Markets: Efficiency and Taxation

Sun 15 July 2018


8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Director ’s Introduction and Academic Briefing
8:45 Demand and Supply I  (Peter Eso)
9:45 Syndicate Discussion
11:00 Demand and Supply II (Peter Eso)
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Syndicate Discussion
1:45 Income and Equality in Europe and The UK  (Robert Joyce)
3:00 Taxation: A UK Case Study (Robert Joyce)
6:15 Syndicate Discussion
7:30 Curry and Croquet


In the first two lectures of today we continue with the topic of how markets work and also how they may be created. Having experimented with market behaviour yesterday, the first lecture discusses in more detail what lies behind the demand and supply sides of markets and the mechanisms that bring these into balance.  Then, in the second lecture, we discuss how to interpret observed changes in prices and quantities in markets, whether market outcomes can be improved on and the effect of government intervention in markets. In particular, if markets are such a good idea why are societies so unequal?  Economics began as the study of how scarce resources could be assigned between competing uses.  The market mechanism is one way to do this. It can produce outcomes which are ‘efficient’ – but also potentially very unfair. In the third lecture we take the European experience as a case study and ask just how well the market mechanism has performed to date. If the situation is to be changed then government will have to act. Governments raise revenue through taxes to attain social objectives, but the government’s power to tax and spend can be both a solution and a problem. The final lecture considers in more detail how taxation affects market outcomes and takes the UK as its case study.

Peter Eso – Syndicate Tutor

Peter is a Associate Professor (Reader) in Economics and Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University. After completing a PhD in Economics at Harvard University, Peter became an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (USA) in 2001. He joined Oxford in 2009, and has been teaching Microeconomics and Game Theory at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research focuses on game theory and the economics of information, studying questions such as the role of risk aversion in trading games (e.g. auctions); communication and bargaining when parties may obtain provable information; and what determines the  price of advice (how to sell and disclose information).  Peter occasionally advises companies on auctions of telecommunication licenses.

Robert Joyce – Institute for Fiscal Studies

Robert Joyce is a Research Economist in the Direct Tax and Welfare sector. His main research interests are in the evolution of living standards, the design of the tax and benefit system, and the relationship between the two. He has been involved in several recent and current projects that attempt to simulate future levels of poverty and average incomes in the UK. Other work has focused on the determinants and consequences of children’s early developmental indicators. Current research looks at whether parental marital status has any causal impact on children’s cognitive and social skills; and whether early mental health problems have significant economic impacts later in life.