Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Patrycja Klusak

Author

Patrycja Klusak
Lecturer in Banking and Finance at University of East Anglia

Patrycja Klusak is a Lecturer in Banking and Finance at University of East Anglia and an Affiliated Researcher at Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Her research investigates the behaviour and regulation of credit ratings agencies (CRAs), and their effects on financial systems. Her work evaluates the extent to which regulations achieve their aims, or whether they lead to unintended consequences. Her research also examines the relationship between firms’ financial flexibility and their ratings, the extent of herding behaviour by CRAs, potential conflicts of interests in the CRA industry, and the effect of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics on firm ratings. Her interdisciplinary work combines climate science and environmental economics with her expertise in empirical banking and applied econometrics to investigate how climate change risks have and could affect sovereign ratings. Dr Klusak holds a PhD in Accounting and Finance and a BA in Banking and Finance from Bangor University, and an MPhil in Real Estate Finance at Cambridge University.

Content by this Author

Climate finance: poorer countries need it as a matter of urgency

Climate change will shrink the economies of rich, poor, hot and cold countries alike, and will make it more difficult and more expensive to raise the finance needed to decarbonise in the future. This column, which originally appeared on The Conversation website, argues that the cost of early action is far cheaper than the cost of delayed action. Mobilising climate finance is a win-win for both the developed and developing economies.

Rising temperatures, melting ratings

Enthusiasm for ‘greening the financial system’ is welcome, but does the explosion of ‘green’ finance indicators reflect the science? This column reports research that uses artificial intelligence to construct the world’s first ‘climate smart’ sovereign credit rating. The results warn of climate-driven downgrades as early as 2030.

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Sustaining entrepreneurship: lessons from Iran

Does entrepreneurial activity naturally return to long-term average levels after big economic disturbances? This column presents new evidence from Iran on trends in entrepreneurship among various categories of firm size, sector and location – and suggests policies that could be effective in promoting entrepreneurial activities.

Happiness in the Arab world: should we be concerned?

Several Arab countries have low rankings in the latest comparative assessment of average happiness across the world. But as this column explains, the average is not a reliable summary statistic when applied to ordinal data. The evidence from more robust analysis of socio-economic inequality in happiness suggests that policy-makers should be less concerned about happiness indicators than the core development objective of more equitable social conditions for citizens.

Financial constraints on small firms’ growth: pandemic lessons from Iran

How does access to finance affect the growth of small businesses? This column presents new evidence from Iran before and during the Covid-19 pandemic – and lessons learned by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The economics of Israeli war aims and strategies

Israel’s response to last October’s Hamas attack has led to widespread death and destruction. This column outlines the impact thus far, including the effects on food scarcity, migration and the Palestinian economy in both Gaza and the West Bank.

It’s too early to tell what happened to the Arab Spring

Did the Arab Spring fail? This column presents a view the consensus view from ERF’s recent annual conference in Morocco: careful analysis of the fundamental drivers of democratic transitions suggests that it’s too early to tell.

Arab regional cooperation in a fragmenting world

As globalisation stalls, regionalisation has emerged as an alternative. This column argues that Arab countries need to face the new realities and move decisively towards greater mutual cooperation. A regional integration agenda that also supports domestic reforms could be an important source of growth, jobs and stability.

Gender differences in business record-keeping and planning in Iraq

Only one in every ten informal businesses in Iraq is led by a woman. Yet as research summarised in this column reveals, those businesses are more likely to set budgets and sales targets, and to keep business records. This may be evidence of the role of social exclusion in motivating greater reliance on the formal bureaucratic system.

Self-employment in MENA: the role of religiosity and personal values

How important are individual’s values and beliefs in influencing the likelihood that they will embrace the responsibilities, risks and entrepreneurial challenge of self-employment? This column presents evidence from 12 countries in the Middle East and North African region on the roles of people’s religiosity and sense of personal agency in their labour market choices.

Reformed foreign ownership rules in UAE: the impact on business entry

In an effort to stimulate economic growth and diversify the economy, the government of the United Arab Emirates has recently implemented regulatory reform that allows 100% foreign ownership of companies operating in the country. This column examines the implications of the reform for entry of new firms in Dubai, using unique data on new business licences in the emirate.

Conflict and debt in the Middle East and North Africa

With the global economy is in its third year of deceleration amid declining inflation and oil prices, the Middle East and North Africa grew by just 1.9% in 2023, with a forecast for growth in 2024 at 2.7%. In addition to heightened uncertainty brought on by the conflict centred in Gaza, many countries in the region are also grappling with pre-existing vulnerabilities, including rising debt levels. This column summarises a new report that unpacks the nature of debt in MENA – and explains the critical importance of keeping rising debt stocks in check.