Hamish Low

I am the James Meade Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford, based in the Department of Economics.

I am also a Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The underlying focus of my research agenda is on two broad set of issues: first, what sort of risks do individuals face over their life-times and over the business cycle. Second, to what extent can individuals insure against these risks, both through their private decisions over saving and labour supply, and through government provided social insurance.

This is both a macro and a micro research agenda: to understand what is happening to the aggregate economy, it is necessary to model carefully individual behaviour and the heterogeneity we observe across individuals. Similarly, to understand individual behaviour, it is necessary to understand what is happening at the aggregate level. Insurance comes through individuals own decisions, such as over how much to work or to save, as well as through social insurance such as unemployment and disability insurance.

My research uses computer simulations of uncertainty in a life-cycle framework to model these mechanisms in a realistic way, allowing for the differences across individuals that we observe in the data. In taking these models to the data, I use structural estimation to ensure a close tie between the data and the model.

Home Page at the University of Oxford

In my recent applied work, I am working with engineers at UK FIRES to look at the economic implications of imposing an Absolute Zero Carbon Emission rule. Details of this work are available at: https://ukfires.org/