Professor Kimberley Scharf
- I am Professor of Economics at Warwick University.
- My research interests: I am mainly an applied theoretical public economist who has a longstanding interest in issues that concern public policy, the economics of information, social networks, public goods, charity and property rights. I am particularly interested in understanding more about how public policy should be directed towards the social economy and how competitive forces shape the sector. My recent theoretical research on the structure of social groups, information transmission and private provision of public goods received quite a bit of attention in the press (e.g. Times of India and the Guardian) and I occasionally blog and tweet. Other recent projects— theoretical and applied—relate to the effects of social group structures and information transmission on the behaviour of individuals and groups, motives for giving, competition in the third sector, and analysis of various public policy prescriptions relating to the private provision of public goods. My research activities have been funded by the ESRC, the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, the British Academy, the European Research Council (Marie Curie program), HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs.
- Other professional activities: I am an elected member of Council of the Royal Economic Society and a mentor for the Royal Economic Society's Women's Committee. I have served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Public Economics and Fiscal Studies, and am currently serving on the editorial board of International Tax and Public Finance. I've also served on the scientific committees for conferences such as the IIPF 2004, 2007 and 2012, and I have been a Programme Committee member for the Royal Economic Society annual conference (from 2000-2003 and currently from 2010-2013)
My papers on IDEAS
- Justgiving.com research: This is a Warwick led ongoing project done in collaboration with JustGiving.com, McMaster University and Bristol University. In the UK and elsewhere, charities and individuals play an important role in helping individuals and promoting social welfare, the arts, the environment, the development of youth, the support of those in need, and other goods and services that are not easily provided in the for-profit marketplace. This research will help us understand better what encourages giving, how government policies can affect giving, and how charities can provide a high level of goods and services.
- In the first stage of the project (which took place in 2010 /2011) we randomly solicited approximately 1 million individuals that previously used JustGiving to participate in a survey deisgned to understand the characteristics of JustGiving accountholders. The survey was distributed over several batches and close to 20,000 responded to at least one survey question. Those that responded include those that have used JustGiving as fundraisers, sponsors, and/or direct donors. The summary of responses can be found here.
- The second stage of the project is now underway and involves matching information about transactions to survey responses.
- Performance and charitable giving: This is a new project that is joint with Michael Sanders (Bristol/Cabinet Office) and Michael Norton (Harvard). More to come...
- Lab experiments on charitable giving: I have several new projects with Ganna Pogrebna (Sheffield/BSU) on giving behavior. More to come...
- Generosity and well-being network: An interdisciplinary research group that has just had its inaugural meeting at Warwick University (programme here).
- The "Hub of all Things" (HAT): An RCUK £1.2 million research project led by Irene Ng. Website for the project is here.
- Public Economics UK (PEUK): In 1994, I founded (along with Tim Besley and Michael Keen) the IFS/Warwick Public Economics Working Group (PEWG), a consortium of UK based public economics researchers and policymakers whose main objective was to enhance the impact of public policy research in economics on key policy debates and outcomes. Over the years our membership has expanded (now including most public economists in the UK working in academia and government) and we changed our name to Public Economics UK (PEUK). But our mission is the same as it was twenty years ago and it continues to underpin our activities (workshops/conferences/PhD workshops). Our group is more vibrant than ever before - Warwick is still the homebase of PEUK but in January 2013 we formed a partnership with the four major ESRC investments in Public Policy (CAGE, CMPO, IFS and TARC), PEP at STICERD and government departments (HMRC/HMT/GES).
- PEUK 13
Sponsored by the ESRC, CAGE, and Warwick University
18th and 19th June 2013 Scarman House
Organisers: Kimberley Scharf (CAGE and PEUK) and Cormac O'Dea (IFS)