Supporting students at the ESCoE conference

20 May 2019

A top group of PhD students received financial support to present their findings on economic measurement at a conference this month.


The Royal Economic Society offered each of the top PhD paper submissions funding towards travel and accommodation to attend the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) annual conference. This was held at King’s College London (8-10 May 2019) in partnership with the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


The conference included keynote lectures by Professor Vasco Carvalho (Cambridge), Professor Alberto F. Cavallo (Harvard) and John Fernald (INSEAD), as well as talks and presentations by many other economists – four of whom received financial support from the Society.


Andreas Freitag of the University of Basel was one of the recipients, whose paper “Exchange-rate pass-through via the supply side” shows how firms adjust products in response to an exchange-rate shock. Andreas presented his paper on the first day of the conference and said:


The conference was great, the presentations, the panel discussions and the keynote speakers were all very inspiring.



Another who received support was Cian Allen of Trinity College Dublin. He presented his research at the conference’s poster session on cross-border financial flows and the distortion multinational profits can have on the current account balance. Cian said:


I'm very grateful for the RES's support in attending this conference on measurement issues … As a user of this data, the conference was a great opportunity not only to talk to the people that compile this data, but to listen to the solutions they propose to tackle these difficulties.

Tahnee Ooms of the University of Oxford also received financial support. She chaired a session on ‘Inequality and Distribution’ and presented her own research on inequality statistics. Tahnee found that about 40% of capital incomes, as measured in tax administrative data, are not accounted for in UK inequality statistics, produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Tahnee said:


The Royal Economic Society award has enabled me to bring this finding, and my proposed solutions, to the attention of both the ONS and DWP. Both have reacted positively to the results presented, highlighting the potential to correct for this measurement error in the official inequality series in the future. The RES has been helpful in establishing this direct connection between academia and the real world.


Presenting his research at the conference’s poster session, Nam Vu from the University of Swansea said it was a great opportunity to meet other researchers. His research paper – ‘Quality of Goods and Price Setting’ – looks at the impact of products quality on price-setting, finding that the prices of low-quality goods are stickier than high quality goods. Nam attended the RES 2019 Annual Conference as well as the ESCoE Conference, which he described as

great opportunities for a PhD student like me to meet other researchers from all over UK and Europe countries.


He added:

These unique opportunities can greatly expand your knowledge and help you to have a good direction not only for your research but also for your career.