John Lane, 1944-2018
We regret to announce the death of Dr John Lane, who passed away in Singapore earlier this year.
John gained his PhD at Stanford University, and joined the LSE Department of Economics as a lecturer in 1971. He also held visiting appointments at Wisconsin University, Yale University, the State University of New York, the University of California at San Diego, Queen’s University Canada, and the New Economic School in Moscow.
John taught mathematical economics, econometrics, and general equilibrium theory. His early research interests were in the areas of technological change, optimal growth theory and the economics of exhaustible resources. Later, he worked on health economics, particularly the economics of uncertainty as applied to medical decision making. His work was published in the International Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies and Econometrica, amongst others.
John retired from the LSE in September 2008, and relocated to Singapore, where he joined the Nanyang Technological University, teaching economic analysis, taxation and fiscal reform, labour and education policy, and applied mathematical economics in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. More recently, he taught on the Global Master of Finance Degree at Singapore Management University.
He continued to be engaged in the London University external (international) programme with particular reference to South East Asia, regularly returning to London to act as an external examiner.
In response to the sad news, Professor John Sutton said: “John was a wonderful colleague, invariably cheerful, with a keen sense of humour and never without a story to tell...it was always a joy to see him on his continuing summer visits, and all his old friends in the department will greatly miss seeing him approach along the corridor with that inimitable smile of recognition.”
Economics undergraduate student wins the CERGE-EI New Economic Talent competition 2018
Congratulations to Sitong Ding, third-year BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics student, who has won the New Economic Talent 2018 (NET) competition, organised by the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute (CERGE-EI)!
The final round of the 4th New Economic Talent competition took place on Friday, June 1, at CERGE-EI.
Sitong was among the three finalists who presented their papers in fronτ of the CERGE-EI evaluation committee, who offered feedback and recommendations for the students' future research.
Sitong won the first place for his paper: "Bounded Rationality in Rules of Price Adjustment and the Phillips Curve".
For further information please visit the CERGE-EI pages and view images from the competition here.
Professor Daniel Sturm and co-authors awarded the 2018 Frisch Medal
Congratulations to Professor Daniel Sturm (pictured) and his co-authors Dr Gabriel Ahlfeldt (Department of Geography and Environment, LSE), Professor Steve Redding (Princeton University), and Professor Nikolaus Wolf (Humboldt-Universität Berlin) for being awarded the 2018 Frisch Medal for their paper “The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall”, published in Econometrica.
First awarded in 1978, the Frisch Medal has been established by the Econometric Society in memory of Ragnar Frisch, the first editor of Econometrica. The award is presented biennially for the best applied (empirical or theoretical) paper published in Econometrica during the previous five years.
The award committee commented:
“The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall” by Gabriel Ahlfeldt, Stephen Redding, Daniel Sturm, and Nikolaus Wolf, breaks genuinely new ground in the modeling of cities and the spatial organization of economic activity. From the stepping stone of a long tradition in urban economics, the authors develop a theoretical model of an asymmetric city with a large number of “blocks” in which land developers offer floor space for production or residences, firms choose where to produce and whom to hire, and workers choose where to work and where to live. These city blocks differ, exogenously, in their innate productivity and residential amenities. But they can also, endogenously, become more attractive places to produce and reside through local-density externalities from other nearby firms and residents. Such agglomeration forces are the fundamental reasons for cities to exist, but measuring their strength has been a major stumbling block due to the very nature of endogenous agglomeration. To carry out their estimation, the authors compile unique block-level data from Berlin, going all the way back to the 1930s. They then estimate the strength of agglomeration externalities through a creative strategy, which relies on Berlin’s partition in 1961 and reunification in 1989 as sources of variation in the proximity of each West Berlin block to the local density of other blocks. The paper provides an outstanding example of how to credibly and transparently use a quasi-experimental approach to structurally estimate model parameters that can serve as critical inputs for counterfactual policy analyses.
A formal presentation of the award will take place at the ESEM meeting in Cologne at the end of August 2018.
For further information, please visit the Econometric Society’s website.
