The Centre for Accountancy, Finance and Economics (CAFÉ) holds a number of research presentations each month as well as conferences and workshops.

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Upcoming events

Presenter: Dr Erez Yerushalmi

Time/location: Online, MS Teams. 24 January 2024, 14:00-15:30 Click here to join the meeting

Title: Do Bicycle Networks Have Economic Value? A Hedonic Application to Greater Manchester

Abstract: Using hedonic and spatial regressions, this paper estimates much larger association between proximity to bicycle networks and house prices than previously reported. Given the challenges of congestion and pollution, many cities across the world are implementing policies to improve bicycling facilities and other active modes of transport. Bicycle lanes are a solution that could potentially provide significant amenities to residents, but they require investment and the appropriation of limited land. Drawing on a large dataset of approximately 253,000 transactions in Greater Manchester, over a 9-year period, we find that a 1 km reduction in distance to the nearest bicycle network is associated with property values being around 3.2% higher, on average, and 7.3% higher in the central borough of Manchester. We also provide an applied example to rank new bicycle routes by comparing their benefit-to-cost ratios.

Past events

Professor Amin Karimu – Structural changes in African households: Female-headed households and Children’s educational investments in an imperfect credit market in Africa

Title: Structural changes in African households: Female-headed households and Children’s educational investments in an imperfect credit market in Africa. (Find published paper here.)

Seminar time: 7 December 2023, 14:30-16:00, C286

Presenter: Professor Amin Karimu – Birmingham City University

Abstract: Female headship of households has increased significantly around the world. This paper establishes a link between gender, income, and children’s educational investments in an imperfect credit market.

We show using a representative household survey from Ghana that, even though there is a positive correlation between income and educational investments, there are expected and unexpected heterogeneities in income and children’s educational investments. We find that, whereas income levels for male-headed households with children 6 to 18 years are over 20% higher, female-headed households tend to invest 31% to 38% more on children’s education than male-headed households.

In imperfect credit markets, higher educational investments could be taking place at the expense of other household outcomes such as food/leisure. Our empirical results show the need for different interventions for different households in terms of scaling-up investment in children education in an imperfect credit market.

We also show how institutional changes that recognize affirmative action can interact with household-level structural changes in influencing investment in children education.

Stefania Simion (University of Bristol) – Adventures in Pair Programming (joint with Annika Johnson and Anastasia Papadopoulou)

Seminar time: Wednesday 8th November 2-4 pm at University House (Room G05), University of Birmingham, B15 2TT

Presenter: Stefania Simion (University of Bristol) – Adventures in Pair Programming (joint with Annika Johnson and Anastasia Papadopoulou)

Abstract: I am organizing the Birmingham Economics Education Seminar Series, Seminar 1, with staff at Aston University and The University of Birmingham, circulating seminars among the universities.

The primary objectives of this seminar series are to:

  • Explore innovative teaching methods specific to economics education.
  • Share insights on effective student engagement and active learning strategies in economics classrooms.
  • Promote discussions on educational research and pedagogical approaches in economics.
  • Promote understanding and best practices around participation, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Cultivate a network of economics educators dedicated to continuous improvement in teaching foster opportunities for cross-institution research collaboration, and encourage the research development of junior staff.

Best Wishes,
Dr Wenyu Zang (contact me for questions)

This project evaluates a multi-day data workshop implemented through a supportive pair programming approach complemented by bespoke cheat sheets. The event gave students the opportunity to learn how to produce data analysis in Python through a combination of pair programming, specially designed cheat sheets and exercises to create a supportive and highly social learning environment. Over five days, students worked together to progress from basic arithmetic commands all the way through to independently downloading data sets and visualising them using Python.

The aim of the event was threefold:

  • (i) to learn how pair programming and cheat sheets can be used jointly to facilitate learning of data analysis in new languages, a skill of increasing importance in applied economics courses;
  • (ii) to enhance employability by providing students with the opportunity to develop hard programming skills not included in their regular programme of study;
  • (iii) to provide a rare and vital opportunity for community building by allowing students to embrace uncertainty and collaborate on an authentic data project.

We ran four qualitative surveys across the week to better understand how each student perceived their progress and the pair programming learning experience. The qualitative analysis of the comments shows that participants embraced the pair programming approach and the use of the bespoke cheat sheets, appreciated the social environment created during the event, and the use of incentives.

The main talk will be followed by further presentations and/or activities led by University of Birmingham

Please arrive in advance of 2pm: Refreshments will be provided before the talk, with opportunities for networking after the event.

Marco Hafner - The cost of seasonal influenza on the UK labour market

Title:The cost of seasonal influenza on the UK labour market

Seminar time: Wednesday 18 October 2023, 14:00-15:30

Presenter: Dr Erez Yerushalmi, (Senior Economist, Research Leader, RAND Europe)

Abstract: Seasonal influenza significantly burdens the UK's public health system. During the flu season (October to March), the National Health Service (NHS) faces heightened demand. While many existing health economic evaluation studies focus on the direct costs linked to healthcare usage due to the flu, fewer have explored the wider economic repercussions, such as lost workforce productivity and the economic benefits of vaccinating working adults against it.

In this study, we surveyed a geographically representative survey of 1,000 working-age adults (18-64 years) across the UK, who reported having influenza or caring for a dependent with influenza during at least one of the past four influenza seasons (between 2018-2019 and 2021-2022) to understand vaccination rate among this population, as well as impacts on absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace. Using the survey results as key parameter inputs, we then developed a linked epidemiologic-economic modelling framework to estimate the incidence of influenza across different population groups to estimate the economic costs associated with lost economic productivity among working-age adults who become ill with influenza.

