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Walter Jansson

Walter completed his PhD in economic history at the University of Cambridge in 2018, which was funded by the Osk. Huttunen Foundation in Finland. His thesis studies linkages between the financial system and the economy in Britain from 1850 to 1913, with a particular focus on the role of various credit shocks in driving macroeconomic conditions. Taking a broader interest in studies in finance over the long run, he was a convenor of the Cambridge Financial History Workshop. Walter was also a teaching fellow at the Faculty of Economics, where he was received the Distinguished Teaching Fellow award. Before coming to Cambridge, he completed a Master’s degree at the London School of Economics and obtained a Bachelor in Economics from the Lancaster University.

At CERF, Walter’s project applies natural language processing (NLP) methods to over 150 years of text from major UK newspapers to quantify changes in the degree of economic uncertainty over time. The resulting indicator is used to examine econometrically the impact of uncertainty on economic and financial conditions in the UK over the long run. The project also makes a substantial contribution by helping us understand the drivers of business cycles by distinguishing between fluctuations in economic sentiment, financial constraints, and uncertainty. Moreover, his research also contributes to the rapidly growing body of research using computational linguistics in finance.