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Faculty of Economics

Friday, 15 September, 2023

The co-principal Investigators Professor Vasco Carvalho, and Professor Matthew Elliott, have been awarded a grant of a quarter of a million US dollars by the Sloan Foundation to bring towards the mainstream of economics a branch of research on meso-economics.

Meso-economics is an approach to answering questions about the economy and economic policy that focuses on the connections between microeconomic units.

Vasco Carvalho is Professor of Macroeconomics in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of Jesus College. He says; “this is great news for the Faculty of Economics, and will enable us to develop an international community of meso-economics researchers.”

“Meso-economics is a new approach to answering questions about the economy and economic policy that necessitates a focus on the connections between microeconomic units. What we plan to do is assist and support PhD students and enable them to pursue a meso-economic approach in their research,” he says.

Professor Matthew Elliott adds; “we also aim to foster connections across relevant disciplines among established and new researchers.”

“It is to great credit of Vasco and Matt that their cutting-edge research on meso-economics has been recognised by the Sloan Foundation. The grant will help cement Cambridge economics as a leader in this field,” says Dr Toke Aidt, a University Reader, Director of the Keynes Fund, fellow of Jesus College, and current Acting Chair of the Faculty of Economics.

The grant will enable a summer school to fund travel, accommodation, and teaching for around 20 PhD students from all backgrounds. This will give students a broad base to build out their research from, and give students the range of tools they need to pursue meso-economic research questions.

The summer school will also enable a four week themed summer academic retreat, and bring to the Faculty of Economics around twelve academics for a period of two weeks each.

“Complementary to this, we will offer 3 to 5 research grants to PhD students and possibly postdoctoral students. Funds will also be available for research assistantships,” says Professor Elliott. “The objective of these grants will be to help students working in meso-economics overcome potential barriers to entering the field.”

The Faculty will shortly begin the application process for PhD students interested in working in the area.

In selecting projects for funding, the Sloan Foundation seeks proposals for original initiatives led by outstanding individuals or teams. It is interested in projects that have a high expected return to society, exhibit a high degree of methodological rigour, and for which funding from the private sector, government, or other foundations is not yet widely available.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grant making institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in four broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality, equity, and diversity of scientific institutions and the science workforce; projects to develop or leverage technology to empower research; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists.