Ahern, Aideen

Aideen Ahern
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
The Impact of Disability on Employment in the UK
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Melanie Jones, Professor David Blackaby
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Despite Disability being associated with substantial labour market disadvantage there is a shortage of disability research within social sciences, particularly within economics. This research will contribute to the research gap by analysing existing UK micro-data including the Annual Population Survey and Life Opportunities Survey. The analysis will be enhanced by the creation and exploratory analysis of new linked administrative (health) and survey data sets (within SAIL) to evaluate the additional insights gained by data linking.

Brown, Samuel David

Samuel Brown
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
Civil society, social cohesion, and wellbeing
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof. David Blackaby and Prof. Phil Murphy
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

An investigation of the socio-economic relationship between measures of civil society and social cohesion on subjective measures of individual wellbeing: a spatial analysis

Cardias Williams, Maria de Fatima

Maria de Fatima Cardias Williams
Start date:
September 2012
Research Topic:
Bankers’ remuneration, its relationship with risk taking
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof Lynn Hodgkinson and Prof Owain ap Gwilyn
Supervising school:
Bangor Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The aim is to exploit quantitative corporate data of United Kingdom (UK) banks to provide answer to: “Did the structure and composition of UK bank’s Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and top management (board of directors) affect remuneration and risk taking actions during the period of 1999 to 2012?”

Selected Recent Publications

CARDIAS WILLIAMS, F., WILLIAMS, J., (2010). What does Bank Financial Profile Tells us about Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin American Banking? In Fiordelisi F., Molyneux P., Previati, D. (eds), New Issues in Financial Institutions Management, (Palgrave Macmillan pp.153-170).

CARDIAS WILLIAMS, F., WILLIAMS, J., (2008). Does ownership explain bank M&A? The case of domestic banks and foreign banks in Brazil. In Arestis, P. and L.F. de Paula (eds), Financial Liberalization and Economic Performance in Emerging Countries (Palgrave Macmillan pp. 194-216).

CARDIAS WILLIAMS, F., THOMAS, T., (2006). Some Key Issues Concerning Current Poplar Production and Future Marketing in the United Kingdom. New Forests 31:343-359.

Forster, Robert

Robert Forster
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Financial Frictions in Dynamic Stochastic Equilibrium Models
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof Patrick Minford, Dr Vo Phuong Mai Le
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Financial frictions can arise through various channels, implying different methodologies to account for these disruptions. One standard method is the introduction of collateral constraints. Households and entrepreneurs accumulate real estate which is used as collateral to acquire loans. This requires banks to act as intermediaries between savers and borrowers.

My research is based on the Iacoviello (2015) framework, focussing on the ownership structure of households in the light of financial frictions. Households are now able not only to accumulate real estate as collateral but also to us it to generate income by leasing it to other households. This enables me to analyse the macroeconomic effect of taxes (i.e. stamp-duty), subsidies (help-to-buy) or buy-to-let schemes. Furthermore, I intend to investigate the impact of these factors on rental rates, quantity of loans and housing shares over the business cycle.

Gillaizeau, Marc

Marc Gillaizeau
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
Microfinance interventions in developing countries
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Tapas Mishra, Dr. Reza Arabsheibani
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Since the inception of the first microcredit intervention by Dr. Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh in 1976 through the Grameen Bank, this practice has received a growing interest from the development community as well as from academic researchers. To this day, even though microfinance projects have blossomed and grown fast all over the world for the past 15 years, empirical evaluations of such practices have produced rather mixed results and the viability of microfinance as a tool to fight poverty has yet to be unequivocally ascertained. It is believed that lending to the destitute is a way to empower them not only economically, but also socially and politically. Furthermore, one could expect some indirect effects to stem from program beneficiaries to non-beneficiaries. This area of research in the field of microfinance impact evaluation remains mostly unexplored, and the existence of such effects could change the way to look at and to implement microfinance interventions. Careful data-driven investigation will be undertaken, along with the development of a theoretical framework aiming at unravelling the implications of the introduction of microfinance for non-borrowers in a community, very likely through its impacting existing informal financial institutions and social networks.

Gould, Edward Pearce

Edward Pearce Gould
Start date:
October 2014
Research Topic:
The Modern Law of Iron Wages
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof James Foreman-Peck
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

For many developed economies, basic wages have more or less stagnated in the last few decades. This means the effect of economic growth has been cancelled out due to the portion of national income going to basic (or unskilled) labour declining, while skilled labour and capital shares have increased by most measures.

These developments are resonant of the industrial/agricultural revolutions, where wage growth trailed output growth. Though wages did eventually increase, inequality remained high until the two world wars and the great depression. As such there is little indication as to what the terminal outcome of these measures are.

