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Irina Popova
Alexander Ludwig
Dirk Krueger
Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln
Taylor Jaworski
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Kristian Jakobsen
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Julian Limberg
David Hope
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Reed Walker
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Meet the Stone Centre PhD Scholars

Joern Onken

Joern is a PhD student at the UCL Department of Economics.

Tell us a bit about your PhD research and the area(s) of economics you are interested in?

My research studies how household heterogeneity affects wealth inequality and the business cycle. While the so-called “heterogenous agent” macroeconomics literature has made many advances in this area, household heterogeneity in these models typically stems from different exposure to uninsurable income risk over time. In reality however, much of the economic inequalities between households are driven by demographic factors (gender, marital status, age, number of children). The aim of my research is to explore whether accounting for richer heterogeneity along these dimensions can improve our understanding of wealth inequality and of macroeconomic fluctuations. In my current project, I study the implications of the growing share of single households for the macroeconomy.


Why did you apply for the Stone Centre scholarship, what do you hope to achieve and how will your work contribute to the Centre's mission?

The Stone Centre’s mission aligns very well with my research interest. The Stone Centre brings together leading academics from different fields of economics to address this question, which creates a fruitful environment for research that I am thrilled to be a part of. My goal as a Stone Centre PhD Scholar is to explore how accounting for richer household heterogeneity, specifically in terms of demographic factors – changes our understanding of wealth concentration, the business cycle, and of optimal economic policies. I will approach this goal by setting up a model of the macroeconomy with heterogeneous households, solved using state-of-the-art numerical techniques. In doing so, I hope that my research can help to shed light on (in my opinion understudied) demographic inequalities and how they shape economic disparities.


What educational material are you interested in developing with support from the Centre?

Standard undergraduate macroeconomics modules still mostly refer to “representative household” models. However, a quickly growing part of the macroeconomic literature (“family macro”) shows that much of households’ responses to economic shocks (and thus macroeconomic outcomes) depends on household structure. I aim to develop teaching resources that bring undergraduate courses closer to the findings of this research. One example would be to show how secular changes such as increased female labour supply can explain key macroeconomic trends, by going from the micro (household) level to the macro (economy) level. Moreover, the educational material could illustrate the links between family macroeconomics and inequality, a topic not just on the agenda of the Stone Centre but also on the mind of economics students, as in-class surveys have shown. I hope that these teaching materials make the link between households’ decision-making and the aggregate economy more tangible to the students.

Thomas Lazarowicz

Thomas is a PhD student at the UCL Department of Economics.

Tell us a bit about your PhD research and the area(s) of economics you are interested in

I am particularly interested in Macroeconomics and Firm Dynamics. My current work examines within country regional disparities in economic performance, with a particular application to the “levelling up” policy agenda in the United Kingdom. My research focusses on understanding how the firm life cycle varies across space and time, and the consequences for policy and policymakers if we want to close the gaps in economic outcomes between regions.

Why did you apply for the Stone Centre scholarship, what do you hope to achieve and how will your work contribute to the Centre's mission?

I was keen to join the wider Stone Centre community. There are so many excellent researchers working as part of the Stone Centre - one of the leading hubs for economics research on inequality - across the world, and having the opportunity to learn from them was too good an opportunity to pass up.

What educational material are you interested in developing with support from the Centre?

I would like to build an insights piece for the CORE Econ website looking at the importance of firms for economic outcomes. Often in macroeconomics, we take the firm side of the economy as given and focus on the household. I’d like to show people that firms are interesting too!

Authors

Stone Centre

Stone Centre at UCL.

Stone Centre

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