good or public bad? Indigenous institutions, nation-building, and the demand for road infrastructure in Mexico
10/03/202116:00Vasily Korovkin, CERGE-EI - Online seminarProduction Networks and War
03/02/202116:00Pipat Wongsa-art, Cardiff University - Online seminarFunctional Time Series Approach to Analysing Returns Co-movements
17/02/202116:00Melanie Luhrmann, Royal Holloway University of London - Online seminarLong-run Health and Mortality Effects of Exposure to Universal Health Care in Infancy
04/12/202013:00Maren Froemel, Bank Of England - Online seminar Monetary policy, corporate finance, and investment
25/11/202016:00Yuliya Kulikova, Bank of Spain - Online seminarFamily-Friendly Policies and Fertility: What Firms Got to Do With It?
18/11/202016:00Johannes Stroebel, New York University - Online seminarFive Facts about Beliefs and Portfolios
06/11/202013:00Benjamin Elsner, University College Dublin - Online seminarAchievement Rank Affects Performance and Major Choices in College
04/11/202016:00Woon Wong, Cardiff Business School - Online seminarUSS 2020 valuation: low interest rate, yield on productive assets and risk
30/10/202013:00Sofia Amaral Garcia, Université Libre de Bruxelles - Online seminarMedical Device Companies and Doctors: Do their interactions affect medical treatments?
23/10/202012:00Silvia Griselda, Melbourne University - Online seminarCan the Format of Questions Explain the Gender Gap in Mathematics?
16/10/202013:00Maroš Servátka, Macquarie University - Online seminarProcrastination in Charitable Giving