Our findings suggest that annually, 2.4 million working adults could contract the flu, leading to 4.8 million lost working days, costing the UK economy £644 million (0.04% GDP). Our scenario analyses indicate that a 10-percentage point rise in vaccination rates among working adults could boost the UK's GDP by £258 million.

Dr Danilo Spinola: Unveiling Structure and Dynamics of Global Digital Technology Networks: a new digital technology classification and network analysis based on trade data

Presenter: Dr Danilo Spinola

Title: Unveiling Structure and Dynamics of Global Digital Technology Networks: a new digital technology classification and network analysis based on trade data

Seminar: Wednesday 20 September 2023, 14:00-15:30 Online

Abstract: Digitalisation refers to activities and tasks associated with the production, adoption, and diffusion of advanced digital production technologies including (i) Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, and cloud computing; (ii) Robotics, Cyber-Physical Systems, and Additive Manufacturing; and (iii) Internet of Things (IoT) and network technologies. The literature lacks attention on the extent to which digitalisation is resulting in the emergence of new linking countries and regions into new global production structures.

We address this gap by developing a new comprising 127 tradable material products, each identified in the 6-digit Harmonised System Classification of international trade. We cluster the selected products in three main groups in view of distinguishing different types of tradable products and the nature of networks. Then, we delve into the investigation of the structure and dynamics of change in global digital technology networks for 2012 and 2018. Network analysis unveils the evolving structural dynamics and shifts in the centrality of different country nodes, hence the emergence of winners and losers, as well as new entrants and leavers; but also the extent to which specific countries are becoming entry points and main orchestrators of these networks.

We find striking results in the fast evolution of the structure network, centrality, and country regional clustering. China became the undisputed centre of the global digital technology network, while the USA lost in centrality. European countries reveal a fragmented network structure with only some form of orchestration around Germany. A number of middle-income countries including Brazil and South Africa are largely peripheral to these global digital technology networks, both in terms of trade volume and trade ‘friendships’.

2022 - 2023
Dr Scott Lichtenstein and Dr Sally Kah: Strategic leadership in practice: An exploration of personal values-guided social entrepreneurship in the US energy sector

Presenter: Dr Scott Lichtenstein and Dr Sally Kah

Seminar time: Wednesday 19 July 2023, 14:00-15:30 Online 

Title: Strategic leadership in practice: An exploration of personal values-guided social entrepreneurship in the US energy sector 


This research aims to uncover how the personal values of a social enterprise CEO (Paul) influence strategic leadership and choices. We adopt the upper-echelon theory by Hambrick and Mason (1984) of bounded rationality to provide insights into the lived experience of an executive social entrepreneur - how personal values influence the establishment of Local Power and subsequent strategic decisions. To achieve this, we followed Kempster and Stewart's (2010) co-produced auto-ethnography approach, described as two parts of a sandwich: the ‘bread’ as the interpreted observations and the filling as the reflections on the experience. The 'meat' of Paul's auto-ethnographic sandwich reflected significant episodes from 1995 to 2022 when he developed Local Power, California C Corp CEO and LLC President. From a theoretical perspective, this research contributes to creative opportunity recognition and the coupling of personal values that influence strategic leadership and choices in social entrepreneurship.

Co-Authors: Scott Lichtenstein, Paul Fenn, Sally Kah

Dr Mohamed Hawela: Exploring the Developments and Implementations of 3D Printed Food in the Hospitality Industry 

Presenter: Dr Mohamed Hawela

Seminar time:  Wednesday 14 June 2023, 14:00-15:30 (See Recording Here)

Title: Exploring The Developments and Implementations of 3d Printed Food In The Hospitality Industry 

Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) food printing is still a burgeoning field of technology with significant future potentials to produce customized (personalized) food; providing the opportunities to both using wide varieties of sources of food, and, to fulfil unique dietary needs through customized or personalized nutrition. Additionally, it enables the formation of complex geometries. The 3D food printing has the potentials to create personalized food with complex geometries, nutrition, and non-traditional food sources.
A systematic search within nine academic journals specializing in hospitality and tourism was conducted during May 2023. It was conducted by using two keywords, the first is “3D printing” and the second is the “3D printed food”. The search was conducted with the online tool “searching within this journal”. The findings of the online search revealed that there is a huge gap in the literature related to the implementation of 3D printed food in the hospitality industry. To try to partially, fill the gap in the extant literature; this paper will cover, firstly, the developments of 3D printed food through three stages and then discuss the 3D printed food processes. Secondly, an explanation of the components and the processes of the 3D printed food. Thirdly, a comparison of 3D printing technologies for designing food will be conducted. Fourthly, a case study of a fully 3D printed food restaurant will be discussed. Lastly, future direction of 3D printed food will be suggested.

Dr Krish Saha: 10 Years of circular economy research in the Textile and Clothing industry: A comprehensive  review

Presenter: Dr Krish Saha

Title: 10 Years of circular economy research in the Textile and Clothing industry: A comprehensive  review

Seminar time:  17 May 2023: Watch video recording Here.

Abstract: There is a significant uptake of research on circular economy implementation in the textile and clothing industry, its positive effects, challenges, and opportunities. A few reviews have captured the evolution and future research opportunities by analysing the extant literature. However, their limited scope and conceptual ambiguity call for a comprehensive review.

This study combined the bibliometric, content and problematisation review methodologies to critique the current research comprehensively. It reveals that the field is highly fragmented and lacks methodological robustness. Institutional factors, consumer behaviours, sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI) and transition challenges are the thematic areas in which the most significant works are completed. Technology-oriented circularity and its positive impact on sustainability is the in-house assumption that almost all studies are founded upon.

This study reveals that the socio-economic disruptions caused by the forced implementation of circular economy, institutional isomorphism and the capability of frugal innovation in delivering circularity in the textile and clothing industry value chain are the directions of future research. (Authors: Krishnendu Saha and Prasanta K. Dey)

Dr Peter Samuels: Scale Reliability Analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis - two complementary techniques

Presenter: Dr Peter Samuels

Title: Scale Reliability Analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis - two complementary techniques

Video Recording: See video from Wednesday 15 March, 2023.

Abstract: I present two complementary statistical analysis techniques: Scale Reliability Analysis (which is used for establishing a single scale) and Exploratory Factor Analysis (which is used for establishing multiple scales). A scale is a group of fields of data which are believed to, or have been shown to, describe the same thing. Two major reasons for using scales are that it makes further analysis easier and reduces the risk of Type I errors. Collected data items, such as Likert response values from a questionnaire, are often of ordinal data type whereas derived scales are numerical data. This means there are more and better analysis techniques which can be used with scales. Another reason for using scales is that they provide more reliable measures than individual items

Dr Eleni Papagiannaki: Socioeconomic Planning and Type-I Civilization: Towards a Historical Materialist Futurism

Presenter: Dr Eleni Papagiannaki

Title: Socioeconomic Planning and Type-I Civilization: Towards a Historical Materialist Futurism

Seminar: See video from Wednesday 15 February.

Abstract: The field of futurism is dominated by thinkers for whom the continued operation of the capitalist mode of production (MoP) is assumed. Yet, much of the conceptual arsenal of such bourgeois futurism has been appropriated from the Left. This paper focuses on the notion of a Type-I civilisation, which is a planetary civilisation that can control all generation, transmission and storage of energy on a planet. The notion was proposed by the Soviet astrophysicist Kardashev in 1964. Since then, it has been developed by bourgeois futurists into a conceptual mainstay appearing also in the discourse of influential contemporary capitalist organisations such as the World Economic Forum. We argue that Type-I civilisation is incompatible with the capitalist MoP. Therefore this paper seeks to develop the notion of a socialist Type-I civilisation. We examine three contradictions inherent in the capitalist MoP which we argue would be intensified in a Type-I situation: a) the contradiction between nature and human production (ecology), b) the contradiction between highly socialised (Vergesellschaftung) production versus private appropriation (economy), and c) the contradiction between capitalist production and technological development (technology). We then argue that a Type-I civilisation will require three sets of non-capitalist social relations: i) socialised ownership over the means of production, with social relations excluding private property, ii) socioeconomic planning and iii) democratic and isegoric control over the plan. We conclude that the notion of a globally united high-technology civilisation should be returned to its original context, amid visions of a post-capitalist world.

Professor David Higgins : Can Marketing Seriously Impact Real Estate Performance?

Presenter: Professor David Higgins

Title: Can Marketing Seriously Impact Real Estate Performance?

Seminar: Wednesday 18 January 2023, 14:00-15:30

Abstract: Unlike competing asset classes, marketing is a critical element when looking at optimising capital returns of a specific commercial real estate asset. This new research examines the role of real estate marketing as to attract the target audience and demonstrate why they should choose a specific real estate asset over the many competing alternatives. How marketing is changing across the real estate sector with emerging digital technology will be covered, alongside marketing’s impact on the value, price, worth concept (supporting data provided!). In blending emerging marketing theory (including social media), with real estate practices, the research provides an interesting insight into this under researched dynamic marketplace.

Dr Fernanda Perin: How do public policies influence the Large Brazilian Pharmaceutical Companies motivation to internationalise?

Presenter: Dr Fernanda Perin

Topic: How do public policies influence the Large Brazilian Pharmaceutical Companies motivation to internationalise?

Seminar: Wednesday 16 November 2022, 14:00-15:30, Online Join the meeting

Abstract: The study explores how public policies have supported the internationalisation of large Brazilian pharmaceutical companies and analyses the influence of direct and indirect policies and financial and non-financial measures on the motivation to invest abroad. The methodology comprises a multiple case study through document analysis and interviews with eight large Brazilian pharmaceutical companies, five policymakers and three sector experts. The findings demonstrate that a direct policy of promoting internationalisation influences the companies’ exploitation motivation, shaping their market-seeking strategies to invest abroad. Direct non-financial measures to support internationalisation have more adhesion of companies seeking to exploit the international market. The indirect financial policies, such as the policies aimed at promoting the competitiveness of companies in the domestic market, support companies that adopt innovation strategies in the international market. The results also show that horizontal policies have little influence on companies’ international strategies, and sectorial policies are essential to stimulate internationalisation. This study contributes to the International Business and evolutionary literature by showing that different policies and measures influence firms’ internationalisation in different ways. It also furthers theoretical development on the differentiation between various state actions supporting internationalisation. The state must be clear about what it intends to achieve with firms’ internationalisation and design policies for that purpose. If the objective is to expand the market for companies, bringing immediate benefits to the country (e.g. growth in exports), then direct policies are more appropriate. However, if there is an intention to make internationalisation a channel for technological catching up technologically, then sector-oriented industrial and STI policies must be prioritised.

Professor Hong Bui: Mega-Amplified Performativity: A Big Qualitative Twitter Data Analysis

Presenter: Professor Hong Bui

Topic: Mega-Amplified Performativity: A Big Qualitative Twitter Data Analysis

Seminar:  Wednesday 19 October 2022, 14:00-15:30, Online Join the meeting

Abstract: This large longitudinal qualitative study advances the theory of leadership language in the digital era by investigating the power of performativity in softening the bust and constituting the boom of the world economy. More than  were collected from the Twitter accounts of 70 global business influencers with a total number of tweets above a hundred and a total number of followers between 10,000 and 50 million. The data represent the entire collection of their tweets posted between March 2006 and August 2019. Those tweets are employed to extract over 8.5 million linguistic tokens to analyse the frequency of words, hashtags, and networks of bigrams. Such data mining results are used to navigate the inductive thematic narrative analysis fruitfully to advance theory. This study shows mega-amplified performativity of business influencers’ language on social media that can contribute to setting new business trends, raising hopes during the recession and taking the world economy out of one of the most challenging economic recessions to a record-long economic expansion by focusing on business and customer growth. It also opens an interdisciplinary path in exploring the power of social media in business and society.

