I completed a fellowship involving a research project with the aim of creating a better understanding of the strategic decision-making of developers when making planning applications. I sought to build a simple model of the market for planning permission by incorporating strategic behaviour by developers.    

The department gave me a lot of room to direct and execute the research project myself. The project was close in methodology to ‘standard’ economic research, although far more closely tailored to the immediate needs of policymakers than is perhaps normal. I was also mostly working on my own, and mostly talking to the teams to learn more about the policy landscape. This was partly because the research methodologies I used were not particularly accessible to policymakers during the process of conducting the core research. Interacting with policymakers was most useful towards the beginning and towards the end of the main body of research, to ensure the project was scoped in a way that aligned with policy needs and to communicate the main findings, respectively. 

The time at DLUHC gave me a very useful insight into how economic analysis is created and used within the Civil Service. This has helped me understand how research might be presented to help policymakers, and possible careers for economics researchers within government.  The placement was a useful opportunity to see a working culture very different from academia and to meet a range of people with different experiences and expertise.   

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