Business Economics & Quantitative Finance Research Cluster

The Economics and Finance Research Cluster is home to a very diverse array of research from modelling returns on financial assets to studying migration and labour markets to considering the roles of institutions and entrepreneurship in our economy and wider society. Led by Professor Stephen Drinkwater, the cluster base themselves at Southlands College and enjoy good interdisciplinary links across the university and with other research groups around the world. 

In addition to writing books and presenting their research at international conferences, members of the group also regularly publish top journals such as Economics Letters, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, European Journal of Finance, International Journal of Financial Analysis, Journal of Financial Services Research, International Small Business Journal, The British Accounting Review and Small Business Economics.

The current research programme of the cluster includes

  • Migration and Labour Markets 
  • Modelling Returns on Financial Assets 
  • International Finance 
  • Fiscal and Monetary Policy
  • Entrepreneurship & family firms 
  • Human Capital and Firm Performance 
  • International Joint Ventures
  • Institutions and Economic Growth
  • Bank-firm relationship, risk disclosure and market discipline


PhD students

  • Sahil Sambyal (Supervisors: Dr. Parhi, Prof. Zarantonello, Dr. Ipatova)

Research Highlights

Establishing the Roehampton Climate Network

Molly Scott Cato, Professor of Green Economics coordinates the establishment of the Roehampton Climate Network along with three other Professors from Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities at the Roehampton University. The aim is to collide the work of all colleagues working on sustainability-related topics with an aim to collaborate and focus on the creation of knowledge that is driving policy to address the climate crisis. As part of this initiative, Molly represents the Roehampton University on the Universities COP26 Network led by Imperial College London. The Network aims to showcase the UK's efforts on climate change to the international community; demonstrate the power of UK universities and world-leading science in innovation in contributing to the changes necessary, and exemplify how UK universities can work together on this important shared priority. 

Micro-economics of the labour market

Professor Drinkwater leads our research into the microeconomics of the labour market. The research covers labour market discrimination, self-employment, industrial relations, international and interregional migration, the effect of language on economic activity and voting behaviour. For example, Professor Drinkwater was part of a team that conducted research into the effect disability has on employment. The analysis indicates that the likelihood of being in work falls by 21% in the first two years following a work-limiting disability, with weekly hours of work falling by a total of 23%. The research was undertaken in collaboration with colleagues from Cardiff University and Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods. 

How financial markets and depositors react to supervisory actions and to relevant news in the public domain: a focus on market discipline and depositors’ awareness

Dr. Irma Malafronte is an active researcher in accounting and finance. Her research explores the bank-firm relationship, enforcement actions, market discipline and depositors’ awareness. She is working on a research project exploring how financial markets react to supervisory actions and relevant news in the public domain, and how depositors react to enforcement actions in the banking industry. The findings of her recently published research shows that equity market and depositors are able to discriminate enforcement actions based on their severity; demand depositors exhibit some level of depositor disciplining mechanism following cease and desist announcements, while core depositors seem to reward sanctioned banks for a higher return. These findings have important policy implications in the area of banking supervision to guide banks' behaviour and policy interventions and contribute to enhancing supervisory effectiveness.


Our recent research-related successes

Prof. Drinkwater will be working with a team of researchers from the University of Swansea and Aberystwyth on an ESRC funded research project with total funding of £6.2 million. This grant has been awarded to WISERD to transform understanding of how civil society is affected by forms of civil exclusion and expansion, civic loss and gain, and the potential for civil society organisations to play a key role in civil repair. Stephen will act as a lead investigator under one of the four key research themes "Polarisation, Austerity and Civic Deficit."

Dr Malafronte co-authored a research article along with Dr Pereira titled 'Integrated thinking: measuring the unobservable' in the Meditari Accountancy Research. The findings demonstrate that firms’ integrated thinking practices can be clustered into groups denoting various practices among firms, and exhibit routine over time. Across clusters, firms reveal significantly different characteristics highlighting the existence of systematic demographic differences.

Prof. Drinkwater co-authored a blog post titled 'Are there differences in volunteering in health and social care and responses to the Coronavirus in England and Wales?' in the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods. Their analysis provides a greater understanding of how public and third sector organisations can target potential volunteers in the future since it reinforces the importance of demographic factors in explaining differences in behaviour.

Dr Parhi has published a research article titled 'Spot Exchange Rate Volatility, Uncertain Policies & Export Investment Decisions of Firms' in the European Journal of Finance (CABS 3). The study results suggest that Indian manufacturing exporters depict decreasing absolute risk aversion and that firms’ risk preferences are prone to variance vulnerability.

Dr Foresti has published an academic paper on 'Animal Spirits and Fiscal Policy' in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (CABS 3). In collaboration with Dr. Grauwe, they study the effects of government spending with a behavioural macroeconomic model in which agents have limited cognitive capabilities and use simple heuristics to form their expectations. You can read it here.