News

July 2015

Professor Sir Anthony Atkinson receives the 2015 EIB Outstanding Contribution Award

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank Institute honours two scholars for their research on the topic of this year’s prize: the Economics of Inequality and Economic Growth.Created in 2013 by the EIB Institute, the EIB Prize recognises and encourages excellence in economic and social research and promotes its implementation and diffusion.

photograph of Tony AtkinsonSir Anthony Atkinson and Benjamin Moll are the winners of the 2015 EIB Prize for excellence in economic and social research. Professor Sir Anthony Atkinson is from the Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and Nuffield College, Oxford; and Centennial Professor at the Department of Economics at LSE. Benjamin Moll is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Princeton University. Professor Atkinson will receive the Outstanding Contribution Award and Dr Moll will receive the Young Economist Award in recognition of the academic excellence, work published and impact on public policy of their research on the topic of this year’s prize: the “Economics of Inequality and Economic Growth”.

The Jury, presided by Nobel Prize winner 2010 Sir Christopher Pissarides (LSE) was composed of Richard Portes (London Business School), Branko Milanovic (City University of New York and Luxembourg Income Study), Frank Vandenbroucke, (KU Leuven) and Klaus Zimmerman (winner of EIB Outstanding Contribution Award in 2013, Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) and University of Bonn).

The President of the Jury said “Tony Atkinson has been at the centre of developments in the economics of inequality and growth for more than forty years. His insights have been extremely influential both in economic theory and policy-making throughout the world. I am both delighted and honoured to be associated with this award to Tony.”. 

Sir Anthony Atkinson said “I am greatly honoured to receive this prize and pleased by the recognition of the importance of the topic of inequality in today’s world.”

Tony Atkinson established the modern British field of inequality and poverty studies. He has worked on inequality and poverty for over four decades. Tony Atkinson's work is predominantly focused on income distributions and the economics of public policy. There is an inequality measure named after him: the Atkinson index. In his recent book Inequality: what can be done, he argues that high levels of inequality are not inevitable and that policies can be designed to make our societies both more equitable and more efficient.

EIB President Werner Hoyer will present the prize on 11 November 2015 at the EIB in Luxembourg and both laureates will deliver a prize lecture at the award ceremony.

For further information, please visit the EIB website.

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Professor Francesco Caselli appointed Director of the Macroeconomics and Growth Programme of CEPR

photograph of Francesco CaselliProfessor Francesco Caselli became director of the Macroeconomics and Growth Programme at the Centre for Economic Policy Research this July.

Francesco Caselli is the Norman Sosnow Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics.
 
He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Bologna in 1992 and a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1997. Previous appointments include Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and Paul Sack Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His research interests include macroeconomics, economic development and political economy, on which he has published extensively in the major professional journals.

He is an elected fellow of the British Academy and an editor of Economica. Previously, he has served as managing editor of the Review of Economic Studies, co-editor of the Journal of Economic Development, member of the governing council of the European Economic Association, member of the LSE growth commission, and director of the macroeconomics programmes at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) and the International Growth Centre (IGC).

Francesco takes over from Antonio Ciccone as Director of the MG Programme. For further information please visit the CEPR website.

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Re-launch of Economica journal

photograph of Economica coverThe Economics Department is pleased to announce that the department’s house journal, Economica, will be re-launched with a new team of editors from 1 January 2016.  The new team of editors comprises Oriana Bandiera, Tim Besley, Francesco Caselli, Maitreesh Ghatak, Steve Machin, Gianmarco Ottaviano and John VanReenen. The journal will offer a quick turnaround time and aims to publish well-crafted papers of general interest across a range of fields.

The department thanks the outgoing editors Frank Cowell, Gianluca Benigno and Lena Edlund for their efforts. 

To submit a paper to Economica go to the online submission page of Economica. All new submissions are now being handled by the incoming editors.

For previous issues please visit the Wiley Online Library.

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Economics PhD Student receives award by LISER

photograph of Panos MavrokonstantisCongratulations to Panos Mavrokonstantis, PhD student at the Department of Economics and affiliate of STICERD, awarded by LISER.

The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (previously called CEPS/INSTEAD), organiser of the 6th Meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ) in July 2015, has awarded the 3 best papers presented by junior researchers.

The award is based on a paper submitted to the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ) and took into account scientific quality and originality. Panos received the award for his paper: "Modern Family: Female Breadwinners and Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Norms".

For further information please visit the LISER website.

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British Academy Elects Two New Fellows from Economics Department

We are delighted to announce that two members of the Department of Economics have been elected Fellows of the British Academy: Oriana Bandiera and Philippe Aghion.

