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Professor Huw Dixon

Professor Huw Dixon

Head of the Economics Section, Professor of Economics

Cardiff Business School

Email
dixonh@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0) 29 2087 5733
Campuses
R11b, Aberconway Building, Colum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

In addition to being an editor of the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Industrial Economics and the Controversies section in The Economic Journal, I have authored more than sixty papers in research journals and books.

My research areas include the macroeconomics of imperfect competition, oligopoly theory, learning and bounded rationality and the use of price microdata to model nominal rigiditiy of prices.

I have been a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society and the CEPR, and am currently a member of the CESifo network and a Fellow of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

I received my PhD from Oxford University in 1985 under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Sir James Mirrlees, and was a Professor at York from 1992 until I came to Cardiff in 2006.  

Biography

My first degree was in Philosphy and Economics at Balliol College Oxford from which I graduated in 1980. I went on to to the MPhil and then Dphil i(PhD) n Economics at Nuffield College (Oxford) under the supervsion of Nobel Laureate Sir James Mirrlees. Whilst doing my PhD at Oxford I held a temporary lectureship at Herford College (1982-3). My first full time academic post was as a lecturer at Birkbeck College (University of London) 1983-1987. I then moved ot Essex University as a Reader in Economics (1987-1991), being appointed to a Chair in Economics at the University of Swansea (1991-2) and then Chair at  the University of York (1992-2006).  Whilst ast York I was deputy head and then Head of the Economics department (2003-2006). Since 2006 I have been at the economics section in Cardiff Business School (Cardiff University), and head of the economics section since 2018.  

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Publications

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Teaching

I currently teach just one course due to my responsibilities as Head of the Economics Section. This is a third-year undergraduate course I designed myself, BS 3578 Economic Statistics in Theory and Practice. This explores how the key data such as inflation and GDP are constructed and involves using a lot of the basic raw data used to construct the headline statistics. This is a subject that is not widely taught in university courses, but is extremely useful for anyone who wants to work as a professional economist, whether in the private or public sectors. Prior to becoming head of section, I taught the year three Macroeconomic analysis course and a PhD course on Monetary Policy.

Previously, I have taught both core micro and macroeconomics at all levels: from year 1 to year 3, MSc and PhD. I enjoy teaching and many of my research ideas have come from teaching. I also like to use my current research to inform my teaching.

Research early in my career focussed on oligopoly theory, particularly the Bertrand-Edgeworth framework (looking at the existence of mixed-strategy equilibria and epsilon-equilibria). Through my lecturing I became interested applying models of imperfect competition in macroeconomics. I was one of the first economists to develop theoretical general-equilibrium macroeconomic models with imperfect competition in product and labour markets (papers published in 1987 and 1988). 

I made the discovery that nominal rigidities (due for example due to menu costs)  in even a small sector of the economy could make prices less responsive to demand and supply shocks in other sectors.  

My main current research interests are.

  • 1) Economic measurement during the pandemic. In particular how key economic statistics such as CPI/CPIH inflation and GDP need to be updated to deal with the rapid economics changes caused by the pandemic. See my Blog at the NIESR: https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog and policy paper: Huw Dixon (2020), The measurement of inflation during the lockdown: a trial calculation, National Institute of Economic and Social Research Policy Paper 16.

 

  • 2) Using micro-data to model nominal rigidity in the UK and elsewhere. There is now a lot of data on prices (the UK CPI price-quote data set, PPI data) and some on expenditures (household scanner data). We can use this data to better understand the way prices behave and how this affects the conduct of monetary policy and inflation. For recent work on this, see Huw Dixon, Kul Luintel and Kun Tian (2014): The Impact of the 2008 Crisis on UK Prices: What We Can Learn from the CPI, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, July 2020 doi: 10.1111/obes.12373.

 

  • 3) Entry and exit in general equilibrium models. I developed a congestion based model of endogenous entry costs which enables the equilibrium flow of entry and exit to be determined (with or without endogenous markups). For recent work on this, see Marta Aloi, Huw Dixon and Anthony Savagar, (2018), "Labour responses, regulation and business churn in a small open economy", Forthcoming Journal of Money Credit and Banking. Anthony Savagar and Huw Dixon (2019), Firm entry, Excess Capacity and Aggregate Productivity. European Economic Review, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.103339.
  • 4) Bounded rationality in decision making, in particular epsilon-equilibria. This can be applied across a range of fields from firm level decision making, social learning and macroeconomics. For recent work on this, see Huw Dixon (2019),  Almost‐Maximization as a Behavioral Theory of the Firm: Static, Dynamic and Evolutionary Perspectives. Review of Industrial Organization https://doi.org/10.1007/s11151-019-09727-0

Supervision

In my career, I have been the main supervisor to over 30 PhD students. Research topics have covered a wide range of subjects, including oligopoly, industrial economics, monetary policy and applied work on nominal rigidity using micro price data. I currently have 3 research students. Topics I am available for include:

  • Monetary policy
  • Using price mocro data to model nominal rigidity
  • macroeconomic policy
  • general economics

Past projects

Recent PhD students for whom I was the main supervisor include:

  • Anthony Savagar (ESRC), “Firm Dynamics and the Macroeconomy” (awarded 2016)
  • David Staines (ESRC), “Stochastic equilibrium, the Phillips curve and Keynesian economics”.(awarded 2018)
  • Timothy Jackson (ESRC), “Banking and the State”.(awarded 2018) 
  • Xuanyang (Harrington) Zhang, “Essays on Trend inflation, Nominal Rigidity and optimal monetary policy” (awarded 2018)

  •  Maoshan Tian, “Three Essays on the Cross sectional distribution of completed lifetimes”. (awarded 2019)