My research

alexmarshMy research interests cover a constellation of inter-related topics: policy processes, public management, markets and regulation. The primary focus of my research is housing markets and housing policy. More recently I have been looking at smart cities and infrastructure futures.

I am interested in regulation both as it relates to state activity in shaping market processes and the regulation of behaviour, particularly within organizational contexts and in relation to public sector reform. Underpinning much of my work is an interest in economics as a discipline with very particular characteristics. I’ve a longstanding interest in its methodology and rhetoric, its limits and borders with other disciplines. Most of all I’m interested in the way in which economic ideas interact with the world of policy and practice.

The list below gives an indication of my recent and current activities.

Current research projects and activities

  • I am a member of the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF), funded by EPSRC/ESRC. I am focusing on policy and governance dimensions of infrastructure.
  • As part of ICIF I am working on the governance of smart cities. This is one of a number of research activities related to governance, engagement and citizenship in the smart city.
  • Housing and the ageing society, with a focus on the implications of tenure restructuring and asset-based welfare.
  • Bristol Civic Leadership Project, collaborating with UWE to explore the development of the Mayoral model in Bristol. The project website can be found here.
  • Housing markets, the financial crisis and behavioural economics, collaborating with Ken Gibb at the University of Glasgow.

Writing: work in progress/the to-do/wish list

Housing policy

  • A short book on the bedroom tax, collaborating with Dave Cowan of University of Bristol Law School.
  • A paper on whether the Conservatives are trying to kill social housing

Digital engagement and governance

  • A report on digital engagement and citizenship in the smart city, working with Tricia Kennett and Llorenc O’Prey
  • A book chapter on digital governance and social policy in Europe, working with Tricia Kennett and Llorenc O’Prey

Smart cities

  • Papers on the governance of smart cities, coming out of the ICIF project, working with Aksel Ersoy.

Policy process

  • A paper on the use of nudge thinking in the policy process.

Housing economics

  • Paper developing further a heterodox economic model of housing choices and one more specifically looking at mental accounting, working with Ken Gibb (Glasgow)
  • Paper examining the relevance of behavioural economic arguments to housing markets, particularly arguments about relative position and relational goods, drawing on ideas developed by Robert Frank.

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