The British Academy is the UK's most prestigious national institution for the humanities and social sciences.  Each year, its members elect into its Fellowship around 40 UK-based scholars who have attained distinction in any branch of the humanities and social sciences. The rigorous electoral process means that only a very small number of scholars in any field are elected.

photograph of Oriana BandieraPhilippe AghionThis year’s new Fellows include seven academics from the LSE, of which two are members of the Department of Economics: Oriana Bandiera (pictured left), Professor of Economics and Director of STICERD, and Philippe Aghion (pictured right), who will join the Department on 1 August 2015 as LSE Centennial Professor of Economics.

Welcoming the announcement, Tim Besley, School Professor of Economics, W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics and Deputy Head of Department for Research, said: "This is a fitting recognition of Oriana's innovative and influential research contributions."

Oriana Bandiera said: "The Academy plays a key role in bridging research excellence and policy discourse, while fostering both in the process. I am very honoured and very
thrilled to be able to contribute to its endeavours.”

Other current members of the Economics Department who are Fellows of the British Academy include Professors Tony Atkinson, Tim Besley, Francesco Caselli, Richard Layard, John Hardman Moore, Chris Pissarides, Peter Robinson, Nick Stern, John Sutton, and John Van Reenen. 

All new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy in a ceremony in September.

Further information about the British Academy's New Fellows can be found in the British Academy News page. 

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Gearty Grillings with academics from the Department

Gearty GrillingsA weekly series of short, to-the-point video debates from LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) on key issues affecting the world today. Conor Gearty, Director of the IPA and Professor of Human Rights Law, subjects LSE academics to a five-minute grilling on their research and ideas in the new series. The debates put LSE’s leading authorities on some of humankind’s most provocative issues under the spotlight.

The initiative started in the previous academic year and continued this year. Among the academics ‘grilled’ by Conor Gearty are faculty and emeritus professors of the Department of Economics.

photograph of Tim BesleyTim Besley on the economic crisis (7 May 2014)

Conor Gearty grills Tim Besley, School Professor of Economics and Political Science at LSE and former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.

 

photograph of Danny QuahDanny Quah on Democracy in China (02 July 2014)

Must China emulate the political and social order of the West in order to compete, or is it possible to deliver comparable social and economic benefits by a different route? The IPA's Professor Conor Gearty grills Professor Danny Quah on the virtues and principles of Chinese democracy.

photograph of Richard LayardRichard Layard on Happiness (15 January 2015)

Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Wellbeing Programme at LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, discusses what really makes us happy.

photograph of Christopher PissaridesChris Pissarides on the Noble Economist (30 April 2015)


Chris Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics and winner of a Nobel prize in 2010, discusses his ideas on how to run the economy.

 

photograph of Charles BeanCharlie Bean on how the Bank of England dealt with the economic crisis (07 May 2015)

Charlie Bean, Professor of Economics and former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England, discusses how the Bank of England dealt with the economic crisis.

For more information see ‘The Gearty Grillings: LSE's Institute of Public Affairs launches a new weekly series of short video debates on key issues’. All the grillings are available through the LSE News and Media pages and via the Department of Economics YouTube channel.

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LSE experts outline prioritities to avoid a 'Grexit'

A prominent group of LSE academics, the majority of which are from the Department of Economics, have written an open letter urging both sides in the Greek debt crisis to act in a more 'exonomically responsible manner', in order to avoide Greece being forced to leave the Eurozone.

The letter, which is signed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Christopher Pissarides, alongside many other eminent members of LSE faculty, emphasises that the priority for all sides should be to enable the Greek economy to grow sustainably.  

photograph of column in Clement House“The Eurozone is currently facing its biggest crisis since its creation in 1999. The consequences of Greece leaving the Eurozone are highly uncertain and could very well be detrimental both for Greece and the Eurozone. To avoid Grexit, it is essential that both the creditors and the Greek government act in an economically responsible manner.

The first priority for everybody should be to get the Greek economy on a sustainable growth path. This would benefit the Greeks, reduce the risk of financial turmoil, and maximize the amount of money the Greeks can return to their creditors. If both parties are
truthful in saying that they would prefer Greece to remain in the Eurozone, then they need to recognise the need to restore economic growth.”

The signatories go on to argue the Greek government and its creditors need to take the following actions: a relaxation of fiscal austerity, as it is only likely to deepen the current recession; further structural reforms by the Greek government, including on pensions, VAT, anti-corruption and tax compliance; and, finally, reducing uncertainty about Greece’s future with an early agreement to get debt at sustainable levels.            

