I currently work at the University of Exeter, where my research is centred on the areas of circular economy, life-cycle assessment (LCA), and empirical economics. I am deeply passionate about exploring the intersections of these fields to contribute valuable insights to the academic community.

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Key Publications

"Estimation of critical metal consumption in household electrical and electronic equipment in the UK, 2011–2020" (with Xiaoyu Yan), Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 2023. download pdf 

Demand for critical metals (CMs) has risen significantly, causing substantial supply risks globally. One key factor is the lack of holistic understanding of stocks and flows of different CMs contained in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) over time, resulting in low recycling rate for CMs from waste EEE (WEEE). This study aims to quantify stocks and flows of CMs in UK household EEE purchase, in-use stock and WEEE during 2011–2020, using a novel methodology to estimate annual purchase of a wide range of EEE products. We find that the total amounts of 19 different CMs contained in UK household EEE in-use stock, purchase, and WEEE had increased from 86, 13, and 8 thousand tonnes in 2011 to 140, 30, and 16 (worth £1.8 billion) in 2020, respectively. The findings provide new evidence that can assist decision makers develop strategies to make CMs more circular and sustainable.

"The Role of Manager's Gender in Mentoring: Evidence in the United Kingdom", LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations. 2022. download pdf 

This paper studies the role of managers' gender as a determinant of mentoring relationships between managers and employees in British firms by using data from the Workplace Employment Relations Survey. Past literature suggests a rather mixed figure with datasets collected from either one point in time or in a single firm. Using longitudinal data collected from hundreds of British firms, this study shows that the results are inconsistent between classical pooled ordinary least squares (OLS) and fixed effects (FE) regression models. The significant associations found in OLS regressions disappeared when firm fixed effects are included. This finding should encourage researchers to go beyond gender differences in mentoring relationships which often are the results of conventional stereotyping.

"Single-use Plastic and COVID-19 in the NHS: Barriers and Opportunities" (with Roz Davies, Karyn Morrissey, Richard Smith, Lora E. Fleming, Maria Sharmina, Rebecca St. Clair, Peter Hopkinson), Journal of Public Health Research. 2021.  download pdf 

Single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) has been essential to protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, intensified use of PPE could counteract the previous efforts made by the UK NHS Trusts to reduce their plastic footprint. In this study, we conducted an in-depth case study in the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate plastic-related issues in a typical NHS Trust before, during and after the pandemic. We first collected hospital routine data on both procurement and usage of single-use PPE (including face masks, aprons, and gowns) for the time period between April 2019 and August 2020. We then interviewed 12 hospital staff across a wide remit, from senior managers to consultants, nurses and catering staff, to gather qualitative evidence on the overall impact of COVID-19 on the Trust regarding plastic use. We found that although COVID-19 had increased the procurement and the use of single-use plastic substantially during the pandemic, it did not appear to have changed the focus of the hospital on implementing measures to reduce single-use plastic in the long term. We then discussed the barriers and opportunities to tackle plastic issues within the NHS in the post-COVID world, for example, a circular healthcare model.

“The Carbon Footprint of General Anaesthetics: A Case Study in the UK” (with JM Tom Pierce, Tim Taylor, and Karyn Morrissey), Resources, Conservation & Recycling. 2021. download pdf

The UK National Health Service (NHS) aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. One measure for reaching this target outlined in the NHS long-term plan (2019) is to reduce the carbon footprint of inhalational anaesthetic gases (IAGs). We modelled the synthesis of commonly used IAGs - sevoflurane, isoflurane, and desflurane - in comparison to intravenous propofol and estimated the carbon footprint generated throughout their lifetime, from manufacturing of raw materials to emissions of IAGs vented from operating theatres. We find that the carbon footprint of IAGs varies significantly depending on the method of chemical synthesis. Our results indicate that the carbon footprint of IAGs is minimised when using oxygen/air mix as the carrier gas at the lowest flow rate while applying a vapour capture technology (VCT). In this scenario, the carbon footprint of sevoflurane per minimum alveolar concentration hour is similar to that of propofol, which is a significant finding given that previous studies have favoured propofol as a means of carbon footprint reduction and only the active pharma- ceutical ingredient of propofol was examined. Further, we show that the carbon footprint of sevoflurane used in the NHS during 2018, in the absence of VCTs, is not smaller than that of desflurane if sevoflurane is synthesised from tetrafluoroethylene. Therefore, to reduce the carbon footprint of IAGs, this study supports the continued reduction in the use of nitrous oxide and recommends a wider adoption of VCTs.

"Dynamic Incentive Effects of Assignment Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence" (with Thomas Gall and Michael Vlassopoulos), J Econ Manage Strat. 2019; 1–26. download pdf

Optimal assignment and matching mechanisms have been the focus of exhaustive analysis. We focus on their dynamic effects, which have received less attention, especially in the empirical literature: Anticipating that assignment is based on prior performance may affect prior performance. We test this hypothesis in a lab experiment. Participants first perform a task individually without monetary incentives; in a second stage, they are paired with another participant according to a pre-announced assignment policy. The assignment is based on the first-stage performance, and compensation is determined by average performance. Our results are largely consistent with a theory: Pairing the worst-performing individuals with the best yields 20% lower first-stage effort than random matching (RAM) and does not induce truthful revelation of types, which undoes any policy that aims to reallocate types based on performance. Perhaps surprisingly, however, pairing the best with the best yields only 5% higher first-stage effort than RAM and the difference is not statistically significant.

Short Articles

"Single use plastic in healthcare must not become the new normal" (with Peter Hopkinson, Richard Smith, Lora E. Fleming, Karyn Morrissey), The BMJ Opinion. 2021. link to article

Working Papers

"Incentivizing Team Leaders: A Firm-Level Experiment on Subjective Performance Evaluation of Leadership Skills" (with Thomas Gall and Michael Vlassopoulos) download pdf

In teamwork settings, providing effective leadership can be challenging for team leaders due to multitasking and the difficulty in measuring and rewarding leadership input. These challenges might lead to underprovision of leadership activities, which can ultimately impede the productivity of the team. To address this problem, we conduct a field experiment at a manufacturing firm, introducing a relative subjective performance evaluation of team leaders’ leadership activities by their managers, coupled with bonuses based on their leadership rank among all leaders. Our intervention increased worker productivity by approximately 7%, while leaving team leaders’ productivity unchanged, and was profitable for the firm. During the intervention, we observe a positive correlation between the evaluations of team leaders and the productivity of team members, suggesting that the subjective evaluation indeed increased leadership activities and thus productivity.