I am a Michael Cohen Fellow in economics at Exeter College and an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics here in Oxford. I read undergraduate economics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and completed my doctoral studies at Queens’ College, Cambridge. I later took a position as a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and then began my position at Exeter in Michaelmas 2018. In between, I spent two spells working in financial markets, witnessing first-hand the 2007-08 financial crisis as a credit analyst for Lehman Brothers and then as a commodities research associate at Goldman Sachs during the dramatic 2014 oil price crash.
My primary research area is microeconomic theory. I focus on the economics of information and communication in financial markets, online platforms, and political economy. My research emphasizes how the sharing of information and its value to society ultimately depend on incentives. I consider how we can design institutions to better shape communication and social outcomes across a variety of economic environments.
As technology advances, the costs of collecting, storing and disseminating information become ever lower. These advances contain the promise of improving individual decision-making and ultimately the outcomes of economic interactions. However, these benefits are not automatic. Taking a game theoretic approach, my research shows that conflicts of interest can still lead to inefficient break-downs in trust and communication between individuals. I show how naive policies designed to provide more information can paradoxically lead to less. However by properly accounting for strategic motives, I show how institutions can optimally utilize these breakthroughs in information technology. My research applies to the optimal design of online ratings systems and professional accreditations and how to design financial stress tests to better promote economic stability.
I teach undergraduate microeconomics, game theory and quantitative economics. I also teach an advanced course in economics and communication for the Master’s in Financial Economics at the Saïd Business School. Among other things, students learn how rational investors can seemingly succumb to `irrational exuberance’; why crowds of investors may not be so wise; how reputational concerns can reduce the credibility of investment analysts’ advice; and how policymakers can use `stress tests’ to help prevent future financial crises.