CHASM International Fellows Scheme 2018

In the Spring we advertised for interested, non-UK based, researchers to apply to become ‘International Research Fellows’ of CHASM for 2018. We had a large number of high quality applications from this call and awarded these Fellowships to three individuals:

  • Associate Professor Bernadene de Clercq of the University of South Africa
  • Dr Stefan from the Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Associate Professor David Rothwell of Oregon State University

The terms of this Fellowship included visiting the Centre in the UK for at least two weeks in summer 2018, providing a seminar for us open to all to attend, writing a brief for our website on some aspect of their work that others on CHASM’s mailing list/users of our website would be interested in and then developing a research project with someone from the Centre over the next twelve months on a suitable topic of mutual interest.

Below you will find information about our three International Fellows 2018 and the work that they are undertook with CHASM: 

Professor Bernadene de Clercq 

Bernadene de Clercq is an Associate Professor at the University of South Africa – a mega University (of 400,000 students) covering the whole of the Southern African region.  Bernadene’s field of research is toward financial wellness (or financial security), encompassed in the financial capability approach. 

More about Bernadene...

She is also involved in financial education (both from a national strategy perspective as well as a competency framework perspective). Due to her interest and research in the field of financial education, Bernadene is also a member of the OECD/INFE Research Committee on financial education. In addition to the financial wellness and financial education interests, due to her core discipline of taxation as a chartered accountant, Bernadene is further interested in the interaction between social policy and tax policy, which aligns closely with CHASM’s Professor Andy Lymer, her host for the two week period.

Bernadene is keen to undertake joint comparative research between South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK) as a large proportion of South African legislation in both the financial services sector as well as taxation originated in the United Kingdom. She has previously conducted research in the UK including the Wealth and Asset Survey, with Ms Andrea Finney from the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol.  From the original quantitative study conducted in 2011, several learnings and challenges have resulted in Wave 7 currently being conducted.

The seminar that Bernadene presented to CHASM on 4th July combined two topics - the first part of the presentation focused on the recent and current retirement reforms in South Africa in the broader sense providing background to the pension system and what the Government is aiming to do to address the aging population issue and other challenges in the country in relation to later-life financing. The second part addressed what has done within the tax system to try and simplify tax in relation to retirement and pensions, indicating some of the challenges experienced in this process and how these were overcome.

This work will be taken forward by Andy and Bernadene for a paper they will be presenting together at an event in South Africa in October, addressing various aspects of tax simplification. The paper will then be published in a book on this subject in early 2019.

Bernadene de Clercq

Dr Stefan Angel

Dr Stefan Angel, a Post-Doctoral Research Associate from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, joined Dr James Gregory and Professor Andy Lymer to work on new approaches to CHASM’s on-going research on housing tenure and wellbeing.

More about Stefan...

Most of Stefan’s past and current research refers to various aspects of social exclusion and social problems in European welfare states such as household over-indebtedness, financial education/literacy, housing deprivation and health. This covers questions such as how deprivation problems evolve, their persistence as well as interrelations between different dimensions. His more recent work focuses on socio-economic health inequalities and how they are related to material living conditions, particularly housing. In Stefan’s research, very often these issues are explored in a comparative perspective, for example, how they are shaped by welfare policies and whether we can speak of causal relations.

Drawing on Stefan’s expertise on European data-sets we are exploring ways of using large-scale survey data to compare apparent relationships between tenure and subjective wellbeing in Austria and the UK.  Through the collaboration, Stefan, James and Andy aim to engage with the early stages of empirical research in this area, as well-being and tenure is a key research gap across Europe. This will help shape policy thinking as well as offering insights into the ways in which different housing systems and cultures may shape an individual’s sense of either belonging or exclusion, especially for those in potentially marginalised social housing.

At a CHASM Seminar on Wednesday 4th July, Stefan showcased his research in relation to explaining measurement error in survey income data from Austria.  Stefan presented strong evidence for a social desirability bias in income reporting and evidence suggesting that the presence of learning effects depends on the specific income type.

Stefan Angel

Associate Professor David Rothwell

CHASM international research fellow, Dr David Rothwell, was hosted by Professor Karen Rowlingson in July 2018. He is Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University in the United States.  David is advancing work to understand cross-national variation in savings and asset holding.

More about David...

Across countries in Europe and the broader Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the levels and gradients of asset holding range considerably. David is concerned with the institutional factors that can explain this variation, with a focus on those in the bottom 50% of the wealth distribution.

During his seminar at CHASM on ‘Low wealth in rich countries: Exploring cross-national variation at the lower tail of the wealth distribution’ David discussed the fact that, although understanding wealth inequality has garnered much attention from researchers, a systematic and theoretically informed conceptual framework for explaining cross-national variation in low levels of asset holding is lacking.  He then outlined some of the key institutional factors that might explain differences across countries, including markets, demographic and social factors, and social policies.

David is collaborating with CHASM members Karen Rowlingson and Steve McKay on an abstract proposal for a December workshop on wealth inequality and mobility.  In addition to this project, Rothwell, Rowlingson, McKay intend to continue their collaboration on additional studies of wealth mobility and funding proposals to support future study of cross-national variation.


David Rothwell