George MeliosCV & Portfolio
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About

g.melios@ucl.ac.uk
Research fellow at the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London.

Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London. Starting October 2021, I will join the Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics.

At the moment I am a co-Investigator at two (2) Horizon 2020 funded projects (PARTICIPATION, REFUGE-ED), an ESRC grant under the Rebuilding Macroeconomics project and a Leverhulme Trust funded project.

More details can be found under Funding.

My research focuses on applied economics. I study beliefs, elections, political attitudes, protests and inequalities.

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Research

My Research Team

Yara Sleiman

Research Assistant

Giorgio Marraaoui

Research Assistant

Aikaterini Taka

Research Associate (KMOP)

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Working Papers
SORTING BY DATE
01 May 2021

Europe in Crisis: Political distrust, Corruption and Austerity

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3847633

Over the past decade European citizens’ confidence in different political institutions has declined sharply. Using data from the Eurobarometer (2005-2018) and hierarchical modelling, the paper combines micro and macro characteristics to identify the importance of perceived corruption and austerity measures in this process. This paper documents that corruption is a significant determinant of trust in national governments in Europe, particularly in countries where austerity was more prominent. Additionally, results document that the effect was equally significant across subgroups of the sample, suggesting that the decline in political trust, even though not uniform across individuals, is not solely driven by individual socioeconomic outcomes.

Europe in Crisis: Political distrust, Corruption and Austerity

About The Publication
Over the past decade European citizens’ confidence in different political institutions has declined sharply. Using data from the Eurobarometer (2005-2018) and hierarchical modelling, the paper combines micro and macro characteristics to identify the importance of perceived corruption and austerity measures in this process. This paper documents that corruption is a significant determinant of trust in national governments in Europe, particularly in countries where austerity was more prominent. Additionally, results document that the effect was equally significant across subgroups of the sample, suggesting that the decline in political trust, even though not uniform across individuals, is not solely driven by individual socioeconomic outcomes.
31 Jul 2021

Weather to Protest: The Effect of Black Lives Matter Protests on the 2020 Presidential Election

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3809877

Abstract: Do mass mobilizations bring about social change? This paper investigates the impact of the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted after George Floyd’s death on the 2020 presidential election. Using local precipitation as an exogenous source of protest variation, we document a marked shift in support for the Democratic candidate in counties that experienced more protesting activity. Ancillary analyses show that increased voter mobilization may explain some but not all of the effect, and that protests shifted people’s attitudes towards racial disparities. Taken together, these findings suggest that BLM protests caused a progressive shift among Independent and Republican oriented voters. Keywords: Collective Action, Black Lives Matter, Presidential Elections, Protests, IV JEL Classification: D72, J15

Weather to Protest: The Effect of Black Lives Matter Protests on the 2020 Presidential Election

About The Publication
Abstract: Do mass mobilizations bring about social change? This paper investigates the impact of the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted after George Floyd’s death on the 2020 presidential election. Using local precipitation as an exogenous source of protest variation, we document a marked shift in support for the Democratic candidate in counties that experienced more protesting activity. Ancillary analyses show that increased voter mobilization may explain some but not all of the effect, and that protests shifted people’s attitudes towards racial disparities. Taken together, these findings suggest that BLM protests caused a progressive shift among Independent and Republican oriented voters. Keywords: Collective Action, Black Lives Matter, Presidential Elections, Protests, IV JEL Classification: D72, J15
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Teaching

Academic year 2020-2021

  • Economics of Prosperity under course “Pathways to Prosperity” in “MSc in Global Prosperity” (Graduate level)
    • Monday 13:00-15:00

Academic year 2018-2019

  • Mathematics & Statistics for Management Fall Semester (Undergraduate level)
    • Wednesday 11am-12 noon – CBE112
    • Thursday 2-4pm – CBE 105

Academic year 2017-2018

  • Intermediate Macroeconomics Spring Semester (Undergraduate level)

Academic year 2016-2017

  • Mathematics & Statistics for Management Fall Semester (Undergraduate level)
    • Wednesday 11am-12 noon – CBE112
    • Thursday 2-4pm – CBE 105
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Funding

