Our objective is to engage in innovative research that extends the frontiers of the discipline, deepening our understanding of the operation of modern economies. Research spans almost all the major sub-fields of economics with particular strengths in microeconomic theory, including behavioural economics; econometrics, both micro-econometrics and time series; economic history and development and international economics.

The University of Oxford is ranked 8th in the world and 2nd in Europe in the most recent Tilburg University ranking of Economics departments, based on research contribution for the period between 2012-2016.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) to evaluate the research output of UK Universities, Oxford was first in overall research strength in Economics and Econometrics, with more research ranked as ‘world-leading’ than any other participating institution. In a submission of 84 FTE academics, 56% of our research was rated as ‘world-leading’ (4*) and a further 33% rated as ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).

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As one of Europe’s leading Economics departments, Oxford aims to inform and improve the development and implementation of economic and public policy in the UK and around the world. We do this by producing innovative research that extends the frontiers of the discipline and deepens our understanding of the operation of modern economies.

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Working Papers

Authors: Mark Armstrong, , John Vickers

Dec 2018

Mark Armstrong, John Vickers

We study mixed-strategy equilibrium pricing in oligopoly settings where con-sumers vary in the set of suppliers they consider for their purchase-some being captive to a particular firm, some consider two particular firms, and so on. In the case of "nested reach" we find equilibria, unlike those in more standard models, in which firms are ranked in terms of the prices they might charge. We character-ize equilibria in the three-firm case, and contrast them with equilibria in the parallel model with capacity constraints. A theme of the analysis is how patterns of consumer interaction with firms matter for competitive outcomes.

JEL Codes: C72, D43, D83, L15

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Authors: Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Dec 2018


The paper surveys three economic history literatures that can speak to contemporary challenges to globalization: the literature on the anti-globalization backlash of the nineteenth century, focused largely on trade and migration; the literature on the Great Depression, focused largely on capital flows, the gold standard, and protectionism; and the literature on trade and warfare.


JEL Codes: N70, F02

Keywords: globalization, deglobalization.

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Authors: John Knight, LI Shi, WAN Haiyuan

Nov 2018

John Knight, LI Shi and WAN Haiyuan

The inequality of wealth in China has increased rapidly in recent years. China presents a fascinating case study of how inequality of household wealth increases as economic reform takes place, marketisation occurs, and capital accumulates. Wealth inequality and its growth are measured and decomposed using data from two national sample surveys of the China Household Income Project (CHIP) relating to 2002 and 2013. An attempt is made to explain the rising wealth inequality in terms of the relationships between income and wealth, differential saving, house price inflation, and income from wealth. This last relationship is stressed by Thomas Piketty in his 2014 book. In China the evidence for it is weak, but there is support for a reformulation that includes real capital gain as part of income. Piketty’s mechanism is relevant, but only ‘with Chinese characteristics’.

JEL Codes: C80; D31

Keywords: China; Housing inequality; Piketty; Wealth inequality; Capital gain.

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Jennifer L. Castle, Jurgen A. Doornik and David F. Hendry

We investigate the role of the significance level when selecting models for forecasting as it con-trols both the null retention frequency and the probability of retaining relevant variables when using binary decisions to retain or drop variables. Analysis identifies the best selection significance level in a bivariate model when there are location shifts at or near the forecast origin. The trade-off for select¬ing variables in forecasting models in a stationary world, namely that variables should be retained if their non-centralities exceed 1, applies in the wide-sense non-stationary settings with structural breaks examined here. The results confirm the optimality of the Akaike Information Criterion for forecasting in completely different settings than initially derived. An empirical illustration forecast¬ing UK inflation demonstrates the applicability of the analytics. Simulation then explores the choice of selection significance level for 1-step ahead forecasts in larger models when there are unknown lo¬cation shifts present under a range of alternative scenarios, using the multipath tree search algorithm, Autometrics (Doornik, 2009), varying the target significance level for the selection of regressors. The costs of model selection are shown to be small. The results provide support for model selection at looser than conventional settings, albeit with many additional features explaining the forecast perfor¬mance, with the caveat that retaining irrelevant variables that are subject to location shifts can worsen forecast performance.

Keywords: Model selection; forecasting; location shifts; significance level; Autometrics

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