The letter and full list of signatories are available to read here: LSE faculty urge both sides in the Eurozone/Greek drama to find a solution              

For further information contact Professor Wouter Den Haan.            


June 2015

Economics PhD student receives best paper prize by the Society for Computational Economics

photograph of Markus RieglerCongratulations to Markus Riegler, PhD student at the Department of Economics and the Centre for Macroeconomics for winning the Soceity of Computational Economics Prize for Best Paper.

The society explores the intersection of economics and computation. These areas include agent-based computational modeling, computational econometrics and statistics, computational finance, computational modeling of dynamic macroeconomic systems, computational tools for the design of automated Internet markets, programming tools specifically designed for computational economics, and pedagogical tools for the teaching of computational economics. Some of these areas are unique to computational
economics, while others extend traditional areas of economics to new areas
through computational techniques. The society's activity comes mostly from their annual meeting.

Every year the Society sponsors prizes for outstanding papers by graduate students at its annual meeting. For the academic year 2014-2015 the contest was held in conjuction with the 2015 Computing in Economics and Finance Conference in Taipei. Markus Riegler won the prinze for his paper: "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks on the Job-Finding Rate and Separation Rate".

You can find more information about Markus Riegler and his research on his personal webpage. Further information about the Society for Computational Economics and the Best Paper Prize is available from the Society's website.

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Professor Tim Besley to become the inaugural Sir William Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at LSE

photograph of Tim BesleyProfessor Tim Besley is to become the inaugural Sir William Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The William Arthur Lewis Chair, created by LSE to mark the centenary of the Nobel Prize winner’s birth, was formally announced at LSE’s Sir Arthur Lewis Centenary Event on Understanding Economic Development on Monday 22 June.

Professor Stuart Corbridge, Deputy Director and Provost of LSE, said: “LSE is proud today to be honouring two pioneering economists, one born 100 years ago this year, the other still providing expertise to policymakers today. William Arthur Lewis was a leader in the field of development economics and LSE is delighted to honour him with the creation of the named professorship. With his expertise in the same field, and long history with the School, Professor Timothy Besley is the perfect recipient of this inaugural professorship.”

Professor Tim Besley said: “I am delighted to be named as the first Sir William Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics. I shall do my best to carry forward his legacy at the school by engaging with the issues brought to the fore in his pioneering research on economic development.”

Professor Tim Besley has been at the LSE for 20 years and a School Professor of Economics and Political Science since 2012. An external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee from September 2006 to August 2009, he is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and the European Economic Association, as well as a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Besley was also named 2005 winner of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award of the European Economics Association, which is granted every other year to an economist aged under 45 who has made a significant contribution to economics in Europe.

photograph of Arthur LewisSir Arthur Lewis (1915-1991) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979 for “pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries. A student at LSE from 1934-37 and a member of staff from 1938-48, making him the UK’s first black professor, he also served in the Civil Service during the war, first as a Principal in the Board of Trade and then in the Colonial Office. Read more about the Nobel Prize winner, “one of our best teachers”, at LSE History.

For further information please visit the LSE News and Media pages.

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2015 Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs from the Kiel Institute to Dr Camille Landais

photograph of Camille LandaisDr Camille Landais, Lecturer at the Department of Economics, is one of the winners of Kiel Institute's Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs 2015.

The Kiel Institute is an international centre for research in global economic affairs, economic policy consulting, and economic education. The Institute engages especially in creating solutions to urgent problems in global economic affairs.

The Excellence Awards in Global Economic Affairs aim at building a community of the brightest young researchers in the area of global economic affairs.

Camille Landais will present his research on "The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden" at the Excellence Award Workshop in Kiel on Monday 22 June.

For further information, please the Kiel Institute's Excellence Award webpage.

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Queen's Birthday Honours at LSE

We would like to congratulate all Economics alumni recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2015!

Dr Dame Nemat Shafik, MSc Economics 1986, Dame Commander for services to public administration and the global economy.

Professor Sir Stephen Nickell, MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics 1970 has been knighted for his services to economics.

Jonathan Blair CBE, BSc Economics 1972, MPhil/PhD International Relations 1973, Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to film.

William Evans OBE, BSc Economics 1967, Order of the British Empire for services to education.

Dr David Kennedy CBE, MPhil/PhD Economics 1995, Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the environment.

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A Global Apollo Programme to Tackle Climate Change

photograph of Nicholas Sternphotograph of Richard LayardProfessor Lord Richard Layard (pictured left), Emeritus Professor of Economics, and Professor Lord Nicholas Stern (pictured right), IG Patel Chair of Economics and Government, are part of a group of leading thinkers proposing an internationally coordinated research programme to make clean electricity less costly than electricity from coal within 10 years.

