Dr Olayinka Oyekola

Room 2.03, INTO Building - University of Exeter

Stocker Rd, Exeter EX4 4PY

E-mail: o.oyekola@exeter.ac.uk

I am a Teaching Associate at INTO, University of Exeter, and a Research Associate at the Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics. I graduated from Cardiff University in 2016 with a PhD in Economics. After moving to the UK from Nigeria in 2006, I have attended Cardiff University, completing a BSC in Economics in 2010, a MSc in Economics in 2012, and an MRes in Advanced Economics in 2013.

I am an applied economist, studying issues at the intersection of governance, banking and finance, political economy, development economics, and economic history. I have a particular interest in how the evolution of democratic politics and practices shapes socio-economic, environmental, and health outcomes across and within countries. A further area of research I am pursuing concerns the co-evolution of formal and informal culture and institutions, with a focus on addressing the pervasive question of how to eradicate poverty, eliminate early-life mortality, and improve equality of opportunity and outcomes.

You can find my cv here.

Research

Peer-reviewed Publications

 

"Finance and inequality in a panel of US states"

Accepted, Empirical Economics

We examine the impact of sector-based reform on income inequality, concentrating on state banking deregulation in the US, for which we employ annual balanced panel data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, covering the period from 1970 to 2000, for our baseline analysis. The estimation strategy exploits the variation across states and years in the enactment of laws that remove restrictions on in-state bank branch geographical expansion and cross-state bank business operational expansion to compute the effects of developments in the financial sector on income inequality. We find evidence that inequality on average decreases with within-state branching reform, whereas it on average increases with between-state banking deregulation. Utilising five different measures of inequality (top decile income share, Atkinson index, the Gini coefficient, relative mean deviation, and Theil entropy index), we determine that our finding materially depends on which measure of income inequality is being considered. We argue that this has not been stressed in the previous literature.

"Where do people live longer?"

Accepted, Research in Economics

Can historical exposures of non-European countries to European migrants explain part of their current health outcomes? We find that higher European share of the colonial population robustly raised life expectancy and reduced both fertility and infant mortality rates of present-day population in these former colonies. Specifically, after controlling for other plausible determinants, our baseline results imply that, on average, countries at the 95th percentile of the European share of the colonial population, compared to those at the 5th percentile, live 17 years longer, have 1 less child, and experience 54 fewer infant deaths per 1000 live births. A causal interpretation is given to these results by considering various identification strategies. Overall, our results indicate that health fortunes around the world, on average, improved because of European colonial settlers and that differences in the current levels of health performance can be traced back to differential levels of European colonial settlements, where countries that experienced higher influx of colonial Europeans have better health prosperity nowadays than countries with lower inflow of colonial Europeans. A puzzlement arises, however, as countries with no colonial European settlements have outperformed countries with low colonial European settlements. Thus, explaining this phenomenon and exploring how historical migration holds such an enduring influence on the health of nations today opens up an important avenue for future research.

Working Papers

 

"The role of global shocks in explaining US output and real exchange rate: evidence from unfiltered data"

(with David Meenagh and Patrick Minford)

Revise and Resubmit, Economic Modelling

We investigate the role of global shocks in the determination of US business cycle fluctuations, with a particular focus on their relative contribution to explaining the dynamics of output and real exchange rate. To this end, we develop a two-sector open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with oil demand that, in addition to global shocks, also incorporates productivity, mark-up and demand shocks. Using unfiltered data, this model is estimated within an indirect inference (II) framework. Our findings reveal that global shocks are among the chief drivers of movements in many US macroeconomic aggregates, including output and the real exchange rate between 1949 and 2013. Consequently, we establish that productivity, mark-up and demand shocks alone cannot sufficiently account for the observed volatilities in the variables of interest.

"A cross-country analysis of the roles of border openness, human capital and legal institutions in explaining economic development"

Revise and Resubmit, The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development

This paper studies the income effect of three specific policy variables: border openness to migration, accumulation of human capital, represented by the education level of the adult population, and the strength of legal institutions, captured by the confidence of a country's citizens to abide by its laws. Using cross-country data covering all regions of the world, and employing instrumental variables for migration, education, and law, we establish that all three policy measures have a robust, positive, and strong association with income. This paper then considers whether there are any germane complementarities between migration, education, and law in explaining income per capita. Our findings show that the effect of improving the education outcomes of countries on their economic performance appears to be similar, regardless on their levels of immigration and law, but that the income effects of border openness and legal institutions can be substantially raised with appropriate institutional and educational policy reforms.

