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Economics of personal finance

Personal finance management in a game of Monopoly.

The Economics discipline at the OU has strong research interests in the area of personal finance. This covers topics such as the capacity of people to make decisions on personal finance, as well as work on the access that people have to financial institutions. Recent research interests include work on behavioural economics, that is, how institutions might be organised to nudge people in particular directions in areas such as pensions. We also carry out research on gender and personal finance, such as differences between men and women within household budgets and the impact that government decisions have on men and women. Members of the discipline contribute to the Women’s Budget Group.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2.1, with masters degree preferred

Potential research projects

Topics could include:

  • Household budgeting
  • Decision analysis and/or behavioural economics
  • Gender and economics
  • Financial capability
  • Financial inclusion
  • Pensions and tax.

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Ms Jan Smith
+44 (0)1908 654456

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.