Economics in Action: Micro and Macro Effects

Sat 15 July 2017

Programme

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 (Kevin Sheppard)
5:00 Syndicate Discussion
6:00 Barbecue

Overview

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

pic_estevesRui 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.

Kevin Sheppard – Syndicate Tutor

Kevin Sheppard – Syndicate Tutor
Kevin studied economics and mathematics at the Universities of Texas before obtaining his PhD in Economics at the University of California-San Diego. He specializes in measuring and modeling risk. His current research analyzes how risk evolves over time focusing substantially on asymmetric transfer across time. Other current projects include exploring how shocks in one market spread across the globe and how uncertainty about the future affects the amount of reward required to bear a risk. Kevin also researches theoretical issues in econometrics with a specialization in the tools needed to analyze financial market data.