Grace Lee, Associate Professor
Head of Department,


The Department of Economics staff are recognised as outstanding educators and researchers in their fields. The quality of our academic publication output is a testament to the academic capacity of staff within the Department. Working alongside our academics, our research students continue a long tradition of top-quality research. We strive to promote national and international collaborative links with researchers and policymakers in economic development and sustainability.


The importance of studying economics in a business and commerce degree is threefold. First, economic forces shape the profitability and work turnover of existing businesses and how new businesses emerge and grow. Second, understanding economics helps us understand the forces that shape our lives because the economy affects how we earn a living, how much we earn, interest rates, the availability, cost, and quality of what we spend our money on, and how we invest for our futures. Third, economics is a way of thinking about and analysing the world that will shape the way you think and build analytical and problem-solving skills that are highly valued by today’s employers. Studying economics certainly makes a vital contribution to most career choices.


A degree in Applied Economics gives our graduates a high level of ability to apply economic principles and models to business, finance, and public sector problems. Economic concepts can be applied to see how things relate to each other and the broader context. Some careers use specific knowledge of economics, for example, banks, insurance, consulting firms, accountancy firms, businesses, and government. More broadly, an applied economics degree helps prepare our graduates for careers that require analytical and problem-solving skills (the top skills employer look for) – for example, in business planning, marketing, research, and management. The study of economics helps us think strategically and make decisions to optimise the outcomes.


1. Development and Environmental Economics  

This key research focus area promotes cross-disciplinary research in the thematic areas of development and sustainability by bringing together researchers from various academic backgrounds in global sustainable development issues in the developing world, encompassing the three dimensions of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Our expertise extends across several areas, including growth, poverty, gender, inequality, health and education, gender, political economy, and governance. Environmental economics deals with the economic aspects of global, national, and local environmental issues and policies. More specifically, this includes identifying the causes behind environmental problems that lead to market failures. We estimate the economic impact of environmental degradation, natural disaster, climate change and how these environmental changes interact with human behaviour.

2. Experimental economics

Economists aspire to formulate testable theories on the economic agents’ behaviour, and experiments have become increasingly important to develop economic policy in recent years. The experimental methodology allows us to draw causal inferences through randomisation. This can help us provide evidence-based research informed by theory and relevant to the rich set of policy debates pertinent to the country and the region. Our research agenda addresses issues within and between development and environmental economics using an experimental approach. We strive to promote national and international collaborative links with researchers, NGOs, and policymakers in these areas.

Our expertise extends across the following areas, and our academics have published in numerous top-tiered journals such as American Political Science Review, Current Issues in Tourism, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economic Modelling, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Labour Economics, Public Choice, The World Economy, World Development and more to the list.

  1. Applied economics
  2. Applied micro-econometrics
  3. Cultural economics
  4. Development economics
  5. Economics of education
  6. Environmental/natural resource economics
  7. Experimental/behavioural economics
  8. Labour economics
  9. Political linguistic
  10. Social identity
  11. The digital economy