Research

Nauru

Nauru, Central Pacific. My childhood home, and a canonical case of the resource curse.

Published Papers

Left in the Dark? Oil and Rural Poverty (2018) with Smith, B., Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE), 5(4) (pdf; Appendixworking paper)

Leave the Volatility Fund Alone: Principles for Managing Oil Wealth (2018), Journal of Macroeconomics, 55:332-352 (final working paper; first version)

The rebuilding macroeconomic theory project: an analytical assessment (2018) with Vines, D., Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 34(1-2):1-42 (working paper)

The financial system and the natural real interest rate: towards a ‘new benchmark theory model’ (2018) with Vines, D., Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 34(1-2):252-268 (working paper)

The Elephant in the Ground: Managing Oil and Sovereign Wealth (2016) with van den Bremer, T. and van der Ploeg, R., European Economic Review, 82:113-131 (working paper)

Resource Funds: Stabilizing Parking and Intergenerational Transfer (2016) with Venables, T., Journal of African Economies, 25 (Supp 2): ii20–ii40 (working paper)

Sovereign Wealth Funds and Natural Resource Management in Africa (2016) with Senbet, L., and Simbanegavi, W., Journal of African Economies, 25 (Supp 2): ii3-ii19

An Empirical Sectoral Model of Unconventional Monetary Policy: The Impact of QE (2015) with Cloyne, J., Thomas, R., and Tuckett, A. The Manchester School, Vol 83: 51-82 (pdf)

  • Written during secondment as the David Walton Scholar at the Bank of England.
  • This model is now part of a suite used to inform Monetary Policy Committee decisions.

Securitization, structuring and pricing of longevity risk (2010) with Sherris, M. Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Vol 46(1): 173-185 (pdf)

Financial Innovation and the Hedging of Longevity Risk (2008) with Sherris, M., Asia Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, Vol 3(1): 1-14

Working Papers

Surfing a wave of economic growth (2017) with McGregor, T., OxCarre Working Paper No. 170, University of Oxford (Ideasslides May 2016)

We investigate whether the geographic determinants of growth extend to natural amenities. We combine data on spatial and temporal variation in the quality of over 5000 surf breaks globally with data on local economic performance, proxied by night-time lights. We document a strong association between natural amenity quality and local economic development. Economic activity grows faster near good surf breaks; following the discovery of new breaks, or the technology needed to ride them; and during El Niño events that generate high-quality waves. The effects are concentrated in nearby towns and emerging economies, and population changes are consistent with tourism.

Optimal Monetary Responses to News of an Oil Discovery (2015) OxCarre Working Paper No. 121, University of Oxford

This paper studies how monetary policy should optimally respond to an oil discovery. Oil discoveries provide news that the natural level of output will increase in the future. Anticipated increases in natural output lower the natural real interest rate. Optimal monetary policy must accommodate these changes, and is well-approximated by a Taylor rule that responds to the natural rate of interest. Failure to accommodate these changes, as in a peg or naive Taylor rule, can cause forward-looking inflation and a recession. To illustrate this I incorporate a government, oil and news into a standard DSGE model of a small open economy that permits an analytical solution for optimal policy. I then use the model to present a novel explanation for UK stagflation in the 1980s after North Sea Oil began production.

 Integrating Financial and Demographic Longevity Risk Models: A Model for Financial Applications (2008) with Sherris, M., UNSW Working paper

  • Awarded Best Paper Prize at 18th International Actuarial Approach for Financial Risks (AFIR) Colloquium, Rome 2008