Associate Professor, Beverley Nielsen and Associate Professor, Steve McCabe: Understanding the interconnected nature of the Jewellery Quarter Industry cluster (JQ-IC)

Presenter: Associate Professor, Beverley Nielsen and Associate Professor, Steve McCabe

Title: Understanding the interconnected nature of the Jewellery Quarter Industry cluster (JQ-IC)

Seminar: Wednesday 21 September 2022, 14:00-15:30 Online Join the meeting

Abstract: Data is being collected on the Jewellery Quarter Industry Cluster (JQ-IC) to support the development of a 'Creative Incubator and Hub', defined as “an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of existing and entrepreneurial companies in JQ-IC through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical and virtual space, capital, coaching and skills development, common services provision, networking connections and promotion.”

This survey builds on an earlier survey conducted in 2016 and aims to:

1. Carry out deep-dive research to map the interconnected nature of the jewellery quarter industry cluster (JQ-IC ) and the links between the companies involved. This will establish key connections, components, strengths and weaknesses in the value chain. We will look to establish any issues with skills gaps. The survey is intended to enable us to identify which parts of the cluster need strengthening whilst also identifying potential for growth, start-ups, relocation and promotion;

2. Conduct a detailed options appraisal, including consultation with relevant stakeholders, to establish the best model for a JQ Creative Incubator;

3. Conduct a fundraising options appraisal for the delivery of the recommended model(s)

The survey is funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and is conducted by the Institute for Design, Economic Acceleration & Sustainability (IDEAS) at Birmingham City University, on behalf of the JQDT and the Jewellery Quarter Cultural Action Zone.

2021 - 2022
Issahaku SalifuCorporate Governance Mechanisms and Financial Performance of Indigenous Banks in Ghana

Presenter: Issahaku Salifu

Topic:  Corporate Governance Mechanisms and Financial Performance of Indigenous Banks in Ghana

Seminar: 31 August 2022, 14:00-15:30,  Online Click here to join the meeting

Abstract: This study examines the impact of corporate governance (CG) mechanisms, such as board size, board composition, and female representation, on the financial performance of indigenous commercial banks in Ghana. This study employed data from the annual reports of nine indigenous banks in Ghana for a two-year post-banking sector clean-up period from 2019 to 2020. Random and fixed effects, as well as correlation analyses, were employed to address the research questions. The board size of indigenous Ghanaian banks is negatively associated with financial performance. Results for random fixed effects model suggest board composition, bank age and female board representation among indigenous Ghanaian banks are significantly positively related to return on assets (ROA). The empirical findings of this study highlight the significance of allowing for the operations of social norms, which is supported by agency and stakeholder theories when implementing CG systems in banking institutions. The findings are of significance and support a case to conduct CG research that engender policy formulation, particularly in developing countries. More specifically, the results are important for the Bank of Ghana in developing CG framework for Ghanaian banks, as well as providing training opportunities for managers to gain appreciation of CG within the sector.

Dr Krish Saha: The sustainability paradox of an animal health care company

Presenter: Senior Lecturer, Dr Krish Saha

Seminar: Wed 22 Jun 2022 14:00-15:30,See the recorded video.

Title: The sustainability paradox of an animal health care company

ABSTRACT: Sustainable practice is thought to enhance a firm’s economic performance along with social and environmental performance. This research investigates if such performance enhancement is possible for animal health care firms. Although health care is one of the most polluting industries due to its greenhouse gas emission and waste to output ratio, sustainability within the animal health industry is an under-researched area. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to ask animal health customers about the demand for environmental sustainability interventions in pharmaceutical products.

Using a systematic literature review (SLR), we identified the current state and gaps in the relevant literature. We also developed our analytical framework by identifying constructs and sub-constructs affecting the relationship between sustainable practice and animal healthcare firm performance. The analytical framework allowed us to collect rich and in-depth qualitative data from animal health industry firms in seven European countries. We developed a sustainability performance framework from our findings which is implemented in an animal health care company for validation.

We discovered a trend for increasing awareness of environmental sustainability within the animal health industry. The most frequently cited concern was treatment and residue issues and the use of plastic packaging, due to visibility at the consumer level, as was an expectation of comparable efficacy and cost following any interventions. The case study revealed that customers are willing to pay 12-15% more for products with improved sustainability credentials. They also suggested that there is not only demand for interventions with new products but also specific standards regarding the current medicines provided.

The originality and contribution of the study are founded on the development and validation of the sustainability performance framework. Through the framework, our research contributes to the literature by providing the foundation of sustainability-based performance analysis. The animal health care industry can benefit from a practical tool to measure how sustainable practice contributes to their value chain.

Professor Javed Hussain: Sustainable Entrepreneurial Finance for the Post Pandemic Recovery

Presenter: Javed Hussain

Seminar: Thursday 19 May 2022, Conference at BCU Curzon building

Title: Sustainable Entrepreneurial Finance for the Post Pandemic Recovery

ABSTRACT: This conference will focus on the new emerging roles of entrepreneurial finance, post-pandemic, where governments and SMEs are turning their attention towards sustainable economic recovery.

Call for papers by 13 May with opportunity to develop papers for the Special Issues of Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, impact factor of 3.1. For further information, please contact, Professor Javed Hussain (

For further details, read and download the conference brochure here.