The aim of this research is to assess what core factors are most prominent in causing the stagnation in basic wages experienced and so evaluate what the likely future outcome is for basic wages. This research uses new insights through modern theoretical models based on old Ricardian and Malthusian ideas. It emphasises the effects of different types of technology growth, population growth as well as the price of oil and other finite natural resources.

Healy, James

James Healy
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
An Examination of the public/private sector pay differential in the UK.
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof. D. Blackaby and Prof. P. Murphy
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Research into the changing wage differentials between the private and public sector by UK region over time, how these have been impacted upon by changes in policy, as well as changes in economic conditions. Along with a study into changing job satisfaction over time in the public sector.

Jackson, Tim

Timothy Jackson
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
Ending “Too Big To Fail” in the Banking Sector
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Vo Phuong Mai Le
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

I am adapting the paper by Gertler, Kiyotaki and Queralto to include a default risk by banks, which is currently subsidized by the central bank’s lender of last resort policy so as to prevent bank runs as modelled by Diamond-Dybvig.

I intend to show that equity funding increases welfare as compared to this current deposit insurance regime.

Jones, Laurence

Laurence Jones
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
The impact of new regulation on credit rating agencies
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Rasha Alsakka, Dr Noemi Manatovan
Supervising school:
Bangor Business School,

I am investigating the impact of new regulation on credit rating agencies (CRAs), that is being implemented as a result of the 2008 financial crisis and the EU sovereign debt crisis. CRA had an important role to play in these recent crises and the new regulation aims at tackling the mistakes made. My aim is to investigate whether the proposed, and implemented, regulation will have a positive effect on the credit rating market. I am to use my findings to make constructive suggestions as to how new regulation should be structured and implemented.

Much of the academic community is divided over which direction new regulation should take. Should we move to greater regulatory stringency? Or should deregulation be the way forward? One of my aims is to evaluate the impact of increased competition and inherent conflicts of interest on the credit rating market.

Klusak, Patrycja Karolina

Patrycja Karolina Danisewicz
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Recent reforms to credit ratings agencies (CRAs)
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Rasha Alsakka and Prof Owain ap Gwilym
Supervising school:
Bangor Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The research will evaluate recent reforms to CRAs. CRAs have been criticised for conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, poor communication, cliff effects and related overreliance on ratings by users. In response, several policy actions occurred and new legislation was passed in the USA and Europe. The overall objective of the regulatory changes is to reduce the impact of rating actions in financial markets, especially the mechanistic reactions induced by hardwiring and cliff effects. These regulatory changes are ongoing, and aim of this research is to conduct analysis on the impact of regulatory change on banks and financial markets. Concerns exist that the latest proposed European regulations could further undermine economic competitiveness. This work will evaluate whether the regulations achieve their aims, or whether they will lead to unintended consequences.

Lloyd, Jonathan

Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Causality Between Output, Prices and Currency in China
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Patrick Minford
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

There has been a number of different hypotheses regarding the causal relationship. The quantity theory of money posits that money is determined exogenously. Cagan (1965) argues that money supply presents both endogenous and exogenous properties. For short-run and cyclical fluctuation, Cagan (1965) proposed a relation in which the money supply is endogenously determined by changes in the real sector. In the monetarist view an increase in the money supply, may lead to an increase in output in the short-run, however in the long-run it may only impact prices. Monetarists abandon the existence of a long-run Phillips curve trade-off, while allowing for the possibility of a short-run trade-off as expectations adjust. Nominal rigidities models by incorporating rational expectations had shown that monetary shocks do have real effects (Fischer, (1977), Phelps and Taylor, (1977), Taylor, (1979)). The monetarist position implies a short-run trade-off between real and nominal magnitudes, with money supply impacting prices alone in the long-run. The rational expectations school would rule out short-run as well as long-run causality from anticipated money supply to output. The different Keynesian models, emphasising rigidities, lead to theoretical short-run or short-run as well as long-run causation from money supply to output depending upon whether the structural rigidities are short-term or long-term. Which of these positions best describes the Chinese context can only be determined by an empirical methodology that is capable of distinguishing between causality in the short-run and the long-run. The commonly used time domain methodologies of determining direction and strength of causality do not decompose causality by different time horizons. This weakness constitutes a limitation on the empirical understanding of the money-income and money-prices causality in the Chinese context. Given this background my study intends to investigate the money and output and money and price causality.

