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St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series - Speaker: Michelle Baddeley

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Philippa Millerchip.

Talk Title: ‘Convergence, Divergence and Migration in an Age of Austerity’

Speaker Michelle Baddeley is Professor in Economics and Finance at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London (UCL), and before that was Director of Studies in Economics, Gonville & Caius College/Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge. She has a BA (Psychology) and BEcon (Hons 1) from University of Queensland, and an MPhil/PhD (Economics) from University of Cambridge. She was a member of UCL ’s Green Economy Policy Commission, and is an Associate Researcher with the Energy Policy Research Group, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. She has an active interest in public policy and is a member of the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (convened by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), and an Associate Fellow with the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), based at the University of Cambridge. She was a member of the Blackett Review Expert Panel: FinTech Futures 2014-15, led by Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser. She is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Cybersecurity and the Journal of Economic Psychology. She is also on the advisory board of the Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics (SABE).

Talk Overview: Michelle Baddeley will discuss a number of relevant issues. With the movement of large numbers of refuges in response to conflicts in the Middle East and other parts of the global South, migration has become one of the most pressing political, social and economic issues of our time. The crisis is likely to be exacerbated in an age of austerity because the ability for host societies and economies to adapt will be constrained by limits on government spending. Infrastructure investment is needed in the very short-term, including emergency infrastructure to support the immediate consequences of migration e.g. within refugee and migrant camps. Infrastructure investment will also be essential in the medium to long term to ensure that growing migrant populations have proper access to social infrastructure including housing, schools, hospitals and other medical services. Without this investment, the prospects for growing inequality, deprivation and socio-political unrest are likely to be severe – exacerbating divergences at many levels: between the global South and North, between Northern and Southern parts of the EU, and within countries depending on how different regions’ populations are affected by migration and/or how much access they have to public finance for infrastructure investment. On the other hand, if governments plan properly for growing pressure on infrastructure, then the potential for growing disparities will be lessened and the positive benefits from migration in terms of a growing population of skilled people will be harnessed. This presentation will analyse the likely impacts of large-scale migration on spatial convergence/divergence, and will present some likely policy implications.

All are welcome to attend. The seminar series is supported by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economics and Policy Group at the Judge Business School.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson ( in the event of a query.

This talk is part of the St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series series.

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