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Using statistics to dissect addiction
22 July, 2015

Dr Andre Hofmeyr, undergraduate convenor in the School of Economics, explored the economics of addiction in a dissertation primarily focused on methodological and statistical issues on the boundary between economics and psychology. Abigail Calata interviewed him on this research and his PhD experience.

Q: How does experimental economics differ from experimental psychology?

A: In some areas of research, like addiction, there is an overlap between the methods that experimental psychologists and experimental economists use. For example, when investigating time preferences or discounting behaviour, experimental economists and experimental psychologists often present research participants with choices between monetary rewards which are available at different points in time.


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Breaking down silos in teaching and learning
15 July, 2015

The project analysed the new competency framework of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, and asked how their courses could provide students with the broad range of skills they required.

There was the logistical challenge of dealing with a class of 450 students, as well as the need to maintain a realistic load in the programme as a whole.

They achieved this, inter alia, through designing tasks that required students to bring insights from all of their academic disciplines to the analysis of annual financial statements of several listed South African companies.


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Top World Bank appointment for Bhorat
26 June, 2015

UCT economist Professor Haroon Bhorat has been chosen as a member of a select World Bank team that will tackle global poverty.

He joins 23 other expert international economists on the World Bank's new Commission on Global Poverty, which was launched on 22 June. The commission's stated aim is to measure and monitor poverty around the world to "help the World Bank achieve its twin goals [of reduced poverty and shared prosperity] and also track other forms of poverty and deprivation", it said in a statement.

The goal is to end extreme and chronic poverty by 2030, and the institution wants to "hold the yardstick constant for measuring extreme poverty until then", says Kaushik Basu, its chief economist.


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