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CoSS PhD Scholarship – Inequality and urban health risk since Victoria times: socioeconomic conditions, economic fluctuations and policy interventions

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Angelopoulos
    Dr R Mancy
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This studentship is based in Economics (principal supervisor Dr Konstantinos Angelopoulos) at the University of Glasgow. Economics at the University of Glasgow continues a distinguished record dating back to Adam Smith, who was a Professor at the University in the 18th century and is widely acknowledged as the father of modern economics. Today, Economics is a thriving research environment whose staff have internationally renowned expertise in many areas of economics, and a vibrant PhD student community.

The project is co-supervised by Dr Rebecca Mancy, based in the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU). SPHSU is a dynamic and interactive dedicated research environment with staff and students with background from a range of disciplines, including epidemiology, public health, medicine, economics, sociology, computing science and mathematics.

The student will join Macroeconomics Research Cluster in Economics. Economics, as part of the Adam Smith Business School, offers a range of opportunities for specialised training, including a direct link with the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics, recognised for the quality of its research training and opportunities for students to engage in research activities (e.g. specialised conferences and sessions). Moreover, the student will have access to research networking and specialised seminar series on population health via SPHSU.

The supervisors are also collaborating on a range of projects on health and income risk in conjunction with inequality, and that use quantitative UK/European municipal archive data to understand health outcomes and income inequality, back to around 1880. This includes a network of collaborators in the UK, France, Greece and the Netherlands, from which the PhD student will also benefit.

This project will examine the relationship between economic outcomes and health risk in a major urban centre since Victorian times. In particular, it will focus on how health outcomes are determined jointly with economic variables, in response to aggregate shocks (e.g. technological innovations, wars, disease outbreaks) and to major policy interventions (e.g. introduction of state health care and social insurance). Such aggregate changes and shocks affect individuals differently, and the project will seek to understand the distributional effects of such shocks and how they depend on existing socioeconomic inequality.

The medium- and long-run implications of major aggregate shocks such as wars and disease can only be partially answered using data from developed economies in recent decades because experience of such shocks is very limited. In contrast, historical periods provide multiple examples of these kinds of experience. Thus, a great deal can be learned from statistical and computational modelling analysis – of the type typically applied to modern datasets – using detailed quantitative data from historical periods. To achieve this, this project will make use of an under exploited source of information, city archives, focusing primarily on the city of Glasgow, which has excellent resources for this purpose. The studentship is in collaboration with Glasgow City Archives, who will support the student in their work.
Using relevant archive materials, the student will construct time series of a range of socioeconomic and health variables since the last quarter of the 19th century. This dataset can also be complemented by information for other cities and from survey data from recent decades. Analysis of this dataset will involve statistical methods, complemented by theoretical analysis and dynamic stochastic modelling (using mathematical and computational methods) of the individual choices that give rise to aggregate outcomes.

Funding Notes

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria
• An MSc degree in economics, with a strong component in economic theory and statistical, mathematical and computational methods.
• Knowledge of issues relating to inequality, and interest in its relationship with health and aggregate economic conditions.
• Interest in working with archival data to compile quantitative datasets (both online and in situ in locations where archives are held and as feasible), and in reading historical documents to understand public health interventions and economic context.
• Excellent writing skills, as well as team and communication skills.

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