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Rosie Neville

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Rosie is an economist at the Welsh Government, where she works on the UK's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). She studied Economics and Politics at the University of Bristol, and briefly worked at a think tank before joining the civil service.

Why did you choose to study economics?

I initially decided to study Economics after attending a GCSE Options talk where the Economics Teacher's passion was infectious. From there, I choose Economics for my A-levels and later for university. Looking back, that talk was a 'sliding doors' moment, as I had no prior interest or understanding of what economics really entailed.

How would you describe economics?

For most, the mention of economics conjured images of money. I’ve studied economics long enough to be able to rehash the line “economics is the study of how societies allocate scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants and needs”. But what does this mean? Economics unveils the underlying dynamics of human behaviour and societal choices. It's about delving into the intricate mechanisms shaping resource allocation, and how individuals, businesses, and governments navigate our interconnected world's complexities and incentives. Economics uncovers the "why" behind our actions, our interactions, and the ripple effects these interactions have.

If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?

Well, naturally this would depend on what sort of time travel you’re talking about – fixed timeline? Dynamic Timeline? Multiverse theory? – if we’re assuming the Novikov Self-Consistency Principle, any advice would have no impact!
The advice I'd offer my 16-year-old self - and even to my current self to some extent - is that it's preferable to attempt something and fail, learning in the process, then to not try at all. It's common to fall into the trap of accepting/ reinforcing our self-perception, which in many cases hold us back. I think this can be applied to most aspects of life – not just school/ work.

What is your favourite part of economics?

My favourite part is public economics, which can be seen as economics for the public good. It as it deals with issues that directly affect society, such as taxation, public goods provision, welfare programs, and environmental policies. Understanding these areas is crucial for policymakers in creating effective and efficient policies that improve societal welfare i.e. make people’s lives “better”.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?

It’s easy said in hindsight, when even last-night essay writing can be viewed through rose-tinted glasses, but I wish I appreciated and exploited the opportunity afforded to me when in full time education. Whilst, of course, you learn on the job, having education centre stage in your life is a privilege that I feel I didn't fully appreciate or take advantage of.

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