Economics: Dr Brian Turner

Lecturer: Dr Brian Turner
Department: Department of Economics, Cork University Business School.
Module: EC4215 – Business Econometrics I.

Integration of GCDE

The module introduces econometrics to students. Econometrics is essentially a way of mathematically/statistically modelling economic phenomena using data. The plan is to introduce concepts relating to global citizenship using examples of regression analysis, using datasets on relevant indicators and existing research in this area. It will integrate GCDE-related examples rather than more generic economic examples when presenting ideas related to regression analysis. This would be a more subtle exposure of students to GCDE concepts than in a more qualitative module. I would hope that, by using CGDE-related examples in class, this would encourage students to develop an interest in these issues and research these further themselves.

Application of Praxis in Teaching

Having based my case study on an econometrics module (EC4215), I actually did not end up teaching this module in the 2021/22 academic year, as I was on research sabbatical in the semester in which that module is taught.

Image of a group of students gathered at The Quad, UCC.However, I was assigned to teach a different econometrics module (EC3153) in the semester in which I was teaching, so I attempted to incorporate some of what I had hoped to bring into EC4215 into EC3153 instead (albeit that the content of the two modules is not entirely the same, although there are some similarities).

In particular, I tried, where I could, to use examples related to SDGs when trying to illustrate concepts, rather than more generic macro- or micro-economic examples. Specific examples where I did this are as follows:


  • I set an exercise for students to think about what functional form they would use to examine a number of sample regressions. The examples I used were all related to the SDGs. They were:
    • CO2 emissions and population in the EU over time.
    • Education spending and GDP across all European countries in 2018 (I later showed the students data on this example from Eurostat).
    • Health spending and age over an individual’s lifetime.
  • I covered a number of examples of heteroscedasticity in class, two of which related to SDGs. These were:
    • A hypothetical regression specification of health expenditure (dependent variable) and GDP (independent variable) across 100 developed and developing countries.
    • A regression (using actual data) of total health expenditure across European countries using public health expenditure, GDP, population, the proportion of the population aged 75 and over, average length of hospital stay, proportion of non-smokers in the population, and number of available hospital beds as the independent variables.
  • I prepared material for the tutor, which also included some SDG-related material, specifically:
    • In the tutorial on specification, I used a health-related example, where the demand for private health insurance was being examined with reference to the consumer price index for health insurance, the number of people waiting longer than six months for inpatient treatment as public patients, average annual income, and the number of beds available in private hospitals.
    • In the tutorial on autocorrelation, I used an example of smoking trends among teenagers being related to average weekly income of teenagers, the amount spent on cigarette advertising and the value of GDP.

Although these may have been subtle examples, my hope is that they would have got the students to think about these types of issues rather than more generic macro- or micro-economic issues. Ideally, I would like to think that this might pique the interest of some students in these areas, and they might go on to examine them further themselves.



Praxis plan

Turner, Brian_case-study-Praxis-Plan_Draft 1 (PDF opens in a new tab/window)



Dr Brian Turner

Brian Turner is a lecturer in the Department of Economics at UCC. His research interests focus primarily on health economics, in particular the funding of healthcare and health insurance, as well as wider developments in the Irish health system.

Prior to returning to UCC in 2005 to complete his PhD, Brian worked as a property analyst in London and Dublin and then in the regulatory agency for the private health insurance market in Ireland. Brian also holds a Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from UCC. He also has an interest in global citizenship and the role of business in development issues.


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