Kent Economics Degree Apprentice Research Journal : Issue 1, 2023

In this Issue :

This first issue of the Kent Economics Degree Apprentice Research Journal features contributions from 11 of the final year Professional Economist Degree Apprentices from the first cohort of the programme, the class of 2023. These papers were selected from a list recommended by the Independent Assessors who had sight of the year’s Dissertations. Papers were chosen for inclusion because of their clear merit, based on the objectivity and quality of the work and on the intellectual novelty displayed in the work.

The first paper in this edition reports Teale Cunningham’s research into alternative methods of estimating the monetary, price equivalent, impact of non-tariff trade barriers and their incorporation into Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models. His work at the Department for the Environment food and Rural Affairs makes extensive use of CGE tools and that professional effort will be helped significantly by Teale’s contribution.

We are then offered two papers by apprentices from the Department for Education (DfE). Each highlight the importance of effective engagement in School for individual future prospects. Here, Victoria Haigney (who spent her first 2 years as an apprentice at the Office for National Statistics) considers the impact which exclusion has on future earnings while Tobin Lochrie takes a wider look at the impact of school absenteeism. Both of these works utilise data from the Long-term Education and Outcomes (LEO) survey to perform the analysis.

Ben Newcombe, again an apprentice at the DfE looks specifically at the impact of a targeted policy intervention designed to improve education outcomes, primarily in maths at KS2, in deprived areas of the UK. He makes use of matching methods to perform this work to provide valid comparison from untreated schools to identify an impact. Sarah Waters’ research takes a close look into the impact of weather on rail transport performance across the UK and highlights policy interventions that could improve train operator performance.

Our sixth paper, by Francisco Vazquez, an apprentice working at His Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC), looks specifically at the economic impact of fiscal policy and asks a question grounded in the fundamental welfare theorems. Here he uses data from 20 OECD member states to investigate whether the balance of taxation between that levied on the earnings of individuals and corporations verses that taken at the point of consumption can impact growth.

Continuing with the theme of growth, Lewis Kurti, who undertook his apprenticeship at the Department for Business and Trade asks whether a specific form of foreign direct investment, that committed to new plant and businesses, yield changes in the trade flows from UK regions to the EU.

Victoria Parkes, who spent her time as an apprentice at the Department of Health and Social Care, investigates the potential growth dividend that health provides using a panel data analysis of EEA countries.

Changing theme again, George Hull from the Bank of England reports on his research using an autoregressive distributed lag model of the reaction of stock prices to a range of key macroeconomic indicators. And to add further diversity into this edition of the Journal, Ryan Gamble, from the Ministry of Justice, very much played the ‘left-field’ by investigating whether a gravity model, typically employed in trade analysis, could help explain the nature of the transfer market for professional football players.

Our final paper, by Mitchel Staff considers the impact which poor mental health, including depression, can have on an individual’s wage earnings. He employs longitudinal survey data and a 2 stage least squares model to overcome potential endogeneity in the relationship and makes policy recommendations to limit impacts of future generations.

Each of these authors have been given the opportunity to revise their final Dissertation paper in the light of written feedback provided by staff who marked their paper. In addition, the Executive Summary, as specified by the EPA plan, has been edited down into an Abstract form for this use. Each contributor has taken this opportunity to varying degrees but readers should be aware that these works are the product of the apprentices’, now graduates’, efforts and not of academic faculty or of their workplace colleagues.

They are published here as an example of the excellent research Professional Economist degree Apprentices can produce but should not be considered as peer reviewed research on which decisions can or should be based.

In all cases, the works presented here do not represent the views or opinions of either the University of Kent or each apprentices’ employer.


Alastair Bailey (January 11th 2024)


Table of Contents:

  1. The (non-)Price We Pay for Non-Tariff Measures: A practical and novel method to incorporate empirical estimates of the price-effect of technical non-tariff measures into a computable general equilibrium model. Teale Cunningham (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural affairs). pp1-33.
  2. Expelled: The Effects of Being Permanently Excluded From School on Early Career Earnings. Victoria Haigney (Department for Education). pp34-56.
  3. What effect does school absence have on an individual’s labour market outcomes?Tobin Lochrie (Department for Education). pp57-81.
  4. What impact did the maths interventions in the Opportunity Areas programme have on KS2 maths attainment in the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area? Benjamin Newcombe (Department for Education). pp82-111.
  5. The impact of Weather on Train Operator Performance in England, Scotland and Wales. Sarah Walters (Office for Road and Rail). pp112-130.
  6. Tax structure and economic growth. A panel data analysis of 20 OECD countries. Francisco Vazquez (HMRC). pp131-160.
  7. In the United Kingdom and its twelve regions, what impact does Greenfield Foreign Direct Investment from the EU have on goods exports to the EU? Lewis Kurti (Department for Business and Trade). pp161-187.
  8. A macroeconomic investigation of how health impacts economic growth: analysing the European Economic Area. Victoria Parkes (Department of Health and Social Care). pp188-205.
  9. How does the FTSE All-Share index respond to changes in U.K. macroeconomic variables? George Hull (Bank of England). pp206-236.
  10. Does the Gravity Model of Trade apply to the European Football Transfer Market? Ryan Gamble (Ministry of Justice). pp237-254
  11. The Invisible Cost: Understanding the Impact of Mental Health on Wages in the UK Economy. Mitchell (City of Westminster Council). pp255-276