Mann, Samuel

Samuel Mann
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Sexual Orientation and Well-Being
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Nigel O'Leary.
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This project focuses on analysing the differences in well-being (and determinants of), depending on sexual orientation. The first chapter analyses the difference in life satisfaction across sexual orientations, utilising two different methods of identifying sexual minorities. Quantile approaches are used to explore where such differences arise from (at the top or bottom of the distribution of wellbeing). Original contribution arises from the discussions facilitated from the different methods used to identify non-heterosexuals, and the use of superior methods. The second chapter focuses on one of the key determinants of well-being: income. There is a general consensus in the literature that non-heterosexual males experience an income disadvantage, and non-heterosexual females enjoy income premiums, when compared to their respective heterosexual counterparts. I extend the literature by using quantile approaches to facilitate new discussions on the way that sexual orientation based income differentials exist, and if these differentials are consistent across the entire distribution of earnings. The final chapter utilises dynamic panel models to understand if belonging to a sexual minority leads to differences in the effect of life events on well-being. The difference in the anticipation, and adaptation effects on wellbeing as a result of marriage, divorce, unemployment, and illness are explored.

Matos, Luis

Luis Matos
Start date:
October 2013
Research Topic:
Devolution Fiscal Policy
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor James Foreman-Peck, Professor Patrick Minford
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

There have been numerous developments in the literature on fiscal federalism since Tiebout’s (1956) seminal contribution, suggesting that people “vote with their feet” and arguing that, through this mechanism, competition among subnational jurisdictions would promote efficiency in the provision of public goods.

This topic is of particular relevance if we look at current political debate in Europe. Fiscal devolution is seen as a central issue in many countries across the European Union. More generally, the current movement towards fiscal federalism is grounded in a more general decentralising wave that has been taking place around the world from the 1980s.

Over the past few years, a global trend towards fiscal devolution has been advocated in order to promote efficiency gains and a higher economic growth (Rodríguez-Pose and Ezcurra, 2011). However, this promised increase in economic performance is hardly a matter of consensus and efficiency gains predicted in the first generation models are not a direct consequence of fiscal decentralization, as different types of decentralization will certainly have different causes and effects (Rodden, 2004). A vast empirical literature tested the impact of fiscal federalism on economic growth and the results have been, at the best, inconclusive. Furthermore, there are several theoretical arguments that appear to have contradictory effects on decentralized systems of governance.

One further matter of intrinsic discrepancy is that the most important taxes are naturally collected at higher levels of government, in order to avoid a “race to the bottom”.
Hence, fiscal devolution typically leads to some degree of vertical fiscal imbalance. In this concern, there are risks that asymmetric fiscal devolution may undermine fiscal discipline and lead to unbalanced budgets at the local level.

This question comes together with the notion of soft budget constraints, initially introduced by János Kornai (1979). Similarly, Pettersson-Lidbom (2010) identifies the soft budget constraint as a significant incentive problem, pointing out the substantial challenges in its empirical verification and summarizing it as an intrinsic agent’s expectation that the principal will provide a bailout in case of financial distress, and thus weakening the agent’s incentives to behave in fiscally responsible way.

This project intends to explore how subnational governments responded to the Great Recession and which factors may have influenced subnational reactions. We will then follow our research, by developing a model in order to capture the implications and effects of soft budget constraints. The results of this project can have wide-ranging implications for the policy design of fiscal devolution, and also draw more general lessons for policymaking.

McMeechan, Shane Adam

Shane McMeechan
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Monetary Policy and Housing: Transmission Effects and Policy Implications.
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Tapas Mishra, Dr Joshy Eashaw
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

I intend to provide new insights into the channels that policy interest rates affect spending on housing. I postulate that changes in monetary policy have had a large impact on mortgage refinancing in many developed countries over the last twenty years. This in turn affected the value of securitised mortgage products, which became a significant source of funding for mortgage lending. I plan to use special VAR simulations to show how variables such as mortgage refinancing, securitisation issuance and residential investment respond to a one-standard deviation shock to policy interest rates set by central banks.

McNeill, Tara

Tara McNeill
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Economic Austerity, Civil Society and Wellbeing
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Philip Murphy (primary), Professor David Blackaby (secondary)
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

As we gain a better understanding of the determinants of wellbeing, commentators have voiced a need to move away from measuring wellbeing by traditional indicators of economic performance, such as GDP, and moving towards a more comprehensive approach by taking into account factors such as social capital and social cohesion.

The research project will consist of an investigation into the relationship between the determinants of individual subjective wellbeing and wider measures of civil society and social cohesion. By doing so, the project aims to contribute to existing knowledge by providing a deeper understanding of the determinists of measures of subjective wellbeing.

