BSc Economics students win ONS competition
In January 2020, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Renaissance Prize challenged undergraduate students across all UK universities to broaden their understanding of the UK economy, sustainable capitals (human, social, natural and financial), and government policy priorities. Applicants were asked to answer the following question in under 2500 words:
“Is a UK Government commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals good for the economy and business in general?”
The winning candidate received a prize of £500 and the opportunity to present their concept to economic experts at ONS. We are pleased to share that this year’s prize was awarded to BSc Econ students Brooklyn Han, Patrick Leitloff, Sally Yang and Eddy Zou, for their essay on the value of the Sustainable Development Goals for the British economy.
The judging panel stated that the arguments used in their essay were “strong, well-evidenced and referenced” and “the style and mechanics were good”.
Steve Pischke commented: “It’s great to see our students get involved in challenges like this and be so successful. Congratulations to Eddy Zou, Sally Yang, Brooklyn Han and Patrick Leitloff”.
Judith Shapiro said: “This success in a top national undergraduate prize essay competition, sponsored by the Office of National Statistics, required mastery of rigorous research material, communications skills and teamwork under very adverse conditions. Above all, it required sustained commitment to understanding the purpose of the Sustainable Development Goals and critical policy evaluation.”
Judith adds: “Chiara Sotis, course manager of EC201 and I encouraged all students in LSE Economics courses to participate and held a briefing meeting before campus closure. We are both delighted with this evidence of the ability of our students. I hope it will be an inspiration to them and to the many others who participate in our extensive co-curricular research activities.”
Find out more.
LSE retains fourth position in Tilburg University Economics Ranking
LSE is ranked fourth in the Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Schools Research Ranking. The ranking is based on research contribution from 2015-2019. LSE is the only non-US department in the top 10.
The Tilburg University Economics Ranking provides a standard Top 100 ranking of Economics schools around the world, based on a subset of journals in their database, over a five-year period. Their database covers publications in 79 leading economics journals, featuring the departmental journal Economica. For further information, please visit the Tilburg University Economics Ranking website.
BSc Economics students commended in Python Coding Challenge
In Lent Term, the Digital Skills Lab organised a Python Coding Challenge in partnership with LSE Careers and Indian IT consultancy Infosys.
Dr Antonio Mele (Associate Professorial Lecturer, LSE Department of Economics) and Dr Srinivasa Raghavan (Chief Data Scientist, Infosys) set real-life problems to help the students develop their understanding of financial analysis and coding. In addition, Aaron Trevitt from LSE Careers focused on teamwork and employability.
Students from various departments in the School came together to form nine individual teams. At the end of the challenge, the teams presented their academic research and data analyses on the topic set.
Due to COVID-19, the challenge was adapted to an online format at the last minute. This meant that only four of the nine original teams submitted a recorded presentation. We would like to commend our students who successfully completed the challenge: Ximin Chen, Damien Lee, Sita Piette, Kyungjun Kim, Tejinder Soomal, Matthew Barnes and Mun Fai Chan. Congratulations!
You can view all presentations here.
Earlier in 2019/20
The LSE Department of Economics is saddened to hear of the death of Professor Peter Sinclair, a much admired teacher who contributed to EC303, EC230 and EC321 for a number of years. Peter's teaching was central to our offerings to General Course students. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. A short tribute by Tim Besley is available on the Royal Economic Society website.
We’re thrilled to share the news that Professor Silvana Tenreyro has been appointed for a second three-year term as an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Her second term will start from 5 July 2020.
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, said: “I am delighted that Silvana Tenreyro has agreed to serve another three years on the Monetary Policy Committee. Silvana’s insights and contribution to the Committee will be hugely valuable as we navigate the current economic challenges and help to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom. I very much look forward to continuing to work with her.”
Head of Department, Professor Steve Pischke, shares his congratulations: "Congratulations Silvana, and thank you for your help in running the country’s monetary policy in these challenging times."