Earlier in 2017-2018
Congratulations to Kilian Huber, Economics PhD and Job market candidate, who is among the Winners of the AQR Top Finance Graduate 2018 Award at the Copenhagen Business School!
The award recognizes the most promising finance PhD graduates in 2018, specifically graduates specializing in financial economics pursuing degrees in any field of study, e.g. business or economics, whose dissertation and broader research potential carry the greatest promise of making an impact on the finance practice and academia.
Each winner will receive a cash prize of 1,400 USD sponsored by AQR and present their research in Copenhagen on June 8, 2018.
For further information please see here.
Congratulations to all our staff and students who have been recognised for their contribution to teaching and education at LSE in the 2018 Education Awards.
LSE Class Teacher Awards
Highly Commended - Wouter Leenders and Tiancheng Sun
Winners - Aleksander Kloda, Andrew Mitson, Celine Zipfel, Chen Qiu, Chiara Sotis, Clement Minaudier, Dita Eckardt, Kamila Nowakowicz and Miguel Bandiera Silva
LSE Students' Union Teaching Excellence Awards
These awards allow students to nominate and celebrate the staff who have made a difference and enhanced their experiences during their time at LSE.
Award for Sharing Subject Knowledge
Highly Commended - Chutiorn Tontivanichanon, Miguel Banderia da Silva
Award for Excellent Feedback and Communications
Winner - Celine Zipfel (pictured)
Runner Up - Hassieb Pakzad
Award for Research Guidance and Support
Runner Up - Daniel Reck
Award for Innovative Technology
Highly Commended - Daniel Reck, Hugo Vilares
Award for Inspirational Teaching
Highly Commended - Xavier Jaravel
For further information please visit the LSE Education Awards webpage.
View images from the awards ceremony and the winners from the Department in the the LSESU's channel in Flickr.
The Department offers its warmest congratulations to Sitong Ding, third-year BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics student, who has been awarded the 2018 Kaneda Prize for an Outstanding Young Economist at the Seventeenth Annual Carroll Round.
The Carroll Round is an international economics conference which brings together students to discuss methods and ideas at the frontier of economics research. The conference is organised by Georgetown University.
The prestigious Kaneda Prize is awarded annually by the Carroll Round. Sitong Ding presented his paper: "Bounded Rationality in Rules of Price Adjustment and the Phillips Curve", which was writen under the supervision of A W Phillips Professor of Economics Ricardo Reis.
In the paper, Sitong proposed a modified model of the Phillips Curve where price setters in this economy look to the Central Bank for their own optimal behaviour when they are limited by how far ahead they can form expectations of prices. When they are constrained by the time horizon over which they can form expectations, these price setters in turn use the growth of past prices at the rate of the central bank’s inflation target as a heuristic alternative to their own expectations. This theory is juxtaposed with the benchmark new Keynesian models of sticky-prices and sticky-information, where price setters who acquire rational expectations form them in perpetuity. The paper thus presents a framework that allows one to analyse the behaviour of inflation and output continuously throughout the entire spectrum of rationality, from the one end to another, and in doing so, provides insights on how the Phillips Curve may be misbehaved and the subsequent implications for monetary policy.
The Department takes pride in that it is not the first time our students have received awards at the Carroll Round. In 2012-2013, Yi Jie Gwee received the same award for his paper: "3Bs And No As: Expansion of Higher Education in the UK – Bane, Boon or Boom?". Find out more here.
The new Tilburg University Economics Ranking is now available. It examines the research contribution of universities, looking at publications during the timeframe 2013-2017. According to the Economics Ranking, the LSE comes fifth among the top ten of economics universities worldwide.
The Tilburg University Economics Ranking provides a standard Top 100 of Economics schools, based on a subset of journals in the database, over a 5-year period. The database covers publications in 74 leading economics journals, among which features the departmental journal Economica.
For further information, please visit the Tilburg University Economics Ranking website.
Congratulations to Professor Oriana Bandiera who will be awarded the Ester Boserup Prize for Research on Development 2018.
