Sector, Economic and Financial Studies (Trends, Po...

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Sector, Economic and Financial Studies

Focus of our research

This cluster is very eclectic in nature, focusing upon the study of economic and financial phenomena and how these, alongside the role of policy and public or corporate management, impact on economies, industries, individuals, households, communities and societies at large. This includes the examination of wide-ranging issues, such as economic growth and social development, firm and industry performance, productivity, efficiency, financial inclusion, equality, and fairness.

At the macro, economy-wide level, typical themes include FDI, financial liberalisation/openness/deregulation, financial development and financial crises. At the micro-level, key areas include personal finance, the impact on families and society of financial decisions, long-term financial planning, financial security and financial rights, the operation of and access to financial services, and community finance.

Several levels of analysis characterise this work (from international trends to individual behaviours) and a major but not exclusive lens through which many of the above phenomena are examined is industry specific, including the banking, financial, tourism and sport sectors.

Core Cluster Themes

Four themes represent this cluster’s research interests:

  1. Sector studies and economic and societal impacts
  2. Macro and international finance
  3. Personal and community finance
  4. Foreign direct investment (FDI)

Read more in our Research Cluster Brochure.

PhD Opportunities

The Sector, Economic and Financial Studies research cluster welcomes PhD applications aiming to develop an understanding of how alternative financial institutions - such as credit unions and community development finance institutions (CDFIs) - are shaping the responsible finance landscape in the UK. We are also interested in proposals that look into the attitudes towards financial services, particularly from a young person’s perspective, in order to increase engagement levels in pensions. Finally, we welcome applications that propose panel data econometric analyses of the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on foreign direct investment (FDI).

Proposals for the following projects are welcome:

  • Intellectual Property Rights Protection: the impact on Foreign Direct Investment.  An econometric panel data analysis in developed and developing countries (Prof Glauco De Vita).
  • Risk Adoption in Financial Services: understanding consumers’ risk adoption in the financial services sector (Dr Harjit Sekhon).
  • Advocacy Behaviour: its role in financial services and the impact on long-term savings such as pensions (Dr Harjit Sekhon).
  • Responsible Finance: shaping the alternative economic landscape (Dr Lindsey Appleyard).

For all enquiries in the first instance, please contact Professor Glauco De Vita (, Dr Harjit Sekhon ( or Lindsey Appleyard (

Guidance on Coventry University’s PGR eligibility and application process can be found here.

More detail on the Centre for Business in Society can be found here or contact the Centre’s PGR Director, Dr Jason Begley (

Self-funding or corporately sponsored PhD applications are always welcome.  Some fees-only bursaries and full studentships might be available on a competitive basis.