Hafiz Rana: Macroeconomic Determinants of Precious Metals Prices - The Combined Effect

Presenter: Hafiz Rana.

Seminar: Wed 11 May 2022 14:00-15:30, Lecturer. Watch the recorded video here.

Title: Macroeconomic Determinants of Precious Metals Prices - The Combined Effect

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the combined effect of macroeconomic factors on the pricing of precious metals in developed and emerging economies. The data set covers 1979–2020 for five developed and emerging economies. We use the panel least squares estimation, a fixed-effects model, and a random-effects model since it accounts for variable heterogeneity across precious metals and countries over time. We also employ a dynamic two-step generalised method of moments (GMM) estimators to improve the robustness and ascertain the consistency of the results. The prices of precious metals (gold, silver and platinum) are used as the dependent variable, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Industrial Production (IP), Share Price (SP), Short-term Interest Rate (SIR), Long-term Interest Rate (LIR), and Unemployment Rate (UR) are used as the independent variables. Our findings demonstrate that the prices of precious metals fluctuate in response to changes in macroeconomic factors across developed and emerging economies. The findings of the study have implications for policymakers, academics and practitioners to formulate hedging strategies for portfolio diversification and the mining countries to effectively manage production and distribution strategies to optimise returns.

Dr Petros Golitsis On the dynamic equicorrelations in cryptocurrency market

Presenter: Dr Petros Golitsis

Seminar: Thurs 28 April 2022 14:00-15:30, Room C489 but also online. Watch the recorded presentation here.

Title: On the dynamic equicorrelations in cryptocurrency market

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the time-varying co-movements in cryptocurrency market, employing a Dynamic Equicorrelation GARCH (DECO-GARCH) model, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results suggest that the equicorrelations are time-varying and highly responsive to major events, such as hacker attacks and government bans. The results lend support to the recent claim that interlinkages among cryptocurrencies have become stronger, particularly after mid-2017, with substantially increased trading activity in the market. The equicorrelations reach their peak in March 2020, after the official declaration of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that novel coronavirus outbreak becomes a global pandemic, indicating potential contagion effects. We also examine the determinants of the market linkages and find that increased Bitcoin trading volume, attention-driven demand for Bitcoin and risk aversion significantly increase the equicorrelations during the COVID-19 bear market. Our results provide potential implications for investors, traders and policy makers and help improve their understanding of the cryptocurrency market’s behaviour during times of extreme market stress.

Dr Danilo Spinola Demand-led Industrialisation Policy in a Dual-Sector Small Balance of Payments Constrained Economy

Presenter: Senior Lecturer, Dr Danilo Spinola

Seminar: Wed 16 Mar 2022 14:00-15:30. Click here to join the meeting.

Title: Demand-led Industrialisation Policy in a Dual-Sector Small Balance of Payments Constrained Economy

ABSTRACT: This article models the process of structural transformation and catching-up in a demand-led Southern economy constrained by its balance of payments. Starting from the Sraffian Supermultiplier Model, we model a dual-sector small open economy divided between traditional and modern sectors that interacts with a technologically advanced Northern economy. We propose two (alternative) autonomous elements that define the growth rate of this demand-led economy: government spending and exports. Autonomous government spending plays a central role in stimulating demand, and thus is a source of growth of the modern sector. Productivity adjusts to the growth rate of output, given by the growth rate of autonomous expenditure. Drawing from the Structuralist literature, the technologically laggard Southern economy catches up by absorbing technology from the Northern economy, potentially closing the technology gap. The gap affects the income elasticity of exports, bringing a supply-side mediation to the growth rates in line with the Balance of Payments Constrained Model. We observe that a demand-led government policy plays a central role in structural change, pushing the modern sector to a take-off. Also, the economy is stable in terms of capacity utilisation and modern sector employment.

Ha Phuong Luong: Intra-German tax wars: a race to the bottom inside the country

Presenter: Assistant Lecturer, Ha Phuong Luong

Seminar: Wed 16 Feb 2022 14:00-15:30, MS Teams online presentation. Watch the video recording here.

Title: Intra-German tax wars: a race to the bottom inside the country

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the internal profit shifting activity between German parent firms and their corporate domestic subsidiaries. We base on the theory of traditional tax competition to construct a number of empirical hypotheses that are tested using multilevel mixed-effects models. We link firm-level data from ORBIS with micro-regional-level data from DESTATIS. The analysis shows robust evidence of positive correlation between local business tax rates and firms’ internal profit shifting activity. A one percent increase in local business tax rates increases the likelihood of relocation to lower-tax municipalities by 0.521-0.631 percent. This association continues to hold whilst controlling for other important factors that affect firms’ location choices. Additional insights suggest that intangible assets and pre-tax profits can moderate the magnitude of the correlation between local business tax rates and firms’ investment relocation. The findings of this paper shed more light on corporate tax avoidance activities.

Dr Bruce Philp and Dr Eleni Papagiannaki - Decomposing Surplus-Value

Presenters: Dr Bruce Philp and Dr Eleni Papagiannaki

Seminar: Wed 12 Jan 2022 14:00-15:30. Watch the recording here.

Title: Decomposing Surplus-Value: An Income Production, Distribution and Inequality Analysis of the UK Economy, 1997-2020. Authors: Eleni Papagiannaki, Bruce Philp and Daniel Wheatley

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the trajectory of the surplus value rate (rate of exploitation) in the UK economy in the period 1992–2020, using ONS (Blue Book) and Understanding Society data. We initially define productive and unproductive labour, before outlining a method for applying the distinction, combining standard occupational codes (SOC) and standard industrial codes (SIC) to derive empirical estimates of Marxian economic categories. Thereafter, we derive an aggregate model, based on the New Interpretation framework (e.g. Mohun 1994). From this, macroeconomic variables are derived which form the basis for empirical estimates of the rate of surplus value, applying the productive-unproductive labour distinction, for the period in question. Then movements in this rate are decomposed into absolute and relative surplus value changes, which are then examined. As well as the unique contribution to our understanding of capitalism in the last three decades, the way micro-datasets are used to derive Marxian economic categories represents a key contribution to the empirical analysis of capitalism.

