The LSE Department of Economics is one of the biggest and best in the world, with expertise across the full spectrum of mainstream economics. A long-standing commitment to remaining at the cutting edge of developments in the field has ensured the lasting impact of its work on the discipline as a whole. Almost every major intellectual development within Economics over the past fifty years has had input from members of the department, which counts ten Nobel Prize winners among its current and former staff and students. Our alumni are employed in a wide range of national and international organisations, in government, international institutions, business and finance.
We are a leading research department, consistently ranked in the top 20 economics departments worldwide. This is reflected in the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise which recognised the Department's outstanding contribution to the field. According to the REF 2014 results, 56 per cent of the Department’s research output was graded 4 star (the highest category), indicating that it is 'world-leading'. A further 33 per cent was designated 'internationally excellent' (3 star).
Most research activity is integrated within collaborative programmes organised by LSE research centres. The main economics-related centres are the Suntory and Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD), the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), the Financial Markets Group (FMG), the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), the International Growth Centre (IGC), and the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
The Department’s research has been utilised in efforts to tackle major global challenges such as climate change; economic instability; economic development and growth; and national and global productivity and inequality, often catalysing profound shifts in policy debate and formulation. Professor Stern’s work, for example, has transformed worldwide debate on the economics of climate change, and CEP research on ‘happiness’, led by Professor Lord Richard Layard, has had similarly far-reaching effects on debate about human wellbeing. You can read about their work, as well as some of our other recent research projects on our Research Impact and Case Studies page.
The Department’s ground-breaking work also generates high levels of public interest, a fact reflected in its frequent coverage by national and international media. It responds to that interest through an extensive programme of public lectures, attracting high-profile speakers such as Ben S Bernanke, outgoing chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the IMF.
Our commitment to developing and maintaining practical engagement alongside academic excellence is a hallmark of the Department, whose past and present members have played significant roles in shaping UK and international economic policy. Both the former Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, and former Deputy Governor, Sir Charlie Bean, were Professors in the Economics Department before they took up their appointments at the Bank and have now returned to the Department. Professor Tim Besley served on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee and Professor Lord Nicholas Stern was second permanent secretary to HM Treasury and Chief Economist of the World Bank. Our faculty advise governments and central banks, multilateral and aid agencies, and private sector organisations in the UK, Europe and around the world.
The 2010 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides (pictured above) for his collaborative work on the analysis of markets with search frictions. In addition, nine former members of staff or students who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics:
Sir John Hicks, 1972
Friedrich von Hayek, 1974
James Meade, 1977
Sir Arthur Lewis, 1979
Merton Miller, 1990
Ronald Coase, 1991
Amartya Sen, 1998
Robert Mundell 1999
George Akerlof, 2001
There is a cosmopolitan feel to the Department; well over half the members of staff were born or educated outside the UK, and nearly three-quarters of students come from overseas. The Department offers a range of Bachelors and Masters degrees, as well as a structured doctoral training in economics.