Oriana Bandiera is Sir Anthony Atkinson Chair in Economics and Director of STICERD.
The Ester Boserup Prize for Research on Development is awarded for outstanding social science research on development and economic history. The prize is presented to a scholar whose research has improved and deepened our knowledge of development dynamics and economic history, of poverty and wealth, of marginalization and political participation, and of lawlessness and justice. The prize is awarded by the Copenhagen Centre for Development Research (CCDR).
The award ceremony will take place on 13 June 2018 at the University of Copenhagen. Oriana Bandiera will give an open lecture ttiled: 'Policies to End Poverty'.
For further information, please visit the University of Copenhagen pages.
Nava Ashraf has been awarded funding under a joint initiative between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) to undertake research on the impact of business linkages and knowledge spillovers on manufacturing growth in the context of the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) project.
The project will involve a field experiment that will explore whether businesses can be encouraged to form horizontal linkages and collaborate on higher quality production through the offer of an opportunity to be part of a vertical linkage in Lusaka, Zambia. It will also explore the extent to which the learning of these firms spills over to surrounding firms, and the extent to which this is influenced by i) the competitiveness of the opportunity and ii) the local institutional environment.
Alessandro Gavazza has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for EMPCONSFIN, to undertake three broad projects on information frictions in households' credit markets and on the consequences of these frictions for durable good markets.
The first project aims to provide the first empirical analyses of markets (i.e. demand and supply) with asymmetric information and nonexclusive trades, i.e. markets in which households can purchase multiple insurance contracts, such as in life insurance markets, or can open multiple credit lines, such as in credit card markets.
The second project aims to study recent regulations of fees and prices in markets for consumer financial products, such as mortgages, that could have the unintended consequences of increasing households' cost of credit and, thus, of tightening their borrowing constraints.
Finally, the third project aims to study the role of borrowing constraints in durable goods markets, with a special focus on car markets during the Great Recession. All these projects aim to develop and estimate structural models using data from different markets.
The Department of Economics is pleased to announce that the 2017 John Hicks Prize for an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation is awarded to Dr Guo Xu.
Guo first came to the LSE in 2010, after completing his undergraduate studies at Humboldt University. He completed two Master’s degrees at the LSE, firstly in Development Studies followed by Economics, before starting on the MRes-PhD in Economics degree programme in 2012. After completing his taught courses, he concentrated his research in the fields of Development and Organisations under the supervision of Prof Oriana Bandiera and Prof Robin Burgess. He completed his PhD in 2017. The title of his thesis is Essays in Development and Organisations.
Guo had a very successful job market and is now working as Assistant Professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley. Find out more information about his research from his personal website.
Professor Oriana Bandiera and Professor Robin Burgess commended on Guo's work: “The best students follow their advisors’ instructions but it takes truly exceptional talent and enormous work to use them as foundations of something much bigger. We never tire of congratulating Guo for doing exactly that.”
Clare Lombardelli has been appointed as the new Director General, Economics and Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury, replacing Sir David Ramsden. She will take up the role on 3 April.
Clare is currently the Director of Strategy, Planning and Budget at HM Treasury and a member of the Treasury’s Executive Management Board. She holds a master’s degree in Economics from the Department, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London.
For further information please visit the HM Treasury website.
Swati Dhingra has been awared a European Research Council Starting Grant for the BIGlobal project, which will examine the sources of firm growth and market power to provide new insights into welfare and policy in a globalised world.
The project will determine how firm decisions matter for the aggregate gains from globalisation, the division of these gains across different individuals and their implications for policy design.
Robin Burgess has been awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant for the MANANDNATURE project, which aims to create a new body of research on natural resource management and energy use in developing countries.
The project will bring novel, applied micro techniques from development economics to the study of environmental and energy economics, and harness new data collection technologies using satellites and randomised control trials.
Congratulations to Professor Tim Besley has been knighted in the 2018 New Year's Honours for services to economics and public policy!
Professor Besley is a School Professor of Economics and Political Science and W Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics.
Educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and Oxford University he became a prize fellow of All Souls College. He taught subsequently at Princeton before being appointed Professor in the economics department at the LSE in 1995. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and the European Economic Association. He is also a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the current President of the International Economic Association and served as the President of the European Economic Association in 2010. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee and since 2015 has been a member of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission. In 2018, he will serve as the President of the Econometric Society.
Professor Lord Nicholas Stern said: "For academics, Tim Besley is regarded as one of the leading economists of our times as recognised in his Presidency of the Econometric Society and of the International Economic Association. He has changed the way we understand many issues and areas, particularly in public policy and most recently in the role of institutions in economic development. Also he has been hugely influential in public discussion and engagement, including in evaluation of and steering World Bank research, on the UK Monetary Policy Committee, on the National Infrastructure Commission and in leading the LSE Growth Commission. His contributions have been truly outstanding and the LSE is very fortunate to have him with us."
For more information, please visit the LSE News web pages.
The four UK Higher Education Funding Bodies have announced the appointment of the chairs of the 34 sub-panels for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The chairs have been appointed following an open application process.
Professor Stephen Machin will be the Chair of the Economics and Econometrics sub-panel.
Stephen Machin is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, as well as of the Society of Labour Economists and of the European Economic Association. He has been President of the European Association of Labour Economists and is a Council Member of the Royal Economic Society. His current research interests include inequality, social mobility, education and crime, and the interactions between them.
The key role of each sub-panel chair is to lead their sub-paneI in developing criteria for the assessment and in consistently applying assessment standards. The chair will also play a key role in engaging with the UK higher education sector on the REF.
A full list of the sub-panel chairs for each of the 34 sub-panel areas is available at the REF website. Read more here.
The Department of Economics is delighted to congratulate Fraser and Robert Clark, third year BSc Economics students, who have won the inaugural RES/Economics Network Undergraduate Video Competition. The prize is being awarded jointly with an entry from the University of Edinburgh.
The annual video competition is designed to encourage undergraduate students to explore how economics can be used to understand the real world and to communicate economic insights in a clear and intelligible way. Fraser and Robert’s entry focused on immigration and its effects on employment. The judges were particularly impressed by the quality of the economic content in the video and the clarity with which this was explained.
Fraser and Robert were awarded a prize of £500 and will have their video entered into an international multimedia competition organised by the International Economics Association. Their winning entry will also be shown by the RES at their annual public lecture.
Professor Lord Stern, RES president-elect, presented Fraser and Robert with their certificates on the 31st October 2017.
Dr Judith Shapiro, BSc Tutor said: “We are, of course, incredibly proud of their success. The video was selected in an LSE-wide competition, as each university was only allowed one entry. This competition was assisted by support from the LSE Vision Fund for our Department’s second-year research panel and the winners are also veterans of LSE GROUPS. The video draws on economic analysis by our faculty, and cites Professors Alan Manning and Frank Cowell in its explanatory entry.”
For further information, please visit the RES News page.
Watch the video.
Lord Nicholas Stern, I G Patel Professor of Economics and Government was made a Companion of Honour in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 16 November.
A prestigious award granted to only 65 people at a time, the Order of the Companions of Honour is for conspicuous service of national importance and recognises an individual’s major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government over their lifetime.
Professor Lord Stern was given the title in recognition of his contributions to economics, international relations and tackling climate change.
Only three other academic economists have ever been made a Companion of Honour – Friedrich Hayek, Lionel Robbins and most recently Amartya Sen - all former professors at LSE.
Commenting at the time the award was announced, Professor Lord Stern said he was, “delighted and deeply honoured.”
Dame Minouche Shafik, Director of LSE, said: “Many congratulations to Nick on this outstanding achievement. The fact he is only the fourth academic economist to ever be made a Companion of Honour speaks to the high esteem in which he is held, and the enormous impact he has had throughout his career. He has contributed on so many fronts ranging from cutting edge research to the front-lines of policy making, to teaching generations of students (including me) who are in his debt.”
For further information, please see the Economics Annual Review (page 13).