Silvana Tenreyro is Professor of Economics at LSE
It is with great pleasure we congratulate Philippe Aghion for winning the BBVA Foundation’s 12th Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management, together with Peter Howitt 'for developing an economic growth theory based on the innovation that emerges from the process of creative destruction.'
The committee said the two economists, 'have revived, developed in the framework of modern economic theory and validated empirically Schumpeter’s idea that productivity growth at the macroeconomic level stems from a process of creative destruction.'
Find out more about the award here and the Foundation’s work here.
Philippe Aghion is Professor of Economics at LSE and at the College de France, and a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Peter Howitt is Lyn Crost Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Brown University.
Upon hearing the news, Head of Department, Professor Steve Pischke said:
‘This is a most deserved recognition and we are fortunate for Philippe to carry on this research programme here at the LSE.’
The Department's first Python for Economics Weekend took place on 7-9 February 2020. Associate Professorial Lecturer, Dr Antonio Mele, tells us about the event:
This two-day course was designed to introduce undergraduate economics students to the Python programming language and its application to data collection, manipulation, visualisation and analysis (e.g. regression). 36 students were selected for this first event, and 35 more will participate in a second event on 21-23 February 2020.
Students were organised into six groups, each working on a specific economics topic. Students had already completed an online course on the basics of Python. During the weekend, the groups analysed data or simulated an economic model, prepared a presentation of their findings and then presented their results to the other groups. Each team had a coach, who was often an LSE student already proficient with Python.
On Saturday, a panel of three LSE alumni (Ilia Karmanov (Qualcomm AI), Sonia Singh (Expedia) and Jakub Kolodziej (JP Morgan)) answered questions from students about using Python in their job and career prospects for economists with a knack for coding.
The event was very well received by participants and there are plans for similar initiatives to satisfy the increasing appetite of our students for coding and data analysis.
Professor Sir Tim Besley delivered the annual Alan Walters Lecture, hosted by the University of Birmingham Business School, looking at how supply-side policies have evolved since the Thatcher era.
Tim discussed the rationale behind new policies affecting areas such as infrastructure, regional policy and industrial strategy; explored how the competence of the state will need to evolve to deliver on new policies, especially when the UK exits from the EU; and spoke about whether a new division of responsibilities between the state and markets is warranted.
Sir Alan Walters was the Sir Ernest Cassell Professor of Economics at LSE from 1968-1976.
Professor Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics of Political Science and W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE.
It is with great sadness that the Department has learned about the death of Edward Kuska, one of our PhD alumni, who spent his entire career in the Department from 1961 to 2002. Ed was a scholar of macroeconomics and international monetary economics and a dedicated teacher. He was particularly fond of introducing many cohorts of MSc students to mathematical methods in the September course. Always interested in the welfare of his students, he spent almost thirty years as Warden of Carr-Saunders Hall and the High Holborn Residence.
For further information please see this obituary, by Jim Thomas.
On Tuesday 26 November 2019, we Celebrated Excellence at LSE Economics! Our annual evening of celebration which brings together current students, alumni, staff and friends is an opportunity for us to reflect on the successes and achievements of the previous academic year. Professor the Lord Mervyn King opened the evening with an insightful talk on economic policy. BSc Economics alumna, Charlotte Woodacre, spoke on what studying her undergraduate degree at LSE has meant to her and how economics has had an impact on her career and future.
Following the speeches, we applauded and cheered as our student prize winners were asked to come on stage to collect their certificates. New for 2019 was the Judith Shapiro Spirit of Economics Award which went to Anna Carruthers in recognition of her commitment to the economics community. Our Graduate Teaching Assistants also collected their trophies amid rapturous applause. The Department showcased our First Year Challenge videos as the winners of the 2019 FYC were announced. Find out about all our winners and their prizes on our Prize and Award Winners page.
All students, alumni, staff and friends enjoyed a reception following the prize giving. It was a great opportunity to meet with friends old and new, to hear stories of the Department from years gone by as well as to catch up with our most recent graduates and discover their new journeys since their time studying with us.
