Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - QUMEA (Quantitative methods in economic analysis)

Our early stage research training (EST) aimed at training a new generation of researchers endowed with rigorous knowledge of quantitative methods, opened to other social sciences, and aware of social and economic policy issues.

The first ingredient in this strategy consisted in using appropriate screening techniques in order to insure that recruited fellows met usual international standards required for entering the Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d' Aix-Marseille (GREQAM) PhD programme. One way to go towards this objective was to activate the GREQAM researchers' networks throughout Europe and beyond, i.e. in Asia, on top of open calls for applications and web advertising. A special emphasis was put on attracting researchers from new member or associate states and on ensuring that an adequate balance between genders was achieved in full consistence with the Helsinki group on women and science recommendations.

Such motivated students were in the perfect situation to tackle some of the current major European challenges. Applications were screened by a local Marie-Curie committee composed of senior researchers at GREQAM in order to ensure that quality criteria were met. According to the specific needs of the fellows, a precise list of courses was agreed with their tutor at the beginning of their stay. This possibly covered all the GREQAM fields of expertise, such as theoretical and applied econometrics, macro and international economics, micro and public economics and finance, all taught in English and part of the GREQAM Masters programme. Moreover, both fundamental and more applied research was targeted. Each fellow was assigned a personal supervisor with whom she decided on the topic of her research papers and thesis and the corresponding strict timetable. This tight and regular supervision was supplemented by informal meetings with internal and external senior researchers and by regular seminar series and courses. As far as possible, and beyond informal externalities between students and with senior researchers, formal cooperation in the form of joint research was encouraged and took place.

Fellows also benefited from interactions within GREQAM networks, as for instance the European Doctoral Group in Economics (EDGE) Jamboree, ASSET, etc. We stressed the possibility offered to fellows to disseminate their own research and to acquire the skills for oral presentation and the writing of papers in journal format. Typically, this implied first a trial presentation at the PhD seminar, generally followed by a presentation at the Spring or Summer Schools and finally at international conferences before journal submission.

In accordance with our initial objectives, research carried out by EST fellows dealt with both theoretical and empirical issues. The main themes covered included applications of game theory to the economics of networks and political economy; the economics of banks, financial and foreign exchange markets; econometrics applied to finance and environmental questions; the theory and empirics of international inter-dependencies; selection and sorting effects on income inequality. Six theses were defended in total, of which one by a long term fellow registered at GREQAM. Another six theses were also planned to be defended in the near future, of which four by long-term fellows with three being registered at GREQAM. Moreover, 25 working papers had been produced, corresponding to two per fellow and three per long term fellow on average. The presentations at the PhD seminar during the stay at GREQAM corresponded, on average, to one per short-term fellow and two per long-term fellow. Finally, two presentations at conferences per fellow and three per short term fellow were prepared during their stay at GREQAM.

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