Dr Laura Blow
Laura recieved her undergraduate degree in Economics from Cambridge University and then studied for a Masters degree in Economics at Oxford University. She worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies whilst also studying for a PhD in Economics at University College London. She joined the University of Surrey as a full-time lecturer in August 2016
Areas of specialism
Laura is an applied microeconomist, with a particular interest in understanding the consumption choices of individuals, both theoretically and empirically. Her current research agenda focusses on how to test whether a set of observed choices was generated by a particular choice process on the consumers part. This builds on the well known results in revealed preference theory that established nonparametric tests of standard utility maximising behaviour. A particular area of current interest is in some of the main models associated with behavioural economics such as hyperbolic discounting, reference dependence and mental accounting.
The final chapter in this thesis investigates the effect of an early-life climate shock on mother?s breastfeeding behaviour and children?s anthropometric measures. I use the 1998 flood in Bangladesh as a natural experiment to implement the difference-in-difference framework. I find that children affected by the flood were breastfed for longer than those unaffected. In addition, contrary to previous studies, children did not report any difference in height-for-age z-scores, but had lower weight-for-age z-scores. Increased breastfeeding by mothers, along with generous assistance in the form of food and finances from the government, ensured that children did not suffer from the severe negative effect common in such extreme weather events.
Blow LE, Blundell R, A Nonparametric Revealed Preference Approach to Measuring the Value of Environmental Quality (2018) Environmental and Resource Economics