In their report, A Global Apollo Programme to Tackle Climate Change, the contributors, who bring together experience from business, academia and government, argue that anything less would make it impossible to contain the world’s temperature rise within the crucial 2˚C limit that has been internationally agreed.

Global Apollo ProgrammeThe report says: “In the Cold War the Apollo Programme placed a man on the moon. This programme engaged many of the best minds in America. Today we need a global Apollo programme to tackle climate change; but this time the effort needs to be international. We need a major international scientific and technological effort, funded by both public and private money.”

The authors of the Global Apollo Programme are Sir David King (former UK Government Chief Scientist), Lord John Browne (former Chief Executive of BP), Lord Gus O’Donnell (former UK Cabinet Secretary), Lord Nicholas Stern (author of the Stern Report), Lord Adair Turner (former Chairman of the UK Committee on Climate Change), Lord Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal) and Lord Richard Layard (LSE economist).

For further information please visit the LSE News and Media pages.

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British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship for Professor Silvana Tenreyro

Congratulations to Professor Silvana Tenreyro photograph of Silvana Tenreyro who has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship of £65,113 for her project on the redistributive effects of monetary policy. New Keynesian (NK) models have become the workhorse used by academics and central banks to evaluate the quantitative effects of changes in monetary policy. In these models, the effects of monetary policy shocks on economic activity are driven by inflexibilities in prices, wages, or both. Typically, NK models assume that all households are the same (there is no social or economic inequality) and that monetary policy is summarized by a nominal interest rate rule. The way in which the central bank implement changes in the nominal interest rate (e.g., through open market operations, helicopter drops, etc.) is usually not relevant in these models and therefore not explicitly modelled. This project will propose a new theoretical model that will take into account the redistributive effects of monetary policy interventions. It will also estimate the redistributive effects using household-level data. The outcomes of the estimation will be used to calibrate the quantitative model, which will then be used for policy evaluation and predictions.

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LSE Teaching Awards 2015

LSESU Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards

The Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards recognise those who have made a difference to the students time at LSE. 

Award for Sharing Subject Knowledge

For demonstrating a broad knowledge and variety in their teaching, to facilitate engaging debate and dialogue and taking the time to ensure students understand

photograph of Francesco CaselliWe are very pleased to report that Professor Francesco Caselli was among the winners of the Award for Sharing Subject Knowledge.

"He has frequently sent out emails on Financial Times articles, complimented with his own perspective to read, which adds value by bringing the theory to life and increasing commercial awareness simultaneously."

"It is very apparent that he is incredibly knowledgeable in the subject area as he goes through the course material in a detailed manner, including his own analogies that are often interesting and funny."

 

LSE Class Teacher Awards

Class Teacher Awards are nominated by academic departments in recognition of the special contribution made by graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and guest teachers to their work.

Economics class teachers:

  • Clare Balboni
  • Svetlana Chekmasova
  • Alexia Delfino
  • Thomas Drechsel
  • Jason Garred
  • Reka Juhasz
  • William Matcham
  • Stephan Maurer
  • Ana McDowall
  • Clement Minaudier
  • Niclas Moneke
  • Frank Pisch
  • Federico Rossi
  • Francesco Sannino
  • Luke Taylor

For further information please visit the LSE Teaching Prizes page.

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Jacques Parizeau 1930-2015

Jacques Parizeau by Bouchecl (Creative Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jacques_Parizeau1.jpg)Former Quebec Premier, and Economics PhD alumnus, Jacques Parizeau has died at the age of 84.

M. Jacques Parizeau (pictured, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0) earned a PhD in economics from the LSE in 1955 under the guidance of Nobel laureate James Edward Meade. He then worked as an economic adviser to Quebecer politicians during the Quiet Revolution, a period that expanded the reach of the Quebec government. During that time, he was instrumental in the creation of Quebec's pension plan and the nationalization of hydroelectricity, both of which are considered turning points in Quebec's Quiet Revolution.

Parizeau joined Pari Quebecois in 1976, serving in several cabinet positions including finance minister. He led the Parti Quebecois during the 1995 sovereignty referendum, and continued to campaign for independence after his official departure from politics in that year.

M. Parizeau is survived by his wife, Lisette Lapointe, and two children from his first marriage to Alice Poznanska.

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May 2015

Professor Janet Yellen receives Honorary Doctorate from LSE

photograph of Janet YellenProfessor Janet Yellen recently became Chair of the US Federal Reserve, making her the first woman to lead the Fed in its history. She is a former lecturer in the Department and had recently accepted an invitation from LSE to receive the award of an Honorary Doctorate of the School, which is the highest award an individual can receive from LSE, for her distinguished record of public service.

