St Anne’s is raising funds for a Tutorial Fellowship in Economics to enable us to secure the long-term future of Economics teaching in the College.
Early in 2018, our Governing Body reaffirmed the College’s purpose to be a diverse and inclusive community contributing to the University’s commitment to lead the world in education and research, securing the College’s legacy and future. Our Economics campaign is a key aspect of this. At St Anne’s we take pride in supporting and enabling our academic’s research and we are raising funds for a Tutorial Fellowship to enable us to secure the long-term future of Economics in the College. Economics occupies a central place in the social sciences, its methods are key to understanding and changing the world, and results affect millions of lives every day. We need to raise £692k which will endow the fund and offer the subject as part of joint degrees in perpetuity.
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Teaching at St Anne’s
Economics at St Anne’s is currently taught by Dr Terry O’Shaughnessy and Associate Professor Johannes Abeler as part of the PPE course. Terry teaches Introductory Economics, Macroeconomics, Public Economics, International Economics and Development of World Economy. Johannes’ teaching covers mainly Behavioural Economics, Public Economics and Microeconomics.
The main focus of Terry's research is in macroeconomics where he works on understanding the interaction between short-term economic fluctuations and the longer-term growth prospects of an economy. He is interested in the history of economic thought; applied welfare economics (including the economics of education) and he is currently working on migration and issues raised by Brexit. Terry says:
‘Economists have to be as rigorous in their analysis of the models they construct as they are creative in thinking them up. And their models need to shed light on matters we don't yet understand and which really matter. By doing so, we can contribute to human happiness. What could be more important - and more fun - than to dedicate one's energy and creativity to this?’
Johannes applies insights from behavioural and experimental economics to questions in labour and public economics. His research has studied the economic effects of fairness, disappointment, complexity, and fungibility. Recently, he has been working on honesty. He finds that many people are surprisingly honest (surprising from an economics point of view that is). This is equally driven by a desire to be honest and to appear honest. Johannes says:
‘Economists try to help people become as happy as possible. We try to hide our endeavour under a lot of maths and jargon and cynicism, but at heart, that’s what economics is about. All of our economics teaching at St Anne’s is done with this in mind. We also teach a bit of maths, I have to add, but no cynicism.’
‘Studying economics at St Anne’s has been a great experience which has encouraged me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of economic problems. Being in a small tutorial group has further enhanced my learning experience and engagement with the course material. The breadth of choice in modules has also allowed me to follow my interest in development economics.’
Phoebe Baxter, current 2nd year PPE student
‘The value of studying PPE at St Anne's lies outside the textbooks. St Anne's taught me how to research ideas. It excelled at encouraging its students to challenge, and to have enough confidence to defend their challenge. A financial market economist seeking to persuade clients has to be able to put forward a succinct, coherent argument that does not blindly follow established views.
The PPE degree forces an economist to view their subject in a wider context. Economics raises moral questions - as is increasingly obvious in today's world. Economics raises policy and political questions. Everyone makes economic decisions all of the time. Economics cannot, indeed must not be studied in isolation.'
Paul Donovan, PPE (1990), Global Chief Economist at UBS Wealth Management
'Efficient market theory provides a perennial reminder that predicting equity market movements is tough. So, it’s fortunate economics also provides tools fund managers can use to think carefully about the choices firms and the individuals within them should and are likely to make, and how macroeconomic forces play out in financial markets. Profit and utility maximisation, game theory, competition and market structures, simple IS-LM, and models of growth are, among others, the go-to analytical frameworks I pull off the shelf to inform my investment decisions.'
Karen Roydon, PPE (1995) Portfolio Manager and Partner at Genesis Investment Management