Dr Muhammad Akbar - Dynamic Effect of Attention Index, Business Conditions Index on the Islamic Securities: Insights from Wavelet Analysis

Title: Dynamic Effect of Attention Index, Business Conditions Index on the Islamic Securities: Insights from Wavelet Analysis

Seminar: Wed 8 Dec 2021 14:00-15:30, Watch the video recording here

Presenter: Senior Lecturer, Dr Muhammad Akbar

ABSTRACT: We examine the relationship of COVID-19 household attention index, ADS business condition index, Islamic stock, and bond index returns during pandemic situations using wavelet analysis. Our findings suggest a negative relationship of COVID-19 household attention index with ADS business condition index, Islamic stock returns, and Islamic bond returns before April 2020, whereas a positive relationship with Islamic bond index returns afterwards. Moreover, in the partial wavelet coherence analysis, the COVID-19 attention index demonstrates long-run relationship with Islamic stock and bond index returns. The joint effect of COVID-19 and ADS business condition index depicts short and long-run correlation where the long-run relationship is more pronounced. Our findings suggest households’ attention towards the capital market during the pandemic.

Prof David Higgins - Black Swan Events and Decision-Making Strategies: A Real Estate Perspective

Title: Black Swan Events and Decision-Making Strategies: A Real Estate Perspective

Seminar: Wed 17 Nov 2021 14:00-15:30, Watch the video recording here

Presenter: Prof David Higgins, BCU School of Engineering and the Built Environment

ABSTRACT: The term “Black Swan” describe an extraordinary event that causes extensive damage. The combination of low predictability and major impact makes an upswing in the magnitude of Black Swan events an important factor in the decision-making process. This research provides an introduction to Black Swan Events with a definition and places the extensive range of known unknown events into a conceptual framework as to the impact on the economy, specifically looking at how to manage these events within the real estate context. Creating a comprehensive risk management structure can enhance decision making in a world increasingly affected by large, highly improbable and unpredictable events.

Dr Hafex Abdo - Historical Evolution of Accounting Practices and Regulations for Extractive Industries: A Framework for Harmonisation

Title: Historical Evolution of Accounting Practices and Regulations for Extractive Industries: A Framework for Harmonisation

Seminar: Wed 13 Oct 2021 14:00-15:30

Presenter: Dr Hafex Abdo – Associate Professor, Nottingham University Business School

Watch the video recording here

ABSTRACT: Via lenses of the positive accounting theory (PAT) and the institutional isomorphic theory (IIT), this study addresses historical evolution in accounting regulations and attempts by international accounting bodies to harmonise the diverse accounting practice by these industries. It proposes a harmonisation framework for the diverse accounting practices of the extractive industries.

The study takes a three-stage approach. The first stage involves a comprehensive literature review of accounting regulations and practices by extractive industries. The PAT and the IIT are used to explain attempts of accounting regulatory bodies and reactions to these attempts. The second stage involves constructing an accounting practice index for extractive industries. The third stage involves constructing a harmonisation framework. Our harmonisation framework allows comparability of accounts of extractive industries’ firms and can be used by international accounting bodies as a pathway for standardising accounting policies for the extractive industries.

Whilst this study extends literature on accounting for the extractive industries it offers a comprehensive review to the accounting regulations of these industries and suggest a harmonisation framework that can be used to allow sensible and practical comparability of accounting practices by these industries.

Key Words: Accounting Regulations, Extractive Industries, Harmonisation, IFRS, Oil and Gas

Erez Yerushalmi - Quantifying the benefits of Telemedicine: A General Equilibrium Approach with application to Canada

Title: University Malaya Webinar Series in Economics: Quantifying the benefits of Telemedicine: A General Equilibrium Approach with application to Canada

Presenter: Erez Yerushalmi, Guest Lecturer in Department of Economics, University Malaya

Seminar: Wed 15 Sep 2021 09:00-10:30 (UK time)


ABSTRACT: Compared to traditional in-person healthcare delivery, telemedicine is characterised as the ability to remotely access healthcare services facilitated by using information and communication technologies (ICT). The COVID-19 pandemic has acted globally as a force of rapid digital transformation across many business sectors including how people access healthcare. Increasingly since the outbreak of the pandemic, many primary and special healthcare consultations are moving towards remote consultations and services. But as we discuss in this paper, the rate of adoption is slow and there are many barriers that impede adoption. To contextualise this promising technology in terms of a benefit-cost analysis, the aim of this paper is to quantify the likely potential social-economic benefits which would accrue by permanently increasing the adoption of Telemedicine. To do this, we develop an economy-wide computable general equilibrium (CGE) model which we calibrate to the Canadian economy. The main component in our model that captures the benefits of Telemedicine is an endogenous labor-leisure substitution. Our simulations show that substituting 50 percent of the in-person primary care visits with tele-consultations could save around 65 million hours in Canada and would therefore increase Canada’s real GDP (economic welfare) by 0.21% per year and increase social-welfare by 0.14%.