Janet Yellen was a student of Economics at Brown, has a PhD from Yale, and was a faculty member at Harvard, LSE and Berkeley. She took office as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in October 2010, and simultaneously began a 14-year term as a member of the Board. Prior to her appointment as Vice Chair, she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Twelfth District Federal Reserve Bank, at San Francisco. She is now Professor Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley where she was the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics. She taught at the LSE Department of Economics between 1978 and 1980.

Professor Yellen has made distinctive and important academic contributions across a wide range of fields. Her research is highly cited, and her academic contributions secured her election as a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She combines a track-record in research and teaching with a major, and distinctive, contribution to policy-making at the highest level.

Professor Yellen was conferred her honorary degree by Professor Craig Calhoun during the LSE Global Forum in New York City on May 15.

             Janet Yellen Honorary Doctorate            

Further information in the LSE News and Media pages and the LSE Department of Economics News pages.

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Learning Technology and Innovation Award for Professor Frank Cowell

photograph of Frank CowellCongratulations to Professor Frank Cowell for having been awarded a Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant!

Professor Cowell’s project Using a tablet as a virtual chalkboard has been awarded a grant for the academic year 2014-2015 from the Learning Technology and Innovation centre at the LSE.

You can find more information about the strands of the LTI Grants at the LTI blog

The project is now complete, you can read more about it in LTI's blog post, and has concluded in a manual on Teaching with Tablets.

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Recent Awards

Two separate British Academy Mid-Career Fellowships have been awarded to Dr Gharad Bryan and Dr Gianluca Benigno.

photograph of Gharad BryanDr Gharad Bryan (pictured left) will develop a quantitative general equilibrium framework to understand whether policy can be used to reduce spatial disparity in earnings and increase economic development. The framework will be applied to provide policy guidance in Indonesia and can be used to answer simple questions like: what would Indonesia’s GDP be if its people were as mobile as Americans? It is hoped the framework can form a base for more refined models and a gradual change in people’s views on migration, which are overwhelmingly negative.

photograph of Gianluca BenignoDr Gianluca Benigno (pictured right) will develop a quantitative model of growth that combines short run elements (business cycle) along with long-run ones (long-run growth) in order to study how short run outcomes might have long-run implications. In particular, the project will show how a liquidity trap situation could become a permanent status of the economy with slow growth and unemployment.

photograph of John Van ReenenProfessor John Van Reenen (pictured left) has been awarded funding of £71,551 from the World Bank to undertake the World Management Survey for Vietnam in the context of the Vietnam 2030 Report. The survey will include questions on operations management, performance monitoring, target setting, and talent management.

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April 2015

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern is elected as Member of the American Philosophical Society

photograph of Nicholas SternProfessor Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Chair of Economics and Government at LSE and President of the British Academy, has been elected as member of the American Philosophical Society.

The American Philosophical Society (APS) is an eminent scholarly organisation of international reputation. It promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach.

Election to the APS honours extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. Membership is comprised of top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines.

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern was elected as International Member, together with Professor Thomas Piketty, in the Class of Social Sciences.

For further information, please visit the APS website and the pages on the newly Elected Members for April 2015.  

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Shikha Chhabra

The Department of Economics staff, students and graduates are deeply saddened by the death of former MSc student and Graduate Teaching Assistant Shikha Chhabra earlier this month.

In Remembrance of Shikha

The one who could effortlessly move from Pareto Optimality to Percy Shelley... 

photograph of Shikha Chhabra 
Photo taken by Kriti Bajaj in Kensington Gardens in October 2011.

Shikha Chhabra

3 September 1990-12 April 2015

MSc Economics, 2011-2012 

Shikha, a passionate writer and economist by training, passed on in London, in April this year. Graduating from a premier women's college in New Delhi, Lady Shri Ram College, with a first class in Economics Honours, Shikha proved her academic acumen time and time again. She took to LSE right away; being exceedingly keen to live the dream of studying at one of the leading institutions in a city she cherished. Shikha was the introspective, contemplative sort in the classroom, but often reflected on lectures with deep insights and well-formed thoughts with friends and peers after-hours. As one who performed consistently well, she was selected as a Graduate Teaching Assistant by the Department of Economics in the second year of her studies. This role brought her much satisfaction and immense joy. Fellow Teaching Assistants remember her composure, vast knowledge, and positivity to this day. Whilst at LSE, she particularly enjoyed attending public lectures on themes of interest, and sought the Shaw Library for some quiet moments. Late in 2012, Shikha learnt she had cancer. In the time since, she took to the pen with fervour. Her prose, penned under the name Oblomov, was the subject of deep appreciation by Clive James, the acclaimed author, in the New York Times late last year. She indulged her long-standing love for reading (especially the Romantics), lively theatre, and open green spaces in the city of London; particularly appreciating Regent's Park on warm sunny days. Her classmates and friends warmly recall her genuine smile, sharp intellect, superb writing, and signature sense of humour - peppered with adequate irony. Shikha is much loved and continues to be fondly remembered by the LSE family.

