ULMS CASE Studentship for a PhD in Monetary Policy Economics

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Postgraduate scholarships



The University of Liverpool Management School

The studentship will be based within the University of Liverpool Management School, a world leading centre for economics research. The economics group’s 25 international experts shape world class academic thought and make a direct impact on a wide range of organisations and institutions. These experts publish in top-tier journals across many economic research areas. Our investment in an excellent research environment and a flourishing cohort of PhD researchers puts the Management School at the forefront of academic research, making a difference to our many local, national and international partners. 

NWSSDTP Studentships

Much of the PhD research training at ULMS is informed by our partnership with Lancaster University Management School and Alliance Manchester Business School as part of the ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre (now referred to as the NWSSDTP). This relationship ensures that all our PhD students have access to the highest standards of training cognate across the three Universities, both in social science research and career and life skills.

Funding route available

1+3 Programme

Funding is for 1+3 programme (one-year Masters precedes the three-year PhD), depending on the background of the successful applicant.

All applicants should have an appropriate first degree of class 2:1 or above (international qualifications will be evaluated in line with the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) guidelines). We are especially seeking applicants with strong quantitative skills: programming, statistics, and/or mathematics. An economics background is desirable but not essential. For +3 studentships, applicants should have an appropriate Master’s degree earned with merit or above and should be able to demonstrate training in quantitative research methods. 

The Study

This is an unmissable opportunity to study for a PhD at the University of Liverpool Management School in collaboration with the Bank of England. We are seeking applications from prospective PhD candidates with an outstanding academic achievement and research potential for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) CASE Studentship Award, beginning in the 2020/21 academic year. The ESRC studentship provides full fees (only at Home/EU rate), a regular stipend of £15,009 a year with an Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) enhanced stipend of £3,000 per year during the PhD. Full details of the ESRC award are here. Full details of the AQM enhanced stipend are here.  

The student will work on a defined project. This is a collaborative project between Prof Oliver de Groot at the University of Liverpool and Dr Andrew Blake, Senior Advisor at the Bank of England’s Centre for Central Banking Studies, London. We have secured funding for this collaborative research to address a particular issue: ‘monetary policy in a low (or negative) interest rates environment with a focus on bank heterogeneity: theory and evidence’. The successful candidate will focus upon contributing to this much-needed area of research.

Since this is a collaborative research project, the student will make regular visits to the Bank of England. The Bank will ensure that the student gets a desk while visiting; will be able to access the Bank’s specialist training courses for researchers; and will be granted access to data and IT resources necessary for the successful completion of the proposed research. Dr Blake will be responsible for 30% of the supervision during the PhD.

Project Background

The main objective of this project is to advance our understanding of monetary policy transmission via the banking system in a low interest rate environment. Many advanced economies—like the UK—have remained, since the financial crisis a decade ago, in a prolonged period of low interest rates, despite strong monetary stimulus by central banks. This raises the question whether further lowering of policy rates is beneficial for macroeconomic outcomes.

This project will address this issue with two novel approaches: 1) by developing new models that can capture relevant heterogeneity and nonlinearities; and 2) by exploiting big data from the UK financial sector and high-frequency monetary policy identification to empirically analyse the transmission of monetary policy in a low interest rate environment. The approach of this project is distinctive because it explicitly recognizes heterogeneity in the banking sector in shaping the transmission of monetary policy and its heterogeneous effect on the price, quantity, and risk attributes of credit generated by the banking system. This contrasts with much of the literature to date, which relies on stylized representative agent theoretical models that are subsequently tested using aggregate time series data.

This project will make two important contributions, theoretically and empirically. First, it will exploit the developments in heterogeneous agent modelling and global computational solution techniques, to build general equilibrium monetary models where bank heterogeneity and occasionally binding constraints play a centre-stage role in order to study the effect and optimal design of monetary policy. Second, the project will construct and combine various existing Bank of England and ESRC micro datasets, which will allow us to obtain new insights about the channels and transmission mechanisms that affect the price, quantity and risk profile of credit and the impact on macroeconomic indicators.

The focus of the analysis will be on how a cut in the policy rate (even into negative territory) affects banks’ profitability, risk-taking and credit creation. In particular, we are interested in how these cuts in policy rates pass through to deposit and lending rates and how this pass through is affected by bank characteristics such as liquidity holdings, leverage, loan composition etc. Answers to these questions will have important implications for existing monetary models and for monetary policy design. While the focus of the project is on the interaction between monetary policy, bank heterogeneity and low interest rates, the theoretical and empirical findings of the project will extend to other important issues such as financial stability and macro prudential policy.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete all sections of the University Postgraduate Study Application Form. Applications to be made via the University of Liverpool Apply Online, system, selecting programme of study Economics. In the Finance section select funding source Sponsor and insert PHD-BLPRULMS-deGroot-Case Studentship Award-2020 in the box below. Also include this as the first line of your Personal Statement. 

Alongside the completed application form and Personal Statement, applicants should submit the following supporting documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Two reference letters, signed and on letter headed paper
  • University transcripts
  • English Language qualifications

All applicants must have reached a minimum required standard of English language (IELTS 6.5 average overall and a minimum of 6.0 in each component), and, where relevant, are required to provide evidence of this.  Qualifications accepted by the University include GCSE English; GCE O level English; AS Level English; A Level English Language; IELTS; Cambridge Proficiency etc.  Please refer to the full list here.

  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement

There is no need to prepare a research proposal as one is already in place for this studentship. However, your cover letter should address why you are well suited to this research project.

Further Information

In addition to the contacts noted above, informal enquiries can also be directed to the ULMS Research Support Team (ulmsphdenq@liverpool.ac.uk)

Posted on

Start Date

Application Deadline


Postgraduate scholarships


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