Economics in Action: Micro and Macro Effects

Sat 14 July 2018


12:00 Director’s Introduction
12:30 Academic Briefing (Rui Esteves)
1:00 Lunch
2:00 Around the World in Sixty Minutes (Rui Esteves)
3:00 Syndicate Discussion
4:00 Understanding How Markets Work (Michalis Rousakis)
5:00 Syndicate Discussion
6:00 Barbecue


So, what is economics?  How can the study of economics help to inform and to improve the decisions made throughout business and government? An easy textbook definition would be that economics is “the study of resource allocation.” However, in reality, our perspective is much broader. Economists are interested in human behaviour, and in particular the decisions that people make when the outcome for them also depends on the decisions of others. Hence, in effect, we study “interactive decision making.”  Sometimes different decisions are linked by the prices of a market system (this is microeconomics), or the strategic considerations of those involved (this is game theory), or sometimes we take a “big picture” perspective on the aggregate properties of economies (this is macroeconomics).  In the first day, we explore what economics is about and how it can be applied in real-world scenarios. The first lecture offers an introduction to the world economy as a whole and in its components. It describes core facts of the world macro environment in terms of economic growth, inequality and global imbalances. The second lecture explains what under- pins economists’ faith in markets as a way of efficiently allocating resources. In this lecture an experimental game is used to explore how markets might be balanced, and what market outcomes we might expect. This first day provides a crucially important opportunity for course delegates to absorb themselves into the style of analysis that will be used throughout the course.

Rui Esteves – Senior Tutor

Rui runs the academic side of the Oxford Finance and Economics Group. Rui is an Associate Professor in Economics at Oxford, and a Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford. He was educated in the Universities of Porto and California, Berkeley. Before coming to Oxford, Rui held an academic appointment at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His research focuses on topics of international finance, institutional economics, and public finance in a historical perspective. Recent  projects deal  with the nature of governance in the sovereign debt market, the determinants of capital flows to developing nations, infrastructure investment, emigrants remittances, and rent-seeking in public office.

Michalis Rousakis – University of Oxford

Michalis is a Career Development Fellow at the Department of Economics and a Fellow of Merton College at the University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, he completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Warwick in 2012 and spent two years as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence afterwards. His research interests lie in Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics and his current research explores the interaction between the labour market and the housing market.