By Ria Sen, with inputs from Shikha's classmates and dear friends

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Economic and Social Research Council Renewed Funding for Professor Frank Cowell

photograph of Frank CowellCongratulations to Professor Frank Cowell, Professor of Economics at the Department and Director of the Public Economics Programme at STICERD, who has received funding of £236,024 to renew ESRC's invaluable financial support to LIS (formerly the Luxembourg Income Study) for a period of five more years. LIS has four goals: 1) to harmonise microdatasets from high- and middle-income countries that include data on income, wealth, employment, and demography; 2) to provide a secure method for researchers to query data that would otherwise be unavailable due to country-specific privacy restrictions; 3) to create and maintain a remote-execution system that sends research query results quickly back to users at off-site locations; and 4) to enable, facilitate, promote and conduct cross-national comparative research on the social and economic wellbeing of populations across countries. The funds will contribute directly to enhancing the impact of LIS.

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March 2015

Professor Sir Charlie Bean appointed Chairman of the CEPR Board of Trustees

photograph of Charles BeanProfessor Sir Charlie Bean has been appointed Chair of its Board of Trustees, replacing the previous Chairman, Guillermo de la Dehesa. Sir Charlie has been a CEPR Research Fellow since the Centre was founded in 1983, and a Trustee since September 2014. He is a Professor at the London School of Economics and has taught at Stanford University. Sir Charlie was also a founding editor of Economic Policy. He has long been engaged in public service roles, which include serving as a consultant to HM Treasury, and special adviser to the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons. Between 2008 and 2014 he was Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England, having previously been Executive Director and Chief Economist since October 2000.

For further information please visit the Centre for Economic Policy Research pages.

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Professor Lord Nicholas Stern received the Schumpeter Award 2015 for Innovative Achievements

photograph of Nicholas SternProfessor Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Chair of Economics and Government at LSE and President of the British Academy, received the Joseph A. Schumpeter Award 2015 on 13 March 2015.

The Schumpeter Award is funded by the Helmut Zilk Fund for International Relations of Vienna and is awarded by the Schumpeter Society for innovative achievements in the field of business, economics, or economic policy.

Lord Stern said: "I am extremely honoured to receive the Joseph A. Schumpeter Award. I have been greatly influenced by Schumpeter’s work throughout my career, from when I first studied economics as a student, up to my current time at LSE. Schumpeter himself spent a year at LSE between 1906 and 1907 after completing his studies in law and economics at the University of Vienna. So I hope this award further strengthens the connection between LSE and Vienna."

Nicholas Stern receives the Schumpeter Award (copyright: pr@minutilli.com - alle rechte vorbehalten - honorarfrei nur bei Berichterstattung ueber konkreten event - publikation ausnahmslos nur mit namensnennung / pr@minutilli.com - all rights reserved - atOn presenting the award Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Vienna‘s Executive City Councillor for Cultural Affairs and Science, said: "This year's award winner, Nicholas Stern, is a renowned economist, and one can say that he has acted also as a researcher on our future. His far-sighted analysis on climate change and the economic consequences of related impacts combine various scientific disciplines to understand the important issue of how humans will live together in the future. His economic analysis always takes environmental and social factors into consideration: that is why he is a very exciting researcher, who creates fascination through his treatment of complexity."

 The award was presented to Lord Stern in Vienna at a  ceremony held in the Austrian National Bank (photograph on the left: Lord Stern during his speech at the Schumpeter Award ceremony, copyright: pr@minutilli.com all rights reserved).

Further information, including the press release and photographs from the award ceremony, is available via the Schumpeter Gesellschaft pages.

