Project code


Start dates

February and October

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project, to commence in October or February.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Business and Law and will be supervised by Dr Ali Sina Önder, Dr Georgios Magkonis and Dr Ioannis Chatziantoniou.

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).

The work on this project will:

  • Analyse network structures of international trade OR financial markets OR specific labour markets
  • Use econometric methods to disentangle network effects in the above mentioned markets
  • Deliver policy recommendations to enhance efficiency in the above mentioned markets based on their specific network structures and causal effect thereof

We welcome research proposals in network economics aiming to empirically investigate network structures that are observed in various aspects of the economy. Fundamental research questions that we aim to address are: (i) How do networks affect economic relations? (ii) In what ways do networks matter for individuals within the economy?

Your proposal may focus on political economy, international trade, financial markets or any specific labour market. Using micro level datasets in one of these broad topics, your proposal should lay out a plan that aims to answer the above mentioned research questions and deliver policy recommendations.

Below we provide a short list of sample articles that use network analysis and focus on specific aspects of the above mentioned topics:

Political Economy:

Banarjee, A., Chandrasekhar, A.G., Duflo, E., Jackson, M.O. (2013) The Diffusion of Microfinance. Science, 341(6144), 1236498.
Flueckiger, M., Ludwig, M., Önder, A.S. (2019) Ebola and State Legitimacy. Economic Journal, 129(621): 2064-2089.

International Trade:

Kali, R., Reyes, J., McGee, J., Shirrel, S. (2013) Growth Networks. Journal of Development Economics, 101: 216-227.

Önder, A.S., Yilmazkuday, H. (2016) Trade Partner Diversification and Growth: How Trade Links Matter. Journal of Macroeconomics, 50: 241-258.

Financial Markets:

Fracassi, C. (2017) Corporate Finance Policies and Social Networks. Management Science, 63(8): 2420-2438.

Souther, M. (2018) The Effects of Internal Board Networks: Evidence from Closed-end Funds. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 66: 266-290.

Labour Markets:

Fafchamps, M., Goyal, S., van der Leij, M.J. (2010) Matching and Network Effects. Journal of the European Economic Association, 8(1): 203-231.

Pellizzari, M. (2010) Do Friends and Relatives Really Help in Getting a Good Job? Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 63(3): 494-510.

Structure and methodology of these articles provide good examples for how to go about network analysis within the context of economics, but please keep in mind that the scope of this project is broader than what is being covered by articles that are listed above. We are open to innovative and interesting proposals from candidates to analyse networks within the context of economics.

Fees and funding

Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only – eligibility criteria apply).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in Economics or Econometrics or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

You need to have some experience in using either R or Stata. If you have any experience in working with large datasets, this will definitely help you. Having taken lectures in panel data econometrics (either in undergraduate or during master studies) is desirable.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Ali Sina Önder ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Economics PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.  

When applying please quote project code: ECFN4661020