The Kent-Sussex Micro Seminars are back for 2021!

Alessio Mitra presents his research at the first of the year's PhD virtual seminar series.

The PhD virtual ‘Micro-Seminars’ series co-organized by the University of Sussex and the Development Economics Research Centre at the University of Kent, has returned for 2021.

The incentive began to give PhD students the opportunity to present their on-going research and receive feedback from faculty and peers from both departments. Alessio Mitra a third year PhD student in the School of Economics working under the supervision of Dr Irma Clots-Figueras and Dr Anirban Mitra was the first to present this year with his paper:

 “Should you want an educated mayor? Evidence from close elections in Italy



Abstract:  “This paper studies the impact of politicians’ education on policy choices and public finance. A probabilistic voting model with candidates’ education level and public expenditure decomposition is used to explain how politician’s education matters for policy decisions over public budget allocation. Empirically, I use Italian municipality data on electoral results, balance sheets and mayor candidates’ educational attainment from 2000 to 2015. To estimate the causal effect of mayors’ education on public finance I rely on regression discontinuity design focusing on close elections. Overall, I find that educated mayors boost public investment, especially in the education sector, without compromising the fiscal stability of the municipalities.”

“I think that the joint Sussex-Kent PhD seminars are a great opportunity to be exposed to more feedback and comments on your research.” Mitra told us of the experience “I hope that when the pandemic is over, we will continue with this promising joint project. Perhaps also expanding with bi-annual face-to-face events, alternating the hosting of the PhD seminar between the two Schools of Economics.”