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February 2015

Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides awarded the Kiel Institute Global Economy Prize 2015

photograph of Christopher PissaridesProfessor Sir Christopher Pissarides is among the laureates of the well-respected Kiel Institute Global Economy Prize 2015. The Kiel Institute Global Economy Prize is awarded to honour influential personalities in politics, business and science. It is meant to highlight those who have been pioneers in finding solutions to global economic problems, who have been willing to participate in a dialog with people from other walks of life, and who have championed a society based on individual initiative and responsibility. The prize which is not endowed with prize money will be handed to each a high-ranking policymaker, a renowned economist and some out­standing entrepreneurs.

This year, the prize will go to former Soviet head of state Michail Gorbatschow, to General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, to entrepreneurs Kristine and Douglas Tompkins as well as to economist Sir Christopher A. Pissarides. This has been notified today by Professor Dennis J. Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiel Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer and Klaus-Hinrich Vater, Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Vice President. The eleventh Global Economy Prize will be awarded on Sunday, 21 June, in the Kiel town hall. All laureates will attend in person.

“All our laureates were willing to forego the security of customed institutions and norm in order to pursue a goal of overarching meaning and significance”, according to Professor Snower.

With his idea of search unemployment laureate Christopher Pissarides has thoroughly widened our understanding of what is actually happening in the labour market. Up to then, economists were convinced that only the level of wages determined the rate of unemployment. “The idea that mutual lack of knowledge made it difficult to match supply and demand has been revolutionary at this time”, Professor Snower pointed out.

Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides said: “This is a very special honour and I am touched by the Kiel Institute’s recognition of my work. Unemployment in Europe is still unacceptably high and I hope, for the benefit of those out of work, that this recognition will direct more attention to their plight.”

More information about the award is available on the Kiel Institute for the World Economy website.

The award ceremony of the 2015 Global Economy Prize took place on 21 June at the Town Hall in Kiel. For further information about the event, please visit the Kiel Institute's Global Economy Prize webpage.

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January 2015

European Research Council Award to Dr Jeremiah Dittmar

photograph of Jeremiah DittmarCongratulations to Dr Jeremiah Dittmar, Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Associate of CEP's Globalisation Programme, who has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for €1.275millon to document the impact of revolutionary transformations in information technology and institutions using evidence from the European Renaissance. The research will innovate by constructing ground-breaking micro-data on media markets, human capital, and institutions; developing cutting edge estimators for high-dimensional data to measure ideas in the media; and using historical sources of exogenous variation to identify cause and effect.

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December 2014

REF2014 and Research Impact

Definition of research @ Nigel Stead/LSELSE has confirmed its position as a world-leading research university, with an outstanding performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

An analysis of the results show LSE at the top, or close to the top, of a number of rankings of research quality. This is the first year where the UK’s national research assessment has taken account of the impact of universities’ research on public life, as well as its quality.

Using these specific measures, LSE is:

  • ranked as the top university in the UK for research quality both when using an average score or using the percentage of output receiving the top 4* grade
  • the top university for impact in its social science disciplines, whether judged on GPA or the proportion of research impact awarded 4*. 

Further information on the REF2014 results is available from the LSE Research and Expertise pages.

The outstanding contribution of the Department of Economics to the field is reflected in the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.  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). Read more in the LSE REF2014 pages.

The release of the REF also coincides with the launch of a new LSE Research Impact website which highlights the many ways the School’s research has positively influenced public life – including in business, government, the media and civil society. which highlights the many ways the School’s research has positively influenced public life – including in business, government, the media and civil society.

The Department of Economics is showcasing on a separate section of the website case studies of departmental research that has influenced public life.

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Economics PhD Student awarded the 7th FIW Research Conference 'International Economics' Best Conference Paper Award 2014

photograph of Enrico MallucciCongratulations to Enrico Mallucci, PhD student at the Department and Job Market Candidate, who won the Graduate Student Competition of the Forum for Research in Empirical International Trade 21st Annual Conference on Empirical Investigations in International Trade.

The Research Centre International Economics - FIW held its 7th Research Conference in December 2014. The Conference was jointly organised with the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) Regensburg, the University of Ljubljana and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA KRTK). The main objective of the conference is to provide a platform for economists working in the field of International Economics in Austria and its neighbouring countries to present research.

The Best Conference Paper Award 2014 was given to Enrico Mallucci for his paper, Domestic Debt and Sovereign Default. Further information on Enrico's research and his job market paper is available through his departmental webpage.

More information about the award and the official announcement is available at the  7th FIW Research Conference 'International Economics' page.

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LSE Research Festival 2015

LSE Research Festival 2015LSE Research Festival 2015 launches an exciting new competition for PhD students and post-doctoral fellows:

 Strictly Come Researching!

