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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Our Economics Research Impact

A key objective of our research is to deliver world class quality research that provides better knowledge and understanding of global challenges. Indeed, our research has informed policymakers and shaped national and global policies, for example, on UK migration policy, EU mergers policies, and improving UK migration statistics. Below we feature examples of ways in which our research is changing the world for the better and impacting on the lives of people in the UK and around the globe.

A worker installing water-meter
A research team of the University of Southampton has provided the first exhaustive analysis of the effects of metering on water consumption, social welfare and equity (for the UK)

Effects of Water Metering on Consumption

The necessity of promoting an efficient use of water receives widespread consensus, but there is no a similar consensus on how water metering and tariffs should be designed to reach this goal. There is a tension between having tariff schemes that, on the one hand, encourage households to save water and, on the other hand, ensure that water remains affordable for all households. 

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Graduates throwing hats
Examining how the Office for National Statistics measures student migration

Improving the measurement of international student migration in the UK

Our research has been instrumental in changing the way the Office for National Statistics measures international student migration, with impact on higher education and immigration policy.

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Temporary migration
Temporary migration

Informing policymakers on benefits of temporary migration

Research by an economist at the University of Southampton  has demonstrated to policymakers the benefits of temporary migration through overseas savings and skill acquisition which contribute to the economic development of the home country. 

The World Bank, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have all used the research by Prof. Jackie Wahba to directly contribute to the design of international migration policy in labour sending countries.


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The pharmaceutical and chemical industries are among the most research-intensive industries in the world.

Shaping European Commission merger policy to preserve innovation in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries

Our research has provided groundbreaking evidence that mergers may have a detrimental effect on merging companies’ incentives to innovate. The findings have informed and shaped the mergers enforcement policy of the European Commission.

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