The Department of Economics is proud to announce that two of our faculty- - Abi Adams Prassl and Alex Teytelboym   - have been awarded prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grantsto fund cutting-edge research projects into the future of work, trade and economic theory.  Teodora Boneva who was Associate Professor of Economics at Oxford until April 2020 when she moved to a post at the University of Zurich – has also received an ERC Starting grant.  Our warmest congratulations to Abi , Alex and Teodora.

ERC Starting Grants are intended to support exceptional early career researchers to become research leaders in their fields. The highly-coveted awards, funded through the European Union, are each worth more than 1 million euros and will provide the researchers with the resources to conduct pioneering research, and expand learning into exciting new areas.

Dr Abi Adams-Prassl has won an award for her FEMPOWER project, ‘Measuring Female Bargaining Power & Inefficient Family Decision Making’.

When analysing household decision-making, economists usually assume a utopian scenario characterised by cooperation and commitment. Not only do a range of common family behaviours fall outside the scope of these frameworks but, crucially, their policy prescriptions can result in adverse and unintended consequences. For example, some policy interventions aimed at improving women’s bargaining power have been found to increase violence against women in some contexts.

FEMPOWER will harness a number of new large-scale data sources and develop innovative empirical tools to interrogate how family decision-making works in contexts including domestic violence and divorce.

Dr Adams-Prassl said ‘I'm thrilled to receive this award, and for FEMPOWER to have the backing of the European Research Council. A better understanding of household decision-making is crucial to ensuring policy design that reduces the likelihood of harmful consequences for women. In our current climate of economic uncertainty and increased pressure on families, the aims of this project have never been more important.’

About the ERC

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation.

To date, the ERC has funded over 9,500 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and over 50,000 postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. Key global research funding bodies, in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil and other countries, have concluded special agreements to provide their researchers with opportunities to temporarily join ERC grantees' teams. 

The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The (ad interim) ERC President is Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The overall ERC budget from 2014 to 2020 is more than €13 billion, as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, for which the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel is responsible.

Notes for Editors

  • The ERC Starting Grants 2020 grants were announced today here: https://erc.europa.eu/news/StG-recipients-2020
  • The funding, worth a total of €677 million, will help these early-career scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research across all disciplines. The grants are part of the EU’s Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
  • The grantees are a diverse group with 40 different nationalities. Amongst the winners, 20 researchers are moving to Europe from further afield thanks to the funding. The new grantees will be based in 25 countries across Europe, with Germany (88 grants), the UK (62), the Netherlands (42) and France (38) as top locations. Some 13% of applications were selected for funding in this round. These Starting Grants will create an estimated 2,500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at the host institutions.

More information

ERC website (https://erc.europa.eu/)

Horizon 2020 (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/)