Institute for Applied Economics and Social Value project information

Here are some of our recent externally funded research projects:

DMU GCRF project on Picking up the Pieces: Social Capital, Human Capital and Coping Strategies of Households Displaced by the Boko Haram Insurgency in northeast Nigeria

February 2019 to July 2019

This project, led by Seun Kolade, addresses an urgent need by scrutinising how humanitarian actions can be redesigned around affected people as the main actors, not just recipients of aid. The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria has precipitated humanitarian tragedy on a scale comparable to the Nigerian civil war (1967- 1970) and arguably the worst of any manmade or natural disaster in Nigeria's history. At one point, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimated that up to 3.3 million people were internally displaced due to terrorist violence by Boko Haram (International Displacement Monitoring Centre 2015). Contrary to traditional top-down approaches to humanitarian action, this project places a strong emphasis on the agency of displaced peoples, and how this is developed and expressed at the individual level (human capital) and the communal level (social capital). 

Home Office Funding for Connecting delayed pre-commitment with cyber awareness

September 2018 to September 2019

This project will explore why individuals and small and medium enterprises often take insufficient protection against a cyber attack. It will look at the role of behavioural biases such as present bias and overconfidence alongside other factors such as a perception gap in the costs of cyber attack. The project will also test an intervention aimed at improving cyber behaviour. The intervention will take the form of a delayed pre-commitment device that is designed to overcome present bias. The intervention is designed around the Government’s flagship Cyber Essentials and Cyber Aware campaigns.

British Academy Overseas Development Assistance Fund

Feb 2017 to March 2017

Helen Solomon was awarded £1,530 for a project on the use of social media by businesses in Nigeria and Kenya. The fund supported a research assistant to help with loading primary data from questionnaires to SPSS and help conduct some preliminary analysis. This work has culminated in the production of a paper called ‘Social Media in a Developing World’.

EPSRC project on EMPHASIS - EconoMical, PsycHologicAl and Societal Impact of RanSomware

June 2017 to June 2020  

This project brings together a large inter-disciplinary team to look at the threat of ransomware. This specific strand of malware has become more prevalent in recent years. This is because cybercriminals realised they could easily and quickly cash-in by holding citizens, SMEs, banks and critical infrastructure organisations (such as utility companies, police and hospitals) to ransom, often with the threat of data loss or data release (blackmail). The project is advancing our knowledge and understanding of ransomware on a number of different but complementary dimensions. Work within the institute is studying ransomware from the economic point of view.

We are studying how ransomware works as a business operation, the critical parameters for its success, where the weak points are and how we can use them to evaluate associated risks and threat levels. We also aim to have an impact on the perception of citizens, SMEs and other end-users of the increasing risks involved in falling prey to ransomware, and on how to provide an adequate response to those risks.

British Academy Newton Mobility Fund

September 2015 to December, 2016 

This project developed a new collaboration between DMU and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. This was a joint project between Helen Solomon and Dr. Phillip De Jager (University of Cape Town), Prof. Andrew Mullineux (University of Birmingham) and Prof. Roman Matousek (University of Kent).  The project resulted in a productive exchange of ideas and experiences. The post-graduate students at the University of Cape Town also gained knowledge from a lecture and workshop on panel data analysis. A conference paper on Monetary Policy and the Banking Sector to South Africa was produced. It was presented at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in Oxford in March, 2017.