2020 - 2021
Prof Alex De Ruyter- Universal Basic Income in the West Midlands and the UK

Title: Universal Basic Income in the West Midlands and the UK

Seminar: Wed 14 Jul 2021 10:00-11:30. Watch the recorded video

Presenter: Prof Alex De Ruyter – Director for the Centre for Brexit Studies, Birmingham City University

ABSTRACT: COVID-19 has shifted attitudes towards the world of work as well as beliefs about what is feasible and desirable. Over the course of the pandemic, over ten million people have been paid, not by their employer, but by the state. It was into this remarkable environment that the current research project was born. We sought to ascertain the current understanding and views towards a Universal Basic Income (a regular cash payment made to all in society) in so-called “red wall” seats in the West Midlands. Respondents were overwhelmingly conscious of employment insecurity for themselves or others in light of the pandemic. Overall, the concept does appear to have the hallmarks of a politically popular policy. These results suggest that it has the potential to be a “vote-winner”. However, proponents of a UBI do have some clear political hurdles to overcome

David Hearne - Subnational price variation - the case of the UK

Title: Subnational price variation - the case of the UK

Seminar: Wed 16 Jun 2021 14:00-15:30. Watch the recorded video

Presenter: David Hearne – CAFE and Brexit Centre, Birmingham City University

ABSTRACT: Economists and members of the public have long taken an interest in price differences, both over time and across space over time. Monthly inflation figures are eagerly anticipated and keenly watched. The purchasing-power parity “puzzle” is widely taught in both macroeconomics and econometrics, whilst the Penn World Tables are very widely used in empirical work. Historically, far less attention has been paid to price variation countries, in spite of a growing body of empirical evidence suggesting that it is empirically significant and economically important. This seminar presents results on the UK from a combination of data sources to build up and increasingly complete picture of subnational price variation. There are ramifications for both macroeconomics as well as regional differences in GDP, productivity, living standards and public service provision. For a country concerned with “levelling up”, such information is likely to prove critical.

Paladini and Yerushalmi - Blockchain Solution for an Open-Access Fintech Bank: a discussion on the welfare gains and adoption challenges of the removal of banking intermediation

Title: Blockchain Solution for an Open-Access Fintech Bank: a discussion on the welfare gains and adoption challenges of the removal of banking intermediation

Seminar: Wed 12 May 2021 14:00-15:30

Presenter: Dr Stefania Paladini and Dr Erez Yerushalmi – Birmingham City Business School

ABSTRACT: With bitcoins and their numerous alt-coin competitors soaring in value every day, blockchain is now extremely popular, even though its full potential outside the cryptocurrencies is not widely understood. At its core, blockchain is a decentralised database of information, stored on numerous computers, making it extremely costly for an unlawful actor to change or remove blockchain entries without the approval of all other users. This powerful feature creates an extremely secure system and could potentially remove the need for third-party verification, and thus lead to ground-breaking changes to financial intermediation services alongside many other sectors. There are, however, a few challenges that have prevented this to happen so far. A main challenge is the regulatory framework. To date, there is no clear regulations that incorporates this new technology and harmonises it with the existing privacy laws (e.g., GDPR in Europe). This type of regulation vacuum creates frictions for blockchain, in the present and future, which are not well documented or contextualised. Other challenges cover technological and environmental issues, among a few, that add to the overall complexity. In this paper, we explore and summarise these barriers. We furthermore develop a simple general equilibrium model, with two competing financial intermediation sectors (i.e., traditional versus new), to illustrate how these barriers could negatively affect consumer welfare.

Dr Erez Yerushalmi - Guest Lecturer in the University of Malaya: COVID-19 and the Cost of Vaccine Nationalism

Seminar: Friday 7 May 2021 09:00-10:00 British Summer Time (BST)

Presenter: Dr Erez Yerushalmi – Birmingham City Business School

Dr Erez Yerushalmi is a guest lecturer in the University of Malaya and will present his research on COVID-19 and the Cost of Vaccine Nationalism. The presentation is online, 7 May 2021, 9am BST and all are welcome (follow the zoom link).

Zoom link:

ABSTRACT: Erez and co-authors develop a multi-country computable general equilibrium model to quantify the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines. We find that an unequal allocation of COVID-19 vaccines could cost the global economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP terms. Even if some countries manage to immunise their populations against the virus, if the virus is not under control in all regions of the world, there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19 (Link to the working paper)

Dr Danilo Spinola – Macroeconomic impact of public and private R&D networks

Title: Macroeconomic impact of public and private R&D networks

Seminar: Wed 17 Mar 2021 14:00-15:30
Join Zoom Meeting,

Presenter: Dr Danilo Spinola – Senior Lecturer, Birmingham City Business School

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the relative role of public and private R&D as well as R&D collaboration configurations on market and aggregate dynamics, using a macroeconomic model with endogenous technological change, building on the Keynes meets Schumpeter (K+S) family of models (Dosi, Fagiolo, & Roventini, 2010). Our model explains emergent aggregate productivity and economic growth processes from the interaction between public and private actors within a R&D network, and their impact on the creation and diffusion of technology within the economy. In this framework, we study the effect of different industrial policies affecting the weight and position of public actors, the structure of innovation networks and the appropriability of knowledge.

Dr Muhammad Akbar – Stand Still and Do Nothing: COVID-19 and Stock Returns and Volatility

Title: Stand Still and Do Nothing: COVID-19 and Stock Returns and Volatility

(CAFE Working Paper 7)

Seminar: Wed 10 Feb 2021 14:00-15:30 Watch a recording of the presentation here

Presenter: Dr Muhammad Akbar – Birmingham City Business School

ABSTRACT: Dr Muhammad Akbar will present his new CAFE Working Paper 7. We examine the intraday returns and volatility in the US equity market amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Our empirical results suggest increase in volatility overtime with mostly negative returns and higher volatility in last trading session of the day. Our Univariate analysis reveal structural break(s) since the first trading halt in March 2020 and that failure to account for this may lead to biased and unstable conditional estimates. Allowing for time varying conditional variance and conditional correlation, our dynamic conditional correlation tests suggest that COVID-19 cases and deaths are jointly related to stock returns and realised volatility.

