Counting the cost: Oxford professor speaks to QE economists on the effects of the pandemic

Counting the cost: Oxford professor speaks to QE economists on the effects of the pandemic

Sixth-form economists turned out in force for a lunchtime Zoom talk on ‘Covid-19 and the Economy’ from a leading Oxford economist.

The speaker, Michael McMahon, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow at St Hugh’s College, is a leading expert on communications in central banks. His interests also lie in monetary economics, fiscal policy, business cycles, and applied econometrics. He worked at the Bank of England for many years and now serves as a member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council.

Professor McMahon is also a Lead Editor of the Economics Observatory, a website that seeks to make economic research and government policy accessible to the general public, to which his latest contributions have focused on understanding the effect of the current pandemic on the UK economy.

His talk was given to QE’s Economics Group: Advanced Lectures – an enrichment activity targeted at those wishing to read the subject at the best Economics departments in UK universities. It was organised by Economics teacher Gustavo Ornelas-Almaraz following an initial approach to Professor McMahon by Year 12 pupil Ethan John. After Professor McMahon finished his presentation, there was a short period for questions.

Dr Ornelas-Almaraz praised the strong attendance at the event, especially given that it was held on a Wednesday – a day when many of QE’s sixth-formers are free to leave early. “The talk was both well attended and well received by our Year 12 economists. “

“They were particularly attentive to the portions of Professor McMahon’s lecture in which he laid emphasis on how the current economic situation will impact young people as they are thinking about their job prospects for the future.

“In all, it was an interesting and timely talk to our Economics students, and I am grateful to Professor McMahon for the time he spent in preparing and delivering his presentation; we have invited him to visit us in person in Barnet when the time is right.

“I have shared the resources that Professor McMahon provided amongst the students, and I am sure they will use them in their preparation for their A-level exam next year.”

Economics is a popular choice of degree subject at QE. Of this year’s 39 Oxbridge offers, seven are to read Economics at Cambridge, while one boy has an offer to read Economics & Management and another to study Politics, Philosophy & Economics, both at Oxford.