You can view photos from the event on our Facebook page.
We would like to wish a huge congratulations to all the Excellence in Education Award winners from the Department:
Gharad Bryan, Nicolas Cerkez, Wouter Den Haan, Dita Eckardt, Kangchul Jo, Kasia Krajniewska, William Matcham, Niclas Moneke, Francesco Nava, Rachel Ngai, Junius Olivier, Dimitra Petropoulou, Anthoulla Phella, Derek Pillay, Giuseppe Rossitti, Ragvir Sabharwal, Chiara Sotis, Daniel Sturm and Di Song Tan
The LSE Excellence in Education Awards are designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’. The Awards are made on the recommendations of Heads of Department to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.
The winners received their awards at the Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on Thursday 21 November in the Shaw Library.
Professor Steve Pischke, Head of Department, shares his congratulations:
“We have a large number of excellent and extremely dedicated teachers in our ranks; a big thank you to the winners and to everyone for all the effort on behalf of our students. As the student comments yesterday suggested, the students are really appreciative when we take the extra step to reach out to them and make a difference in their education.”
We are delighted to announce that 3rd year undergraduate student Rana Mallah (BSc EME), has been named the winner of the Royal Economic Society’s Undergraduate Video Competition 2019. Her video, A Libra Induced Recession, has won their £1000 cash prize. Congratulations Rana!
And many congratulations to 3rd year undergraduate students Laura Ceban (BSc Economics) and Zixiao Yang (BSc Economics with Economic History), who are runners up for their video, Banks and Billionaires: Not all Evil.
The competition encourages university students from across the country to create their own 3-minute video explaining economic concepts and issues to a general audience.
On hearing the news, Kasia Krajniewska, Undergraduate Tutor to 3rd year students and Rana’s Academic Mentor, said:
"Congratulations Rana, for creating a professional, comprehensive and inspiring video that explains the complex nature of recession through the unique lens of the Libra cryptocurrency. I have been impressed by how you applied the knowledge from your BSc Economics courses and linked it with your own further research to present it in a simple and approachable way that can be easily understood by a wider audience. The Award is very much deserved and I am honoured to know you, be your Undergraduate Tutor and Academic Mentor. It has been a real pleasure to see how you developed as a young economist during your time here, at LSE, and I wish you many successes in the future.
I would like to extend my congratulations to Laura and Zixiao, both of whom I know well and I had a pleasure to teach last year – I appreciate your enthusiasm in sharing your sound economic knowledge with the rest of the society."
Undergraduate Programme Director, Dr Dimitra Petropoulou congratulated Rana:
"Well done Rana for winning the RES video competition! Examining the effects of a libra currency as if from the future is uniquely creative - very well deserved and food for thought for all of us."
Head of Department Professor Steve Pischke shared his congratulations:
"Congratulations, Rana. It’s a great pleasure to see how you have been able to take your economics education and use it for a thoughtful analysis of a current topic. Not just that, but also present it all lucidly to a broader audience. That’s of course what we want our students to be able to do but it also takes a lot of initiative and hard work to produce something like that. Congratulations also to Zixiao Yang and Laura Ceban for being among the runners-up in the competition. A great haul for LSE Economics!"
Many congratulations to Professors Francesco Caselli and Ricardo Reis who have been elected Fellows of the Econometric Society.
The Econometric Society is an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. Its main activities are:
- Publication of the journals Econometrica, Quantitative Economics, and Theoretical Economics.
- Publication of a research Monograph Series.
- Organization of scientific meetings in six regions of the world.
Francesco Caselli is Norman Sosnow Professor of Economics at LSE.
Ricardo Reis is the A W Phillips Professor of Economics at LSE.
