Anita Ratcliffe

Lecturer in EconomicsPhoto of Anita Ratcliffe

Room 530
9 Mappin Street
S1 4DT, UK

Tel +44 (0)114 222 3312
Fax +44 (0)114 222 3458

email :


Anita graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2003 with a BSc in Economics and Econometrics. After a gap year involving work placements in the health sector (Department of Health and Skills for Health) and in the social housing sector, she returned to the University of Nottingham to complete an MSc in Economics. She was subsequently employed as a research assistant at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, where she began to study for a PhD in 2007. Anita was appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Sheffield in 2011.


"I have taught Applied Microeconomics to second year undergraduates and Applied Microeconometrics to postgraduates. Applied Microeconomics aims to show students how they can use the economic concepts learnt in their first year of study to a range of economic problems. For instance, we look at how people decide how many hours to work, how socially mobile a society is, and how to value environmental goods. For each topic, we use economic theory to provide a description of people’s behaviour and use insights from the theory to evaluate the likely impact of policy changes. We then discuss how we might use data to determine what happens in practice. Applied Microeconometrics follows a similar structure, with a greater emphasis placed on the discussion and application of econometric methods.

"I work on the basis that students gain a greater appreciation of the power of economic analysis and econometric methods once they start to see how these tools can be applied. I discuss specific applications to provide students with context, so that students can more easily see the link between economic theory and empirical analysis. My hope is that students will become more confident in applying their economic toolkit to analyse all kinds of economic problems."

Research Summary and PhD Student Supervision

Anita's research interests are in applied microeconomics, with a focus on individual (household) decisions and well-being. Her current research focuses on the links between house prices, consumption and happiness as well as the effect of economic conditions on retirement decisions. She has previously carried out research into fertility decisions and on the role of pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services. Her research uses individual or household level data, frequently matched with data on local area conditions.

She is interested in supervising PhD students in applied microeconomics.


Who cares about stock market booms and busts? (with Karl Taylor) Oxford Economic Papers, (2015) Vol 67(3) 826-845

Booms, busts and retirement timing (with Richard Disney and Sarah Smith), Economica, (2015) Vol 82(327) 399-419

The London bombings and racial prejudice: Evidence from the housing and labour market (with Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder), Economic Inquiry (2015) Vol 53(1) 276-293

Wealth Effects, Local Area Attributes, and Economic Prospects: On the Re- lationship between House Prices and Mental Wellbeing, Review of Income and Wealth (2015) Vol 61(1) 75-92

Does welfare reform affect fertility? Evidence from the UK (with Mike Brewer and Sarah Smith), Journal of Population Economics (2012) Vol 25(1) 245-266

How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services? (with Paul Gregg, Paul Grout, Sarah Smith and Frank Windmeijer), Journal of Public Economics (2011) Vol 95(7-8) 758-766