Philosophy, Politics and Economics student George Chantry reviews a recent symposium, bringing together students studying economics from across the college.
Economics Professors Elizabeth Baldwin and Teodora Boneva organised an academic symposium for all economics undergraduates at Hertford College to show us how interesting economics research can be and what it looks like in real life situations. Each student, including me, chose and presented a paper written by a professional economist they read over summer. I very much enjoyed the symposium, as we heard about some extremely interesting topics.
Roughly 30 papers were presented. Whether austerity caused Brexit; whether trust and patience determine a country’s GDP per capita or an individual’s wealth; and whether a student’s ordinal rank at school, independent of their grade, affects their performance through their studies were all discussed. Evidence for how peoples’ morals affect their voting intentions; data from the internet searches of Chinese citizens using a VPN; and a discussion about why people pay for gym memberships they do not use also featured.
We also heard from Elizabeth Baldwin about her own research, which involves very insightful and colourful diagrams (always a bonus!) created to give new intuitions about how agents buy discrete goods. One student even decided to present a paper authored by Teodora Boneva in front of Teodora herself – a bold move – about whether grit, persisting through failure, could be taught.
Teodora and Elizabeth also organised a pizza and drinks social in the middle of the symposium, which everyone very much enjoyed. I think the symposium was very fun, as it exposed me to inventive and intriguing directions economics research is going in over two days. It is exciting to know my degree prepares me to engage with such topics.