Understanding by reasoning Understanding by reasoning

The Economic Theory group joins together researchers who use rigorous theoretical analysis to make significant contributions in all areas of economics. Group members have published in top Economics journals such as American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Monetary Economics, European Economic Review, Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economics Behavior & Organization.

PhD Study

This year we are prioritising proposals for PGR studies in two areas of Economic Theory; Psychological Game Theory and Network Theory.

Psychological Game Theory is a formal framework for studying strategic interaction when players have belief-dependent motivations, such as intentions-based reciprocity, emotions (e.g. anger, guilt, regret, disappointment, anxiety), or concern with others’ opinion (e.g. social respect). The framework was first introduced by Geanakoplos, Pearce and Stacchetti (1989) and further developed by Battigalli and Dufwenberg (2009). We invite PhD research proposals with a connection to psychological game theory. The proposal may for example aim to theoretically identify the implications of a particular emotion in a particular game or economic context.

You are welcome to contact Amrish Patel (amrish.patel@uea.ac.uk) or Mark Le Quement (m.le-quement@uea.ac.uk) to hear more about the topic and discuss.


Network Theory:  To quote a couple of recent introductions to the topic:

  1. "In recent years there has been a growing public fascination with the complex "connectedness" of modern society. This connectedness is found in many incarnations: in the rapid growth of the Internet and the Web, in the ease with which global communication now takes place, and in the ability of news and information as well as epidemics and financial crises to spread around the world with surprising speed and intensity. These are phenomena that involve networks, incentives, and the aggregate behavior of groups of people; they are based on the links that connect us and the ways in which each of our decisions can have subtle consequences for the outcomes of everyone else."

  2. "Networks pervade social and economic life, and they play a prominent role in explaining a huge variety of social and economic phenomena. Standard economic theory did not give much credit to the role of networks until the early 1990s, but since then the study of the theory of networks has blossomed. At the heart of this research is the idea that the pattern of connections between individual rational agents shapes their actions and determines their rewards. The importance of connections has in turn motivated the study of the very processes by which networks are formed."

Networks have been used to study everything from social networks (who is friend with whom) to fragility of the banking sector including the economics of the internet, patterns in international trade and labour market outcomes.


You are welcome to contact Arnold Polanski (a.polanski@uea.ac.uk) or Mich Tvede (m.tvede@uea.ac.uk) to hear more about the topic or discuss.

PhD Admissions Procedure

Faculty Staff

Corrado DiMariaDr. Corrado Di Maria has broad research interests that span the economics of growth and development, environmental and natural resource economics, energy economics and the economics of technological change. The key feature of his work is an emphasis on policy relevance. Corrado’s most recent research covers several aspects of the interaction between environmental policy and natural resource use, the taxation of exhaustible resources, emissions trading schemes and their efficiency-promoting features, the role of skills in the process of economic growth, and environmental policy in the presence of directed technological change.

Joel Clovis a Lecturer in Macroeconomics; Money and Banking and in Econometrics. Research interests are in applied macro-econometrics topics; eg, financial sector econometrics; banking risk; financial sector innovation & infrastructure development; also some economic development topics, such as economic growth in developing countries, modelling macroeconomic volatility, inflation and real business cycles

Emiliya LazarovaDr. Emiliya Lazarova is a game theorist whose research focuses on group formation, matching, and collective decision-making and pays a particular attention to institutional design.


Mark Le Quement PortraitDr Mark Le Quement is a Senior Lecturer in Economics. He studied social science at the University of Copenhagen and Sciences Po in Paris. He went on to study economics at Universite Catholique de Louvain and then at the European University Institute in Florence. Mark is an applied microeconomic theorist, primarily interested in issues of information transmission.

Dr. Ben McQuillin is a game-theorist and microeconomist, with interests in cooperative game theory, social choice theory, and non-cooperative models of coalition formation. In particular, his research entails the (positive and normative) analysis of situations in which economic agents, by cooperating, induce both surpluses and externalities.

Amrish Patel Photo

Dr. Amrish Patel is a game theorist specialising in psychological game theory. His research develops models to identify the strategic implications of belief-dependent preferences such as reciprocity concerns and status-seeking.


Dr Stefan Penczynski works as an experimental economists and is interested in Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Game Theory, Information Economics, Political Economy and Development Economics. He analyses economic behavior such as information disclosure, social learning, auction bidding, jury voting, trust, etc. with innovative experimental methods that include natural language evaluation.

Arnold Polanski

Dr. Arnold Polanski's research interests are mainly in socio-economic networks, bargaining theory and financial and industrial economics, but he occasionally ventures onto other areas.


Professor Robert Sugden uses theory to explore alternatives to standard rational-choice approaches to descriptive and normative economics, for example in relation to: choice under uncertainty, team reasoning, focal points, the evolution of conventions and norms, and reconciling normative and behavioural economics.

Theodore TurocyProfessor Theodore Turocy’s research focuses on modelling how people perceive and behave in strategic situations, including applications in auctions, the provision of public goods, contests, network formation, and sport. He is the lead developer of Gambit, a widely-used software package for the computational analysis in game theory.

Mich Tvede PortraitMich Tvede is an economic theorist who works with economic dynamics, general equilibrium and cost sharing in networks. For economic dynamics he is interested in understanding dynamic properties of economies including fluctuations and growth. Within general equilibrium he has a variety of interests including: exchange economies; consumer theory; regulation of financial markets based on differences in beliefs;  interaction between individual decision making by consumers and collective decision making in firms in the presence of market failures. For cost sharing in networks the aim is to characterise cost sharing rules that can be used to implement efficient networks in different networks.     

Dr. Simone Valente is a Reader at the School of Economics. He holds a PhD in Economic Theory and Institutions from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Before joining UEA, Simone was a Research Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and a Lecturer at ETH Zurich. His research interests include growth theory and dynamic macroeconomics, international trade and development, sustainability and intergenerational distribution, status-dependent preferences.

Research Students

Hanane Abouelkheir PhotoHanane Abouelkeir is a research student working in the area of dynamic matching problems


Paul M Gorny is a research student. The tentative title of his thesis is "The Interplay of identity and Conflict"


David Jones PhotoDavid Jones is a research student whose thesis is provisionally titled "Finance and Growth in Developing Countries"

Antonios Staras PortraitAntonis Staras is a research student working on rational choice, with a particular interest in individual reasoning. He uses both theory and philosophical methods.