I am fascinated, and puzzled, by how people in public life use 'economics' to explain what they want to do, or want everyone else to do. As I result I am keen to see as many people as possible understand what really happens in economies, and train them to use the skills in economics to do something useful.
How I’ll teach you
The best way to get good at economics is to read, or at least get information. Keep looking at the news, and the more economics you know, the more things will fit together. Whenever you cover a skill, take it home, and try it out. If its statistics, maths, 'mechanisms' (where we show how one thing is affected by another), see if there is a way to test it out yourself. Economics isn't about the facts, they keep changing. It is about having a go at all that information and sorting it out - and that is the skill that we keep asking you to show us. Einstein said "education is whats left when you have forgotten everything you have learnt". And he was a lot cleverer than me. You will remember how to analyse things a long time after you have forgotten what the 'things' were you covered on your course.
Academic and professional qualifications
2006 University of Leeds, PhD in Economics and International Business
1993 University of Manchester, PGCE in Economics & Business with Mathematics
1992 University of Manchester, MA (Econ.) in Economics
1991 Manchester Metropolitan University, BA (Hons.) in Economics (2.1)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy [formerly Member of the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education]
Teaching Department for Education Registered Practitioner
2008 - 2015 Head of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bradford (2013 - 2015) Senior Lecturer in Economics, Division of Economics, University of Bradford (2013 -) Lecturer in Economics, Division of Economics, University of Bradford (2010 – 2013) Lecturer in Methodology, Graduate School (2009-) Lecturer in Economics, Bradford Centre for International Development (2008 – 2010)
2000 - 2008 Senior Lecturer in Economics, Department of Economics & Business Studies, University of Huddersfield
April 2003 Visiting Lecturer in Economics, Faculty of Economics, Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
1993 – 2000 Lecturer in Business (Economics), School of Business, University of Huddersfield
1993 Lecturer in Economics (Part-Time), Department of Economics & Economic History, Manchester Metropolitan University
1991 – 1992 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Econometrics, University of Manchester
Other academic service (administration and management)
Head of Economics (2013-15), in which position I led the re-validation at Periodic Review of 16 Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes of the Division (completed December 2014). Previously Postgraduate Programme Director (2012-13), and Assessment Officer (2008-12). These roles dealt with quality assurance processes for the courses, and previously for assessments and co-ordinating assessment consideration internally and with external examiners.
Chair of Economics Assessment Committee and Exam Board (2014-15); Chair of University Graduate School Exam Board (2013-5); Member of the University’s Senate Appeals, Complaints, and Investigation panels (2009-2015); Chair of University Programme Approval and Review Team, (2013-15); Chair for many Faculty Investigations (2011-15). Deputy Chair of Faculty Learning & Teaching Committee (2013-15); Member of Faculty Executive Board (2013-15; Chair of Faculty Learning & Teaching Committee Programme Approval sub-committee (2013-15). Former member of School Human Resources committee (2012-2014); University Course Annual Review Panel for Collaborative Provision programmes across the University (2010-12).
Teaching & Research Supervision
Why study Microeconomics and Behavioural Analysis?
Increasingly we have detailed information on how people behave, and with the accessibility of 'big data' we are more able than ever to describe the economy in terms of how individuals are behaving, rather than just looking at movements in the aggregate. How people behave turns out to be much more variable than we had previously believed, but these behaviours are often understandable. In many cases firms and public bodies are seeking to use this understanding to improve how they operate, and as a result an understanding of how behaviours are analysed is becoming essential for professionals (and individuals).
Behavioural analysis does not always have all the answers (it is sometimes better at asking the right questions though). It acts as an important complement to older work in fields such as Economics, Politics, Management, and is essential for anyone preparing for the modern world of work. Our courses look at how Behavioural Analysis is conducted in both traditional and modern models, and how this can be used to develop your own understanding of the world as well as the analysis that you will conduct in your professional role.
My current research looks at factors influencing ‘ethical’ decision making, involving application to situations of abuse of trust, fraud and corruption. This uses World Values Survey data to examine the relative importance of situational factors and environmental factors that influence perceptions of ‘acceptability’ of different behaviours and so alter preferences. The methods involve Bayesian statistical Multilevel models analysing an augmented version of the World Values Survey dataset. This examines the nature of preference change and the role of situational influences alongside personal characteristics of individuals.
I also conduct an ongoing project examining the success of businesses in the North West of England, following top performers. This dataset has been converted to a geographical format to enable enable of infrastructure and resource issues in the success or failure of businesses.
VG. Fitzsimons (2011). 22 The Impact of New Technology on Leisure Networks. SSRN Electronic Journal.
VG. Fitzsimons (2010). Economic gangsters: corruption, violence, and the poverty of nations. Global Crime. 11(1), pp.78-82.
VG. Fitzsimons (2010). Review of R. Fisman & E. Miguel, "Economic Gangsters: corruption, violence, and the poverty of nations. Global Crime. 11(1), pp.78-83.
VG. Fitzsimons (2010). Review of Leslie Holmes, "Rotten States: Corruption, Post-Communism and Neoliberalism. Global Crime. 8(4), pp.399-409.
VG. Fitzsimons (2009). A troubled relationship: Corruption and reform of the public sector in development. Journal of Management Development. 28(6), pp.513-521.
