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Sector, Economic Equality, and Responsible Finance Studies

The Sector, Economic Equality, and Responsible Finance Studies cluster was formally established in May 2016, following the arrival of Professor Glauco De Vita, a renowned applied economist.

Focus of our research

The Sector, Economic Equality, and Responsible Finance Studies cluster consists of a highly transdisciplinary group, with a strong social science foundation, undertaking innovative research at the intersection between international economics, finance and sectoral studies.

The cluster’s three main areas of focus revolve around the study of economic, financial and social phenomena and how these, alongside the role of policy, impact on economies, industries, individuals, communities and societies at large. This includes the examination of wide-ranging issues, such as economic growth and social development, FDI, exchange rates, industry performance, productivity, efficiency, financial inclusion, responsible lending and borrowing, equality and fairness. Several levels of analysis characterise this work, from international trends to individual behaviours. A major, but not exclusive, lens through which many of the above phenomena are examined is sector specific, including the banking, personal community finance, tourism and hospitality, sport, and automotive sectors.

Core cluster themes

  • Macroeconomics and international finance
  • Personal and community finance
  • Sector studies

Key researchers

This cluster is led by Professor Glauco De Vita and Dr Harjit Sekhon, and is supported by a diverse team of researchers and PhD candidates.

Professor Glauco De Vita

Professor in Business Management

Cambridge University alumnus and former senior analyst for an American multinational, Glauco De Vita is a Professor of International Business Economics in the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS).

Glauco joined Coventry University in November 2015, from Oxford Brookes where over the years he held several key roles including Research Area Leader for Economics, Strategy and International Business, and Associate Dean Research and Knowledge Exchange. Glauco has over 60 publications in various areas of economics, international finance and business and management. Some journal high spots include: Economics Letters; Journal of International Money and Finance; Energy Economics; Journal of Financial Stability; Urban Studies; International Journal of Management Reviews; Journal of Small Business Management; Tourism Management; and Journal of Travel Research.

He has published extensively also in management education, where he has also earned an international reputation. He has a track record of successful bid writing, including as ESRC grant award holder (Principal Investigator), and considerable experience of successful supervision of master and doctoral students as well as PhD examining. He is a member of various editorial boards and a Fellow of The HE Academy (UK). He also served as a Member of the Advisory Panel to the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Dr Harjit Sekhon

Reader in Marketing

Since entering academia, after holding various marketing research and marketing posts in the UK financial services sector, Harjit continues to take a keen interest in developments in financial services. After holding a number of University leadership positions for more than a decade, he joined CBiS as a Reader. His particular areas of interest fall under the broad area of services management and/or marketing with an emphasis on topics such as trust, fairness, professionalism and excellence in financial services.

He has published more than 50 papers on the topic of marketing/ management. These papers have appeared in marketing journals of international and national repute, such as the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Service Industries Journal, and Journal of Strategic Marketing, as well as conferences across the globe. As well as mainstream marketing journals, he has published in other journals such as Studies in Higher Education.

Harjit is Chair of the UK Academy of Marketing’s Services & CRM SIG and serves on the editorial board of a number of journals. Harjit has extensive experience of seeing a number of PhD students through to successful completion and has examined numerous PhDs in the UK and overseas.

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).

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

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

Researchers sat in the communal space in the Jaguar building

Sector, Economic Equality, and Responsible Finance Studies

Hear more from the researchers within this cluster.

We study how economic, financial and social phenomena – alongside the role of policy - impact on economies, industries, individuals and societies.

Professor Glauco De Vita, Cluster Co-Lead
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University of the year shortlisted
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