How does the economic development process by itself contribute to the rising crime against women and what policies may deter it?


Dr Debasis Bandyopadhyay
Faculty of Business
Project code: BUS002

The project investigates an economic reason behind the rising crime against women in developing economies. The student would produce a manuscript containing a model and its numerical simulations necessary to identify a plausible rationale capturing the following insight.

A steady flow of skilled labour sustains growth. However, agriculture-based societies resist women from acquiring skill. Those barriers protect rents for the landlords who need men in the field and women at home supporting them. Women’s liberation helps innovators but hurts landlords. The resulting political tension between the two groups contributes to male-hostility and hence crime against women aspiring for education and work.

The student would summarise existing literature, use MatLab and Mathematica to help build the model and to conduct numerical simulations. In the process, they would become familiar with an emerging discourse in neoclassical economics about a critical social issue and acquire the necessary skill to do independent research.

Reproducibility: Approximation and estimation of game models


Dr Erwann Sbai
Faculty of Business
Project code: BUS003

Structural econometrics for game models is useful and allow, for example, counter-factual analysis. However, associated techniques are complex and replicability is an issue.

Student will use freely available programming languages (Julia, R or Python) to reproduce some reference papers related to empirical game theoretical models (auctions and discrete demand models). Two types of problems can be considered. First, the case where we numerically approximate some games that cannot be solved analytically. Second, if the game can be solved, the actual implementation of the estimation method.

The objective is to make the output available to the wider community.

This project is valuable for different reasons, the student will: (1) improve their knowledge of structural econometric methods; (2) improve their numerical and coding skills; (3) contribute to the dissemination of knowledge in a free and transparent way.

Unanimity under ambiguity: An experimental approach


Dr Simona Fabrizi
Faculty of Business
Project code: BUS004

In a theoretical model, we recently demonstrated the existence of responsive equilibria when voting under ambiguity: Jurors vote to convict when they receive a guilty signal but randomise when they receive an innocent signal. Removing ambiguity may increase the probability of randomisation leading to less efficient information aggregation outcomes.

We plan to run laboratory experiments emulating ambiguous voting scenarios we derived in this model during semester 1 of 2020. This means that the preparation of the experimental data for the analysis will coincide with the period of the Northern Hemisphere Summer Research Scholarship.

This would give an opportunity to the selected scholar to get acquainted with research on collective decision-making under ambiguity, both theoretical and experimental and, also, to gain experience with analysing experimental data. Additionally, the scholar will have the opportunity to interact with a team of researchers beyond myself, namely those involved in this project.

Pledge and review bargaining


Dr Steffen Lippert
Faculty of Business
Project code: BUS005

Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, countries pledge intended nationally determined contributions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and then review and ratify the set of intended contributions. Because the Paris approach allows countries to make their own commitments in an independent fashion, economists fear it cannot produce GHG emissions reductions below the business-as-usual, non-cooperative Nash equilibrium. Indeed, Gollier and Tirole (2015) write, “the pledge-and-review strategy is completely inadequate.”

Recent theoretical research (Harstad, 2019) counters this gloomy commentary and shows how the Paris pledge-and-review bargaining procedure can increase aggregate contributions beyond those implied by the Kyoto Protocol. The paper models a two-step bargaining mechanism in which parties first simultaneously propose their own individual contributions and then decide whether they find the pledges acceptable. If some parties find the pledges unacceptable, the procedure starts again. It shows that as long as there is sufficient uncertainty over the likelihood that a partner will accept a set of contributions, higher than business-as-usual contributions can be sustained in equilibrium.

This project aims at testing the implications of the pledge-and-review bargaining model in the experimental laboratory. The scholar will be involved in developing an experimental procedure to do so.