VG. Fitzsimons (2007). Book Reviews. Global Crime. 8(4), pp.399-409.
VG. Fitzsimons (2006). Information Society: Networks, Collective Action and the Role of Institutions. International Journal of Humanities. 3(6), pp.19-32.
VG. Fitzsimons, R. Kana (2004). Corruption and Competition in Transition. Economicka Review. 11,
Chapters in books
VG. Fitzsimons (2014). Humanistic Management, Operational Risk and Employee Behaviour. W. Amann, A. Stachowicz-Stanusch. In: Integrity in Organizations - Building the Foundations for Humanistic Management. Palgrave Macmillan,
VG. Fitzsimons (2012). Humanistic Management, Operational Risk, and Employee Behavior. In: Integrity in Organizations. Palgrave Macmillan,
FV. Fitzsimons (2011). The impact of new technology on leisure networks. In: Handbook on the Economics of Leisure. pp.470-495.
VG. Fitzsimons (2007). Economic Models of Corruption. In: Corruption and development the anti-corruption campaigns. Palgrave MacMillan,
VG. Fitzsimons (2001). Postcommunist Economies. In: Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences. Routledge,
VG. Fitzsimons (2001). New Keynesian Economics. In: Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences. Routledge,
VG. Fitzsimons (2001). New Classical Economics. In: Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences. Routledge,
VG. Fitzsimons (2001). Expectations. In: Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences.
VG. Fitzsimons Corruption, Workplace Motivation and the Problem of Prediction. University of Bradford, 26/1/2011.
VG. Fitzsimons Creationism versus Evolutionism: Institutional Perspectives on the Development of Market Systems. Economics University, Athens, Greece, 5/9/2008.
VG. Fitzsimons A Troubled Relationship: Corruption and Reform of the Public Sector in Development. University of Bradford, 20/2/2008.
VG. Fitzsimons Institutions and Economic Power: The Institutional Determinants of Lock-In International Trade Relationships. School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom, 16/11/2007.
VG. Fitzsimons Knowledge, Information and the Economy, The Knowledge Economy. University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom, 13/10/2007.
VG. Fitzsimons Dangerous Freedoms: Exposure to Markets and the Need for Protective Institutions in Development. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2/7/2007.
VG. Fitzsimons Development, Transition, and the Institutional Structure of Corruption: New Organisational Forms and the Problem of Corruption. University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom, 7/9/2006.
VG. Fitzsimons, E. Polyakov Lessons From the Russian Case: Business Strategy in the 'New' Transition Countries. New Hall College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 6/7/2006.
VG. Fitzsimons The Institutional Structure of Corruption: Firm Competition and the Choice of Institutional Strategy. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, 25/11/2005.
S. Begum, E. Cox, VG. Fitzsimons, W. Hiley, J. Khaliq, et al.C. Pyke, B. Rooth, L. Rouse, T. Walsh. (2016). North West Top 200: The Biggest and Best Companies in the Region 2016. , Greater Manchester Business Week/Trinity Mirror.
VG. Fitzsimons, M. Hartig, W. Hiley, A. Jupp, J. Khaliq, et al.M. Peris, C. Pyke, P. Shanks. (2015). North West Top 200: The Biggest and Best Companies in the Region 2015. Greater Manchester Business Week/Trinity Mirror, Greater Manchester Business Week/Trinity Mirror.
British Society of Criminology conference, University of Huddersfield, UK, 9-11 July 2008, Special panel on perspectives on corruption and criminology. ‘Worlds Apart’ (Invited speaker/discussion leader)
Invited roundtable discussions
Transparency International (UK) and Brooks World Poverty Institute joint consultation on ‘Aid, Poverty and Corruption’, University of Manchester, UK, 14th March 2008, ‘Donor Models and effective governance: the need for new thinking in anti-corruption policy’ (Invited speaker / Discussion leader)
Expert reviewer for journals and publishers
Reviewer for the American Journal of Economics & Sociology, International Review of Applied Economics, Economic Issues and the Journal of Cultural Economics (in the areas of networks, institutions, and economic performance).
Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
Consultancy and advisory roles
Consultant - EU TEMPUS / PHARE projects ‘PARD’ programme – Public Administration Reform and Development in Transition (1999-2001) Consultant. Retraining of ‘legacy’ Czech local government officials in post-communist system as part of stabilisation and reconstruction of transition economies. (UK & Czech Republic)
Consultant and team leader – EU Management and European Studies training and knowledge development initiatives for EU candidate countries. European Management Studies funded overseas programmes development under EU TEMPUS (“INSYPA” for curriculum development in Public Administration Information Systems, and “ESPRO” for European Studies curriculum development, which led to participation in co-operation with Czech and EU universities, 1997-2001)
Community, charity and NGO links
Transparency International (UK) and Brooks World Poverty Institute joint consultation on ‘Aid, Poverty and Corruption’ 2008.
Government and industry links
HMRC Tax Academy - delivery and support to advanced training courses in Tax Policy
Awards, Honours & Distinctions
Membership of professional associations
Member of the Royal Economics Society (1993 to date)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2002 to date)
Member of the European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Organised Crime (2006 to date)
Member of the Global Development Network (GDN) (2003 to date)