Hamish Low Becomes Head of Department

Hamish Low joined us in 2018 from the University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD in Economics from University College London, and an MPhil in Economics and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. Here he introduces his vision for the future of our Department.

I feel honoured to have the opportunity to take over from Margaret Stevens and to take the Department forwards – surrounded by some of the brightest minds and world experts in the field.

Our REF submission made clear the breadth of the Department’s research and impact in the key issues faced by society. Even more so in such unprecedented times, economics has the potential to play a pivotal role in how society evolves in the coming decades. Ours is not an inward facing discipline carried out in a vacuum – economics must be both influenced by, and influence, the fluctuations we see in society. This drives my own research on understanding the uncertainty and insecurity in people’s lives, and permeates much of the research we all do.   

Ours is one of the largest departments of economics in the world: we have a responsibility to challenge and develop the next generation of economic thinkers, and ensure we share that wealth of knowledge with the global community. Two of my key aims for the department are first to massively increase our support for graduate students and to make sure that our reforms to the program deliver graduates who understand and can apply economics; and second, to build the impact of our research and our external engagement, to show how our research and how economics can benefit society and improve policy making.  

At its core, the department is about the people and what we do together. My intention is to bring our community together, to encourage informal interaction and the exchange of ideas, and to create a vibrant research environment for economics at Oxford. The Department is at the heart of that research community, and together we can make it a stimulating and supportive place for us all to work together.