Congratulations to Dr Swati Dhingra for winning the People’s Choice Award in this year’s ONS Research Excellence Awards for her work on Brexit, trade, and labour markets: Trade and Worker Deskilling: Evidence from the Brexit vote. You can read Swati’s research here.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Research Excellence Awards ‘recognise and celebrate outstanding innovative research’ carried out using their data and/or data they make available on behalf of others, to deliver a public benefit to the UK, whilst protecting data confidentiality.
Swati Dhingra is an Associate Professor of Economics at LSE, researching globalisation and industrial policy and an Associate at CEP-Trade.
We are thrilled to announce that 10 students from the Department of Economics have received LSE100 awards for their excellent work and commitment to interdisciplinary learning in LSE100:
- Lim Xiao Rong (pictured)
- Anna Carruthers (pictured)
- Yug Bhansali (pictured)
- Aimilia Charitou (pictured)
- Chin Kiat Chan (pictured)
- Carmen Artime De Luis (pictured)
- Nan Pwint Sabai (pictured)
- Charlotte Ong Zhi Xin
- Jie Chan
- Hang Yin
LSE100 is LSE's flagship interdisciplinary course for undergraduate students. It is designed to broaden and deepen students' engagement with social scientific analysis by using pressing social issues as case studies for exploration of the ways different theories, methods and evidence can shape our understanding of events and phenomena.
The 2019 LSE100 Prize Giving Dinner took place on Wednesday 16 October and was a celebration of the achievements of the top students from the 2018 cohort on LSE100. For more on this year’s prize giving dinner and awards, visit the LSE100 website.
Professor Oriana Bandiera has been named as a new editor of the Econometrica journal and is due take on the role next summer.
The Econometrica journal began in 1933 with the goal of advancing economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. It publishes original articles in all branches of economics.
Professor Steve Pischke, Head of Department, said “Congratulations to Oriana, and thanks to her for taking on such an important (and demanding) professional role.”
We're thrilled to share the news that Dr Xavier Jaravel and Professor Ben Moll have both been awarded this year's Philip Leverhulme Prizes.
Since 2001, the Prizes have been awarded annually in commemoration of the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the founder of the Trust. The prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.
We spoke to Xavier Jaravel and Ben Moll about winning the awards.
We take great pleasure in sharing the news that Dr Dimitra Petropoulou, Undergraduate Programme Director, has been selected as a winner of the Economics Network’s annual prize for her “Outstanding Contribution to Economics Education”.
A BSc, MSc and PhD student at LSE and active in the Economics Network since 2001, Dimitra returned to the LSE Department of Economics last academic year as Associate Professorial Lecturer and Deputy Undergraduate Programme Director.
The Economics Network’s call for nominations specified that “the judging panel will be looking for individuals who possess the following qualities":
- A positive impact on the economics teaching community.
- A demonstrable impact on students’ learning and interest in economics.
You can read Dimitra's nomination by a colleague here.
Warmest congratulations to Professor Robin Burgess who is to become President of B R E A D (The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development), a non-profit organisation ‘dedicated to encourage research and scholarship in development economics’. Their main activities are conferences, a working paper and policy paper series, and a summer school.
Robin Burgess is Professor of Economics, Founder and Director of the International Growth Centre, and Director of the Economic Organisation and Public Policy Programme all at the London School of Economics. His areas of research interest include Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Political Economy, Public Economics and Labour Economics.
Xavier received the award for his contributions to the field of Innovation and Inequality: ‘Jaravel’s findings include evidence that product innovations do not benefit all households equally, but rather disproportionately benefit high income households. In another contribution Jaravel shows that policies that increase exposure to innovation may have greater potential to spur innovation than traditional policies such as reducing tax rates.’ Source: Kiel Institute
Two other economists also received the award: Joseph Shapiro (University of California at Berkeley) and Alexander Wolitzky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Each of the winners will be awarded a Research Fellowship at the Kiel Institute. As Research Fellows, they’ll receive content-related and organizational support from a number of prominent researchers as well as the opportunity to participate in research projects at the Kiel Institute.
Xavier Jaravel is Assistant Professor of Economics at the LSE Department of Economics.