Seminars in 2018/19


Speaker: Prof Petter Osmundsen (University of Stavanger)

Date: 19 September 2018

Research Field: Energy Economics

Title: Petroleum Tax Competition Subject to Capital Rationing

Abstract: The recent dramatic fall in oil prices has led to extensive capital rationing in international oil companies, and subsequent fierce competition between resource extraction countries to attract scarce investment. This situation is not adequately addressed by the large literature on international taxation and multinational companies, since it fails to take account of capital rationing in its assumption that companies sanction all projects with a positive net present value. The paper examines the effect of tax design on international capital allocation when companies ration capital. We analyse capital allocation and government take for four equal oil projects in three different fiscal regimes: the US GoM, UK upstream and Norway offshore. Implications for optimal tax design are discussed


Speaker: Professor David Collins (University of Suffolk)
Date: 28 September 2018
Research Field: Critical management theory
Title: Constituting Best Practice: critical reflections
: This paper offers critical reflections on the construction and propagation of ‘best practice’: a concept which has become increasingly important in the business world and in civic life more generally. Focusing upon the activities of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), we offer an analysis of the awards process instituted to applaud ‘best practice’ in the arena of consulting. Departing from existing academic representations of the advice industry which generally exclude this trade body from the analytical frame, we consider the role that the MCA performs in the field of consulting. Situating the MCA’s attempt to constitute best practice within the work of Bruno Latour, we argue that this construct depends upon the mobilization of an extended network of allies, advocates and spectators whose interactions have been written out of academic analysis. The paper concludes by proposing the need for further research designed to explore, both, the heterogeneity and the porosity of the networks that construct, convey and applaud key knowledge products such as ‘best practice’.


Speaker: Professor Peter Kawalek (Loughborough University)
Date: 3 October 2018
Research Field: Smart cities, governance and big data
Title: Data as infrastructure
: This research attempts to synthesise the existing academic debates and evidence from the implementation of smart city initiatives around a more coherent framework. The framework emphasises the role of urban context, urban vision, big data technologies, data governance strategies on the successful planning of smart city initiatives. The framework will provides a mean for comparing cities that have already taken steps toward planning their smart city initiatives and puts forward a guideline for the ones that are at the starting stage of the process.


Speaker: Prof. Nattavudh Powdthavee (University of Warwick)

Date: 10 October 2018

Research Field: Behavioural economics, Economics of Happiness

Title: Impact of Lower Rated Journals on Economists’ Judgments of Publication Lists: Evidence from a Survey Experiment    

Abstract: Publications in leading journals are widely known to have a positive impact on economists’ judgments of the value of authors’ contributions and professional reputations. While conjectures that publications in lower-rated journals likely have a negative impact on such judgments are common, there have been virtually no direct tests of their validity. Our intent is to provide results from such a test, one that involved asking economists from 44 universities throughout the world to rate either a publication list with only higher-rated journals or a list with all of these but with additional publications in lower-rated journals. Our primary finding was that, holding other things constant, adding publications in lower-rated journals to what is typically considered a good publication record does have a significant negative impact on economists’ judgments of the value of the author’s contribution. Most implications of this bias suggest negative impacts on social welfare.


Speaker: Professor John Amis (University of Edinburgh)
Date: 31 October 2018
Research Field: Framing, emotions and visual discourses
Title: Image, emotion, and the framing of the European migration crisis
: The European migration crisis has become one of society’s most pressing social issues with thousands of people dying while trying to enter Europe, predominantly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Drawing on the framing, emotions and visual discourse literatures, we show how framing of the European migration crisis was radically altered by a single event, the publishing of a photograph of three year old Alan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach. We uncover the mechanisms that showed how the photograph created an emotional resonance that precipitated a shift in field frames. In so doing, we theorize the temporality of field frame change by explaining how emotional resonance can be established more rapidly than cognitive resonance, is essential for realizing frame change, but will also likely atrophy over a short time span. We also explicate the role of the newspaper industry in the framing process. Finally, we contribute to understanding of the mutually constitutive links between individually held emotions and field frame change.


Speaker: Dr Theodore Koutmeridis (University of Glasgow)

Date: 21 November 2018

Research Field: Labour Economics, Economics of Crime

Title: Shaking Criminal Incentives

Abstract: We study criminal incentives exploiting a historically unique source of exogenous variation, the unanticipated 1995 Kobe earthquake, which influenced several Japanese municipalities with thousands of deaths and building damages, while it left others unaffected. Natural experimental evidence between 1990-2000 indicates that the decline in burglaries post-earthquake is disproportionally larger for affected municipalities, even after controlling for other key determinants, such as labour market conditions and police forces, indicating the response of housebreakers to damages that reduce the value of prospective takings. Yet, other crime types remain unchanged, eliminating the possibility of generalised effects that influence crime at large or of substitutions across different crime types, implying that there are adjustment costs to changes in criminal specialisation. This is the first comprehensive natural experimental study that explores the direct impact and potential substitution effects across different crime types in response to the changing economic value of prospective criminal takings, a key but overlooked determinant of illegal behaviour.


Speaker: Dr Shqiponja Telhaj (Sussex/LSE)

Date: 28 November 2018

Research Field: Applied microeconomics, Economics of Education, Labour economics

Title: “Atheism and Economic Prosperity: The long run impacts of a national ban on religions

Abstract: Historical as well current differences in economic fortunes are frequently (and controversially) attributed to socio-cultural factors. One of the most prominent of these is religion. This paper investigates the relationship between religion and economic prosperity. Our innovation takes advantage of a unique natural experiment: Albania’s decision in 1967 to declare itself the first Atheist country in the world and ban all forms of religious expression.  We take advantage of this experiment to implement a difference in difference approach, exploiting unique archive data between 1943 – 1988 and the preservation of religious buildings over 500 years old. Our estimates indicate that religion ban did affect economic prosperity: the levels of education and industrial production were increased, and fertility decreased. In addition, our findings suggest that it was the increase in female schooling and labour market participation that is driving this increase.


Speaker: Dr Toman Barsbai (St Andrews)

Date: 16 January 2019

Research Field: Development economics, Political economy

Title: TBC

Abstract: TBC