Dr Kyriakos Neanidis

Reader in Macroeconomics, The University of Manchester

Dr Kyriakos NeanidisThe Manchester Convention Bureau sat down with Dr Neanidis to discuss his experience hosting an international conference and acting as a Manchester Conference Mbassador:

Can you tell us a bit about your background?    

I’m Reader in Macroeconomics at The University of Manchester and Editor of the Manchester School.

I received my BSc and MSc degrees in Economics from the University of Macedonia, Greece, and obtained a PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee after having been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. In 2004, I joined The University of Manchester at an exciting time following the successful merger of the Victoria University of Manchester and The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

My research activity has covered a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics in development macroeconomics, with a focus on issues that relate to economic growth, fiscal policy, and foreign aid. I’ve contributed to the economics of crime and the long-run implications of colonialism. More recently, I’ve focused on the functioning of the financial system, examining the implications of monetary and macroprudential policies on bank and non-bank lending including their effects on the real economy.

In December 2023 I acted as Host Chair for the prestigious 2023 European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society.

Can you tell us more about the conference that you hosted?econometric welcome

Over 300 delegates from all over the world attended the European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society that took place 17-19 December 2023 at The University of Manchester.

The Econometric Society is an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. For over 50 years, the Society’s Winter Meetings have fostered interaction between young scholars and more established academics from different regions and fields of specialisation. Many of today’s leading European economists kick-started their careers at one of these meetings.

For the 2023 version, 40 programme committee members selected 300 papers for presentation from a wide range of economics subjects with a line-up of speakers coming from highly-regarded institutions. Presentations were curated into eighty parallel sessions spread over three days. The conference also featured four distinguished keynote speakers including a special lecture, the inaugural ECB European Economic Policy Lecture, aimed to deepen our understanding on European economic policy.

© Alliance Manchester Business School
University of Manchester
University of Manchester

What benefits did the conference bring to your university, your academic community and you personally?

The Meeting brought several benefits to The University of Manchester and the local academic community, predominantly putting Manchester on the map for the successful organisation of such high-profile international events, the first time ever an Econometric Society event was hosted in Manchester.

Furthermore, the conference attracted more than 300 academic economists from all over the world to Manchester, allowing local colleagues and PhD students to network with world-renowned scholars and engage with research conducted at the frontier of economic analysis. It also allowed local staff to showcase their own work to a distinguished audience.

On a personal level, it has been particularly satisfying to see my labour in preparing the event for over a year to bear fruits in the form of excellent research presentations and enjoyment by a global audience. 

European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society 2023
European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society 2023
European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society 2023
European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society 2023

What strengths does your university have in your field?

Manchester is one of the oldest centres for the study of economics in the UK, with a Chair in Political Economy established in 1854. William Stanley Jevons was appointed to this Chair (1866–1876) during which time he published The Theory of Political Economy, a work which argued that economics, viewed as a science, is necessarily mathematical. His contribution was integral to the so-called marginalist revolution in economics. Since then, many famous names in economics have worked in Manchester, including three Nobel prize winners (Sir John Hicks, 1938-46, Sir Arthur Lewis, 1948-58, and Joseph Stiglitz, 2004-2010). The UK's first Department of Econometrics was established at Manchester in 1959.

Currently, the Department of Economics numbers over 60 permanent members of staff that conduct research in a broad range of different fields and publish in top journals. REF2021 ranked the Department eleventh in the unit of Economics and Econometrics, while the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 ranked Economics sixth in the UK and thirty-first in the world.

What do you consider to be Manchester’s strengths as a conference destination?

The strengths of the city of Manchester as a conference destination include easy access via the rail network and a truly international airport, high-quality accommodation facilities, excellent entertainment venues (top football teams, diverse pubs, bars and restaurants), and a rich culture and history. In brief, there is something for everyone to enjoy outside of the main conference event.

The success of the meeting wouldn't have been possible without the exceptional support of the University of Manchester's Conferences & Venues Team. Additionally, the Manchester Convention Bureau played a key role by managing the official delegate accommodation booking service and warmly welcoming attendees through digital signage on the city's transport network.

What did you learn from the experience and what would you like to tell other university academics who are considering bidding for a conference in their field?

The overall experience allowed me to get a better understanding of the functioning of various parts of the University of Manchester that were brought together to facilitate the operation of the event, and to successfully coordinate local capacity with the high expectations set by the Econometric Society. Although these tasks can be daunting at times, I would highly recommend to fellow-Manchester academics to become a Manchester Mbassador and bid for such large events because the net benefits are quite significant.

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