"Life may be unfair, but do democracies make it any less burdensome?"

Using a large panel of countries, this article studies whether, or not, democracies can disproportionately produce better economic outcomes for the poor than non-democracies. To deal with the endogeneity of democracy and inequality, a regional democratisation wave is used to isolate the exogenous variation in country-level democracy. Our main finding is that the exogenous component of democracy significantly and robustly decreased inequality, after controlling for key inequality determinants. We identify that two potential mechanisms through which democracy affects inequality are structural transformation and middle-class bias channels.

"Health accounting in 124 colonised countries"

Using a cross-section of 124 colonised countries, we evaluate the effect of the European share of the colonial population on human development as measured by life expectancy, fertility rate, and infant mortality rate. We find that European colonial settlement is positively related to life expectancy and negatively associated with both fertility and infant mortality rates. We show that 17.4% of life expectancy, 1.5% of the fertility rate, and 3% of the decline in infant mortality rate currently being enjoyed by non-Europe countries can be linked to their contacts with European settlers during colonisation.

"Democracy and the poor reassessed"

By using life expectancy as our core indicator of a country's health status, this paper empirically reassesses the political foundations of human biological development. Our overarching question is: does democracy drive the health of nations? To investigate this, we use both the level and change measures of democracy in our regressions. Our overriding discovery can be summarised as follows: accounting for the various country and time features, a one standard deviation increase in the level of democracy, of 0.35, is associated with a 0.11 standard deviation increase in life expectancy. This is equivalent to an increase in life expectancy of around 5 years for a country initially with a mean life expectancy of 54 years. However, we do not find the change measure of democracy to be consistently influential. These results are robust to employing alternative model specifications, to using different subsamples of the data, and to alternative estimation techniques. Additionally, we find that these critical effects are retained when using other measures of health performance. In particular, we see that as the level of democracy rises, each of infant mortality, child mortality, and crude death falls. We, therefore, conclude that the material role of a democratic system, and its institutions, in promoting human welfare, is of first-order relevance.

"Postwar business cycles: what are the prime drivers?"

(with David Meenagh and Patrick Minford) 

This paper presents a structural model to account for a country's business cycle fluctuations. Our model is a two-sector open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which production structure is classified by the intensity levels of primary energy (oil) use by firms in each sector. We estimate this model on unfiltered data by Indirect Inference, which is a simulation-based econometric approach. The results establish the fit of our model to the observed data. The estimated model is then scrutinised concerning the three epochs in US postwar economic activity, as we ask: Of the twenty-two structural shocks admitted into the model, which were the prime drivers of the Great Inflation, the Great Moderation, and the Great Recession?

"Energy business cycles"

(with David Meenagh and Patrick Minford)

We provide a structural investigation and interpretation of the questions: What is the origin of business cycle fluctuations? What is the main source of recessions, in particular, since the early 1970s? Are there energy business cycles? Indirect Inference estimation of a two-sector dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with energy use in production is employed for this purpose, with a historical decomposition of output used to summarise our findings. According to the estimated model, the contribution of energy price shocks itself to the last five US recessions is small and negligible. Whereas, over the same 1970-2012 period, sectoral energy-input efficiency shocks and the exogenous world price of imported energy-intensive goods play dominant roles in causing declines in output.

Teaching

"Economics 1," International Year 1. 2019--.

"Economics 2," International Year 1. 2019--.

"Maths for Business," Foundation Year. 2019.

"Microeconomics 1," International Year 1. 2018.

"Investments," Graduate Diploma. 2017--.

"Business Dissertation," Graduate Diploma. 2017--2019.

"Principles of Economics (Microeconomics)," International Year 1. 2016--.

"Principles of Economics (Macroeconomics)," International Year 1. 2016--.

"International Finance," Undergraduate Year 3. 2011-2015. 

"Macroeconomic Analysis," Undergraduate Year 3. 2012-2015. 

"Introduction to Economics," Undergraduate Year 1. 2011-2015.

"Industrial Economics," Undergraduate Year 3. 2015.


"Mathematical Finance," Postgraduate Economics and PhD Year 2. 2015.

"Pre-Sessional Mathematics and Statistics," Postgraduate Economics. 2013, 2015. 

"Microeconomics of Uncertainty," Postgraduate Economics. 2014. 

"Macroeconomics," Postgraduate Economics. 2013.


"Quantitative Methods," Postgraduate Economics and Finance. 2012.

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