Dr Mohamed Elmahoub – Extended audit report, key audit matters and cost of debt

Title: Extended audit report, key audit matters and cost of debt

Seminar: Wed 13 Jan 2021 14:00-15:30
Zoom meeting:

Presenter: Dr Mohamed Elmahoub – Birmingham City Business School

ABSTRACT: This study examines the impact of the extended audit reporting (EAR) on the pricing of debt capital. Using an extensive sample of UK firms for the recent 8-year period in which we cover pre- and post-substantial structural changes in the audit market regulation, our results are threefold. First, our findings suggest that an EAR is significantly and negatively associated with the cost of debt. Second, our results indicate that the number and/or length of risk of material misstatements that are disclosed as key audit matters have a significant and positive impact on the cost of debt. Finally, we find that the tone of an EAR is related to the cost of debt, with a net positive tone is negatively associated with the company cost of debt. The results are consistent with our predictions that EAR can reduce the information gap between auditors and financial report users in general, but debt providers in particular.

Dr Xiehua Ji (Richard) – Capital Structure Choice Under Asymmetric Information and Overconfident Managers

Title: Capital Structure Choice Under Asymmetric Information and Overconfident Managers

Seminar: Wed 09 Dec 2020 16:00-17:00
Zoom meeting:

Presenter: Dr Xiehua Ji (Richard) – Birmingham City Business School

ABSTRACT: Traditional pecking-order theory (POT) cannot explain why good-quality firms issue equity: this is often considered to be an empirical puzzle. We build a model of capital structure that has elements of both asymmetric information and behavioural finance. Firms have private information about their expected performance. The model also includes overconfident managers. Our model predicts that high-quality firms may issue equity in equilibrium, which contrasts the results in Fairchild (2005). Unlike in Fairchild (2005), managers are not equally overconfident and no exogenously given bankruptcy costs exist in our model. We test our model using a large set of data from the U.S. market and find strong empirical support.

2019 - 2020
Dan Wheatly – Remote Working and the Crisis

Title: Remote Working and the Crisis

Location: Webinar - platform ZOOM. Please see Bruce's email with ZOOM weblink and password. (If you want to attend but haven't received Bruce's email, please contact Dr Eleni Papagiannaki and Hafiz Rana).

Seminar: Wed 29 Apr 2020, 14:00-15:30

Presenter: Dan Wheatly – University of Birmingham

Prof. Alexandros Psychogios – International online lecture: To Panic or to...Panic? Allow your brain to guide you on how to embrace crisis and lead people

Title: International online lecture: To Panic or to...Panic? Allow your brain to guide you on how to embrace crisis and lead people

Seminar: Wed 15 Apr 2020, 10:00 UK time (11:00 Central European time and 12:00 Eastern European time).
Online webinar
Alternatively, go to the Facebook page to book

Presenter: Prof. Alexandros Psychogios – Birmingham City University

Dr. Peter Backus – Criminalising the purchase of sex: Effects on the sex market, sexual violence and public health

Seminar: Wed 5 Feb 2020

Presenter: Dr. Peter Backus – The University of Manchester

ABSTRACT: Peter Backus and Thien Nguyen
We study the effects of criminalising participation in the market for sex. This approach to the regulation of the market for sex an approach is often referred to as the Nordic Model of sex market regulation and over the last 20 years has been adopted in a number of countries, including Canada. In 2015, Northern Ireland adopted the Sex Buyer law, the only part of the United Kingdom to do so, and we use this unusual case of a sub-national change in sex market regulation to estimate the causal effects of the criminalisation of the purchasing of sexual services. Using newly constructed data sets, our results suggest the Sex Buyer Law reduced the size of the sex market in Northern Ireland and lead to decreases in sexual violence and in rates of sexually transmitted infections. Using panel data on sex market transactions, we find weaker evidence of the law reducing prices. Taken together the evidence suggests that the Sex Buyer Law can have positive effects it may leave sex workers themselves worse off in terms of income.

Dr Erez Yerushalmi - Imputing the Social Value of Public Healthcare: a General Equilibrium Simulation of Israel

Seminar: Wed 11 Dec 2019

Presenter: Dr Erez Yerushalmi


General Equilibrium Simulation of Israel

Countries with universal healthcare have experienced a rising demand for healthcare services without a corresponding rise in public supply. This has led to a debate on whether to increase private healthcare services - especially in hospitals and second-tier healthcare. Proponents for increasing private healthcare highlight gains in efficiency and innovation, while opponents emphasise its risk to social welfare. However, the monetary value of these gains and losses is seldom quantified.

The aim of this paper is to impute the minimum social value of public healthcare that corresponds to indifference between gains in economic efficiency with losses to social welfare. To do this, we develop a general equilibrium model that distinguishes between public-private healthcare services and public-private healthcare financing. Our approach resembles contingent valuation methods that introduce a hypothetical market. However, it is different because we use numerical simulation techniques to compare a regulated with a deregulated health-labour market, and the social value is modelled as a by-product of healthcare services. The model is then calibrated to our unique health-focused Social Accounting Matrix of Israel, and simulates the introduction of a hypothetical health-labour market (which is heavily regulated in the baseline).

Using a Monte-Carlo method, we estimate the minimum social value at around 26% of public healthcare financing. We furthermore simulate a deregulated healthcare scenario that internalises the imputed value of social value. We show that when assessing the best type of healthcare, policy makers should weigh the economic gains of deregulation with the lost social value. Well-being may even decrease in cases of over-privatisation.

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