George MeliosCV & Portfolio
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About

g.melios@lse.ac.uk

Hi! Welcome to my website!


My name is George, I am a Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and a Research Advisor at Gallup. In 2019, I founded a company specialising in evaluating and designing policies, the Ethos Lab – Centre for Governance and Sustainability Research

My research primarily focuses on what people think and subsequently do.

I use applied microeconometrics (quasi-experiments) and experimental methods to examine behavioural phenomena in politics and economics with large, naturally occurring data sets.

Research

You can find my current work under Papers as well as on SSRN and OSF, and current projects under Research.

My work has been covered in media such as The Economist, The Nation, The Daily Caller as well as To Vima and Kathimerini (in Greek).

Please also find details about my Fieldwork and Research Team.

Teaching

Currently teaching an M.Sc. course on causal inference for Behavioural Science. You can details on the course website and for older classes under Teaching.

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CV

You can download the latest version of my CV (Octrober 2023)

Current Affiliations
  • 2021
    Present
    London, UK

    Research Officer & Lecturer

    London School of Economics & Political Sciences

  • 2020
    Present
    London, Uk

    Senior Research Fellow (Hon.)

    University College London

  • 2022
    Present
    London

    Research Advisor

    Gallup International

  • 2019
    Present
    Greece

    CEO / Founder

    Ethos Lab – Policy

Education
  • 2016
    2021
    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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Research

Research Themes
  • Political Economy
  • Political Behaviour/ Psychology
  • Public Policy

1. Political Economy

Towards the political economy literature, I have made three key contributions. First, I have studied the causal effect of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests on voting and beliefs about racial disparities. This project allows us, through the largest series of protests recorded, to evaluate the effectiveness of peaceful protests in agenda seeding and subsequent policy design. Second, I have studied the origins of asymmetric partisan biases in the US and the role of education in explaining the sharp increase in affective polarisation. This research, in conjunction with my broader agenda on polarisation, offers insights into potential policies that could foster a more inclusive public discourse and mitigate the behavioural effects of deep-seated polarisation. Furthermore, to provide more causal evidence on the drivers of polarisation in the United States, I have used data on clergy scandals to determine how secularisation lead to increased political competition and affective polarisation. These papers are currently either resubmitted or under review in top political science journals (i.e. Journal of Politics, APSR) and featured in media, such as in The Economist.

2. Political Behaviour/ Psychology

My research also adds to the political psychology literature through four key projects. The first one shows that partisan preferences not only change voters’ beliefs about the normative role of government but also causally affect real-life behaviour such as charitable donations in the United States. These results have significant implications for public policy with respect to understanding the substitution effect between public spending and charitable giving. Building on such partisan preferences, the second project focuses on understanding the role of partisanship in online dating and ways through which it can be mitigated. Similarly, the third project uses an online experiment to understand how emotions in news content affect political information processing and motivated reasoning. lastly, the fourth project focuses on motivated reasoning following the overturn of Row v. Wade and provides suggestions about the limits of confirmation bias in politics.

3. Public Policy

Regarding the literature on public policy, my research focuses on studying individual decision-making in different institutional settings. The overarching goal is to investigate the degree to which theoretical findings from political economy extend to consequential real-world decisions of individuals. I collect and analyse novel survey and experimental data from the field on job preferences, welfare programmes, and migration to study topics such as self-sorting into informal employment, risk aversion under uncertainty, and in-group favouritism. Three of these projects are currently under review in top political science \& development journals.

Research Team

Clemens Bauer-Mitterlehner

Research Assistant

Yara Sleiman

Research Assistant (2021-2023)

Giorgio Maaraaoui

Research Assistant (2021-2022)

Felix Link

Research Assistant (2023)

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Papers

Accepted & Published


Origin of (A)symmetry: The Evolution of Out-Party Distrust in the United States (2024)   w. B. Klein Teeselink
Journal of Politics – Conditionally Accepted
Presentation

Les Misérables: An analysis of suffering and misery across the world (2023) — w. Laffan K., Kudrna L., & Dolan P.
Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 14, 1107939.

Working Papers


Weather to Protest: The Effect of Black Lives Matter Protests on the 2020 Presidential Election — w. B. Klein Teeselink
Political Behavior – R&R
Presentation – Covered in The EconomistThe NationResilience, and The Daily Caller 

Sleeping with the enemy: Partisan sorting in online dating — w. Y. Sleiman and P. Dolan
Under Review
Presentation

Partisanship, Government Responsibility, and Charitable Donations — w. B. Klein Teeselink
Under Review

What Was and What Shall Be: Economic Attitudes and Cognitive Dissonance Following Election Outcomes — w. G. Kavetsos and C. Krekel
Under Review

Who Needs Security in a Crisis? Evidence from an In-the-Field Choice Experiment in Lebanon — w. Y. Sleiman, E. Pietrostefani and H. Moore
Under Review


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Teaching

Academic year 2023-2024

Quantitative Applications for Behavioural Science – MSc in Behavioural Science (PB4A7)

Online PlatformDiscord Channel

Lectures: Tuesday 09:00-10:00
Seminars: Tuesday 11:00-14:00
Help Session: Wednesday 16:00-17:00 (by L. Chatzilazarou)
Office Hours: Wednesday 10:00-11:30 – Book on LSE for you



Previous Academic years

2022-2023

Quantitative Applications for Behavioural Science – M.Sc. in Behavioural Science (PB4A7)
M.Sc. Dissertation Supervision – M.Sc. in Behavioural Science (13 students)

2021-2022

Data Science for Social Sciences – B.Sc. in Behavioural Science (DS202)
M.Sc. Dissertation Supervision – M.Sc. in Behavioural Science (2 students)

2020-2021
M.Sc. Dissertation Supervision – M.Sc. in Global Prosperity (12 students)

2017-2019
Macroeconomics II – B.Sc. in Economics

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Projects

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 1

Informality in Lebanon

Informality in Lebanon

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Data

Replication files for my published work are available on my GitHub.

Please contact me if you require replication files for current working papers and papers under review at g.melios@lse.ac.uk.

Data availability on primary data:

1. Geolocated electoral violence in the 1961 Greek elections – w. V. Logothetis (Available upon request)

2. Informal labour choices in Lebanon – w. Y. Sleiman, E. Pietrostefani and H. Moore (Available through UCL – UK Data Service)

3. Prosperity Index in Lebanon – w. Y. Sleiman, E. Pietrostefani and H. Moore (Available through UCL – UK Data Service)

3. Assessing Welfare Disparities in EU Regions – w. P. Papadimitriou (Available upon Request)

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Contact Me

Feel free to reach out!