PARTICIPATION

Analysing & Preventing Extremism through Participation

The project’s primary purpose is to prevent extremism, radicalisation and polarisation that can lead to violence through more effective social and education policies and interventions that target at risk groups to be performed through the establishment of a holistic framework and the engagement\involvement of social actors, local communities, civil society, and policymakers. Objectives and expected impact to develop an holistic multidimensional model based on a participatory fieldwork and a mixed method approach, analysing and discussing through an action research strategy involving young people in different side of Europe, the socio psychologic mechanisms that lead to extremism, radicalisation and polarisation, to identify future perspectives and trends of hate speech, extremism and radicalisation, developing communicative tools, education approaches and community-based strategies, to improve the awareness of young people and communities as well as the society at whole, to realize databases and a systematic set of indexes and early-warnings, developing a set of policies recommendations with the participation of stakeholders, policy-makers and targets, Methodologies PARTICIPATION project starts to the assumption that broken a top-down approach in research and in preventive design is needed. In fact, an holistic approach leads to consider vulnerable people as protagonists of the research processes and as producers of knowledge on themselves, included the way and the strategies for preventing extremism and radicalisation. So, if a mixed method approach that combine qualitative and quantitative data is a fundamental methodological way in order to catch all the complexity of processes at micro, meso and macro levels, it will be linked to an action research approach, based on open discussion focus groups, traffic between researchers, stakeholders, practitioners and social actors (particularly young people for previous reasons). Funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 program. Co-Investigator with KMOP – Social Innovation Action Centre Total Grant Value: EUR 2.918.100

Informality in Lebanon

Supporting Macroeconomic Stability and Prosperity in an Age of Mass Displacement

This project is a study of decision-making processes related to livelihood strategies and prosperity in the context of mass displacement and informal labour markets in Lebanon. Informal labour markets are growing around the world, even in contexts where GDP growth is strong. Yet, there is a dearth of up-to-date data on such markets, how they function within broader livelihood strategies, and how their dynamics operate at individual, household, community and regional scales. This study focuses on an innovative interdisciplinary methodological and theoretical framework to improve our understanding of informal labour markets and their connections to livelihoods and sustainable prosperity under conditions of uncertainty and resource constraint. The project aims to develop a series of methods, models and concepts for understanding livelihood decision-making from the perspective of various actors/agents in Lebanon, across a range of factors such as age, gender, educational qualifications and legal status. Employing an innovative and multi-disciplinary range of insights, methods and tools from anthropology, psychology, econometrics, and behavioural economics, we will build a deeper understanding of both the contributions and the opportunity costs associated with informality in the context of real evidence about people’s location, migration, livelihood and employment preferences. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Principal Investigator: Dame H. L. Moore (UCL) Total Grant Value:£250,012

REFUGE-ED

Effective practices in education, mental health and psychosocial support for the integration of refugee children

In the first half of 2019, the EU recorded an increase of 21% new asylum-seekers compared to 2018, being minors almost a third of them. Coping with the highly complex situation faced by refugee and migrant children adds an additional pressure to educational and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) systems. REFUGE-ED brings together a consortium of 9 partners (from research institutions, to NGOs) from 7 countries to create the Brokering Knowledge Platform (BKP), which will host innovative high-quality solutions addressed to the dynamic integration of migrant children in schools and society. For so doing, REFUGE-ED will identify, implement, and test effective practices in education and MHPSS that promote the educational success, well-being and sense of belonging of children (0-18 years old- ISCED 0-3) from recent migration cohorts, refugees and asylum seekers, and unaccompanied minors. The ground-breaking nature of the BKP relies on its focus on the integration between the fields of education and MHPSS, and on its dialogic co-creation with children, families, teachers, practitioners, policymakers, among other stakeholders, providing the basis for THEeducation system throughout Europe to become authentic refuge for all children. REFUGE-ED will use the Supportive Process for the Inclusion of Children’s Experience (SPICE) under the communicative methodology, to carry out 3 multisite pilot actions across 6 countries (Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria), in a total of 46 “Communities of Practice and Learning”: hotspots/reception identification, inclusive schools and non-formal/informal social and learning environments, and institutional care (including unaccompanied minors). Informed by these pilots, the co-created BKP will provide solutions to support the reuse, scalability and sustainability of these practices. Ultimately, REFUGE-ED will provide recommendations to stimulate the dynamic integration of migrant children, targeted at four audiences: (1) children and families, (2) communities, civil society organizations and local service providers, (3) schools and teaching staff (including school counsellors or other focal points working on MHPSS needs in the educational arena) and (4) policymakers. Funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 program. Under KMOP – Social Innovation Action Centre Total Grant Value: EUR 2.997.830