Congratulations to Professor Ricardo Reis who has received the Junior Prize in Monetary Economics and Finance by the Banque de France and the Toulouse School of Economics.
In 2012, Banque de France and TSE launched a series of prizes for academic researchers who have improved our understanding of monetary economics and finance. The aim of the awards is to foster conceptual progress toward the design and implementation of improved policies by central banks.
Ricardo Reis is the A W Phillips Professor of Economics at LSE. He is a consultant to central banks around the world and the editor of the Journal of Monetary Economics. Recent honours include the 2016 Bernacer prize for a European economist under the age of 40 with outstanding contributions to macroeconomics and finance.
Ricardo said: "It is an honour to be in the company of such a distinguished list of past winners of this prize, and to be on stage this year with Amir Sufi and Olivier Blancard, from whose work I have learned much over the years. The collaboration between BdF and the TSE in awarding this prize caputres th close connection between research in academia and in central banks that I have also strived to achieve in my career."
For further information, please visit the Banque de France's website.
Orazio Attanasio (former PhD student) elected to be Second Vice President of the Econometric Society in 2018 and President of the Society in 2020.
Dave Donaldson (former PhD student) elected Fellow of the Econometric Society.
Dilip Mookherjee (former PhD student) elected to serve the Econometric Society's Council Representation for Asia.
Further information is available on the Econometric Society's website.
Each year the LSE Volunteer Centre recruits a number of students to act as ambassadors for volunteering on campus. All ambassadors have lots of great volunteering experience. Among this year's ambassadors is Yanpeng Liang, who is in his third year BSc Economics. Read below to find out more!
"I’m really excited to have the opportunity to get involved in the works here at the LSE Volunteer Centre and become one of the LSE Student Volunteering Ambassadors, which gives me the chance to inspire more fellow LSE students to join this great cause."
"Volunteering has always been an indispensable part of my journey as a student. I volunteered on a weekly basis at Tan Tock Seng Hospital as a patient befriender and night carer when I was attending high school in Singapore. I also embarked on a volunteering trip to Nepal as a volunteer teacher in English and Math. Personally I’ve grown and developed significantly from all these exciting volunteering activities and got to know a great deal of inspiring and interesting individuals. I hope you can have the opportunity too! It’s always said that volunteering is not only about changing your surrounding, but also about changing yourself and developing as a person!"
For more information about the student volunteer ambassadors for this year, please visit the LSE Careers blog.
"How does caring for one another affect economic decisions?" Economics Scientific Section talk at the British Science Festival in September 2017.
Professors Oriana Bandiera, Nava Ashraf and Maitreesh Ghatak talked about how our social preferences affect our decision making and what are the economic consequences. They discussed how we can incorporate personal motivations into economic models and discuss the implications on the organisation of firms, the use of monetary incentives, and the delivery of public services.
You can find out more below:
- View the slides
- Listen to the podcast
- Read the Royal Economic Society's report on the presentation
The department welcomes the following new faculty members:
Dr Xavier Jaravel (Assistant Professor of Economics)
Dr Xavier Jaravel received his PhD in economics from Harvard in 2016. His research answers macro questions using micro data. His recent work studies the interplay between innovation and inequality. Dr Jaravel will be teaching Quantative Economics.
Dr Rachael Meager (Assistant Professor of Economics)
Dr Rachael Meager received her PhD in Economics and Statistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her BA./BComm in Economics, History and French from the University of Melbourne. Her research is at the intersection of development economics and statistics, with a focus on Bayesian hierarchical techniques. Though substantively interested in poverty alleviation and program evaluation in many different contexts, her work is interdisciplinary and often involves collaboration with computer scientists and statisticians. Dr Meager will be teaching Econometrics.
Dr Daniel Reck (Assistant Professor of Economics)
Dr Daniel Reck received a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan in 2016, and spent a year as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California Berkeley. His research interests are in behavioral economics and public economics, with topics ranging from offshore tax evasion to the application of insights from behavioral economics to policymaking. He will be teaching Public Economics.