Melios, George

George Melios
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Determinants of subjective well being in Europe during the era of austerity
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Nigel Oleary
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Evolution theory suggests that humans evolved over time to survive and reproduced, not to be happy, however, happiness is considered nowadays to be the most important goal in people’s lives. It is only after the agricultural revolution, when ancient civilizations started to show signs of a progressive social transformation to a more human flourishing centered society. Dating back to the Greek political philosopher Aristotle, references of the concept of happiness, either personal or civil, are traced in numerous philosophical works as those of Bentham, Kant and others. The empirical study of happiness though has been mostly the province of psychology, sociology and political science. The early contribution of Easterlin (1974) linked psychological research on happiness to economics. Since then empirical works have been published on the determinants of happiness. These studies through different measures and methodologies have the same broad goal, to identify what makes people experience a specific level of satisfaction, in other words what determines happiness. The main aim of my research is to determine the role of three key determinants of happiness in European Union during the era of austerity. The determinants under investigation are political institutions and corruption, unemployment benefits and base salary (income).

ResearchGate:
george_melios

Paess, Anne

Anne Paess
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Central bank transparency
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof. Phillip Lawler and Dr. Jonathan G. James
Supervising school:
School of Management,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

A number of recent theoretical models show that greater transparency on the part of central banks may not be beneficial under certain conditions. I am going to look at how various assumptions about information quality, the acquisition and dissemination of information within the private sector affect the optimal degree of transparency as well as optimal monetary policy design.

Savagar, Anthony

Start date:
October 2011
Research Topic:
DSGE models with nonstationary data
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Patrick Minford
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Macroeconomic data is nonstationary; normally economists filter macro time series to induce stationarity. I conjecture that using nonstationary data can improve modelling. Working with nonstationary data causes mathematical and computational problems.

Staines, David

David Staines
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Austerity, Stimulus and Inflation in a Low Interest Rate Environment
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Huw Dixon (primary), Professor Patrick Minford, Professor James Foreman-Peck (secondary supervisors)
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Across major Western economics interest rates have been at historic lows since the financial crisis of 2008. This has rightly motivated a great deal of research into theoretical implications of the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates. I plan to challenge the emerging consensus that a binding ZLB provide a good explanation for poor macroeconomic performance since the crisis. My research will test several restrictions common to ZLB models. The aim is to apply this analysis to fiscal policy; including debate about the size of spending multipliers and the desirability of austerity and fiscal stimulus measures. I feel my research could have powerful implications for public policy; as well as how we model macroeconomic fluctuations in good times and bad.

Tzivanakis, Nikolaos

Start date:
October 2011
Research Topic:
Essays on the Quality of Institutions and Economic Preference
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof P Minford and Prof A Valentinyi
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

One of the most important questions in modern economics is “Why some countries are poorer than others?” Many theories have tried to answer this question, but a few succeeded to explain a small part of these differences between countries. In my research, I will try to explore in depth the subject of economic growth and evaluate the importance of institutions, both economic and political, in the shaping of the performance of economies.

Economics continues to be one of the most important of the social science disciplines. The pathway brings together the distinctive expertise and track record of research excellence in three institutions – Cardiff, Bangor and Swansea. As well as breadth across the whole discipline, macroeconomics (theoretical and applied) is an area in which Cardiff enjoys a particularly high national and international reputation, further enhanced by the Cardiff-based Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics. Bangor is an international research leader in Financial Economics, consistently ranked amongst the top 20 institutions in the world for Banking research, and is the host institution of the Institute of European Finance (IEF). Swansea has a particularly strong research record in labour and regional economics, is home to the Welsh Economy Labour Market Evaluation Research Centre (WELMERC) as well as being a key partner in several pan-institutional research centres.

The pathway offers a rich research environment for its students across the locations, including: presentations at weekly PhD seminars; attendance of/presentations at regular faculty research workshops; frequent external speaker seminars; access to research events; Wales-wide research colloquia held at the University of Wales conference centre in mid-Wales; major international conferences. Bangor sponsors the International Accounting and Finance Doctoral Symposium (together with the Universities of Leeds, Bradford, Strathclyde, Queensland, Salamanca, and Bologna) providing research students and early career researchers the opportunity to present their work to leading international academics in a supportive yet demanding environment.

The pathway involves a common two-year taught part comprising: (i) a common MSc Economics degree in year one, and (ii) a common MRes in Advanced Econ degree in year two. Both are delivered at Cardiff Business School. During the first two years in Cardiff, Bangor and Swansea staff will keep in contact with students with visits every 3 months to discuss research plans, and all students will be encouraged to attend seminars and other research activities at their home institutions. After successful completion of the two-year (or equivalent part-time) programme, students are based at their respective home institutions (Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea) for their supervised research study. We will encourage and facilitate joint supervision across institutions where appropriate. Cohort-building is supported via an annual student-led doctoral conference. This includes the full cohort of Economics DTP students plus those funded by other internal and external means.