Rebuilding Macroeconomics

Developing an economy of belonging

For a long time, the goal of economic policy has often been about improving productivity across regions as a pathway towards prosperity and wellbeing. This is problematic both because productivity figures are based on aggregate values of income, wealth, GDP, and GVA and because it is widely recognised that a series of factors including geography, institutions, culture, infrastructure and governance impact directly on productivity differences. The weight and significance of these factors remain poorly understood, and this accounts in large part for the continuing frustration of the UK ‘productivity puzzle’ and structural inequalities. ​ The prosperity of individuals and communities cannot be reduced to aggregate analyses of income, wealth or GDP; it encompasses a series of effects produced in specific times and places through the relationships established by living well together in functioning social, economic, political and ecological systems. Furthermore, the close relationship between political institutions, citizen needs and perceptions, and successful economic transformation in the 21st century has laid down new parameters and created new forms of uncertainty and volatility. ​ In the current context of the Covid-19 crisis, understanding these relationships and identifying what the priorities, infrastructures and mechanisms necessary for developing an economy of belonging, make exploring how to integrate emerging macroeconomic analysis with more local level knowledge a priority. ​ This definitively different from policies formulated through demands to raise GDP, prevent overheating in the economy or determine labour market performance. It requires a new approach directed towards quality of life and long-term prosperity of people and places. This research project explores how macroeconomics can take account of these new uncertainties. By setting up the case and challenges for developing an economy of belonging, this project seeks to rework the relationship between macroeconomics and policy development, on the one hand, and place, livelihoods and infrastructures, on the other hand Funded by the Economics and Social sciences Research Council (ESRC)
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Fieldwork

Recent Fieldwork Sites
Projects number 2

Prosperity in Kenya

Prosperity in Kenya

Informality in Lebanon: A Discrete Choice Experiment

Informality in Lebanon: A Discrete Choice Experiment

About The Project

This project is a study of decision-making processes related to livelihood strategies and prosperity in the context of mass displacement and informal labour markets in Lebanon. Informal labour markets are growing around the world, even in contexts where GDP growth is strong. Yet, there is a dearth of up-to-date data on such markets, how they function within broader livelihood strategies, and how their dynamics operate at individual, household, community and regional scales. This study focuses on an innovative interdisciplinary methodological and theoretical framework to improve our understanding of informal labour markets and their connections to livelihoods and sustainable prosperity under conditions of uncertainty and resource constraint.

The project aims to develop a series of methods, models and concepts for understanding livelihood decision-making from the perspective of various actors/agents in Lebanon, across a range of factors such as age, gender, educational qualifications and legal status. Employing an innovative and multi-disciplinary range of insights, methods and tools from anthropology, psychology, econometrics, and behavioural economics, we will build a deeper understanding of both the contributions and the opportunity costs associated with informality in the context of real evidence about people’s location, migration, livelihood and employment preferences.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Principal Investigator: Dame H. L. Moore (UCL)

Total Grant Value:£250,012

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Data

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CV

Current Affiliations
  • Oct. 2021
    London, UK

    Research Officer

    London School of Economics & Political Sciences

    Working on the drivers of polarisation, norms and beliefs
  • Jan. 2020
    Oct. 2021
    London, Uk

    Research Fellow

    University College London

    Working on inequalities in the UK, Lebanon & Kenya and on a Discrete Choice Experiment in multiple locations in Lebanon.
  • Nov. 2021
    Gothenburg, SE

    Visiting Scholar

    Gothenburg Univesity

Education
  • 2016
    2019
    Cardiff, UK

    D.Phil. in Economics

    Swansea University

  • 2015
    2016
    Cardiff, UK

    M.Sc. in Financial Economics

    Cardiff University

  • 2010
    2015
    Athens, GR

    B.Sc. in Economic and Regional Development

    Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

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Contact Me

Feel free to reach out!