As preparations for LSE Research Festival 2015 get underway, we are launching an exciting new competition for innovative social science research ideas! If you are a PhD student or post-doctoral fellow at LSE and you have something to say in your research but are having trouble getting seen and heard, then the LSE Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and the LSE Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) could have the scheme you've been looking for.

We want to unlock some of the fresh, original and insightful research that's being driven by junior researchers across LSE who have something to say, but who are not sure how or where to get heard. We want to identify the very best of that research, and bring it to a wider audience – not only an academic audience but also practitioners and the public. If you have research that you think merits wider attention, then make sure to find out more and download an application form from our website.

Further information can be found at the LSE Research Festival pages.

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"Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect", new book by J D Angrist and J S Pischke

photograph of Steve PischkeSteve Pischke (pictured left), Professor of Economics at the department, and Joshua D Angrist, Ford Professor of Economics at the MIT, have co-authored a new book which teaches how to conduct cause-and-effect studies on complex social questions.

According to the publisher’s summary: Applied econometrics, known to aficionados as 'metrics, is the original data science. 'Metrics encompasses the statistical methods economists use to untangle cause and effect in human affairs. Through accessible discussion and with a dose of kung fu–themed humour, Mastering 'Metrics presents the essential tools of econometric research and demonstrates why econometrics is exciting and useful.

Mastering MetricsThe five most valuable econometric methods, or what the authors call the Furious Five - random assignment, regression, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity designs, and differences in differences - are illustrated through well-crafted real-world examples (vetted for awesomeness by Kung Fu Panda's Jade Palace). Does health insurance make you healthier? Randomized experiments provide answers. Are expensive private colleges and selective public high schools better than more pedestrian institutions? Regression analysis and a regression discontinuity design reveal the surprising truth. When private banks teeter, and depositors take their money and run, should central banks step in to save them? Differences-in-differences analysis of a Depression-era banking crisis offers a response. Could arresting O. J. Simpson have saved his ex-wife's life? Instrumental variables methods instruct law enforcement authorities in how best to respond to domestic abuse.

Wielding econometric tools with skill and confidence, Mastering 'Metrics uses data and statistics to illuminate the path from cause to effect.

  • Shows why econometrics is important
  • Explains econometric research through humorous and accessible discussion
  • Outlines empirical methods central to modern econometric practice
  • Works through interesting and relevant real-world examples

Joshua D Angrist is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jörn-Steffen Pischke is professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. They are the authors of Mostly Harmless Econometrics (Princeton).

For further information, please visit the MIT News Office website and the Princeton University Press page (which also makes available the Table of Contents as well as the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book).

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November 2014

Happy 100th Birthday Bill Phillips, “the Indiana Jones of macroeconomics”!

billPhillipsBill Phillips - crocodile hunter, World War II radio officer and LSE Professor of Economics - would have been 100 on Tuesday 18 November 2014.

LSE’s Professor Nicholas Barr celebrates Bill Phillips’ extraordinary life and achievements in this LSE History blog post.

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Economics PhD student awarded the FREIT-EIIT Graduate Student Competition

photograph of Reka JuhaszCongratulations to Réka Juhász, PhD student at the Department and Job Market Candidate, who won the Graduate Student Competition of the Forum for Research in Empirical International Trade 21st Annual Conference on Empirical Investigations in International Trade.

The goal of the conference is to promote awareness of research in empirical international trade and to bring together people of similar interests so as to increase communication of ideas and promote future directions for the general research area.

The Graduate Student Competition is held in order to encourage the presence and participation of graduate students. Réka's paper, Temporary Protection and Technology Adoption: Evidence from the Napoleonic Blockade, was selected through this competition to be included in the conference programme.

Further information on Réka's research and her job market paper is available through her departmental webpage.

More information about the FREIT-EIIT Graduate Student Competition is available at the FREIT website.

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Economics PhD student awarded the UniCredit and Universities first Econ JM Best Paper Award 2014

photograph of Andrea LanteriCongratulations to Andrea Lanteri, PhD student at the Department and Job Market Candidate, who was among the two winners of the Econ JM Best Paper Award 1st edition of the UniCredit and Universities Foundation.

The competition is aimed at PhD candidates and PhD graduates participating in the Economics Job Market 2015 during the American Economic Association Annual Meeting. Prizes are awarded to 2 outstanding JM papers on topics related to general economic subjects. The winners will have a possibility to present their work during the annual symposium of the Spanish Economic Association (Job Market session), which will be held in Palma de Mallorca from 11 to 13 December 2014.

Andrea’s paper won the award for his job market paper: “The Market for Used Capital Endogenous Irreversibility and Reallocation over the Business Cycle”. Further information on Andrea’s research and his job market paper is available through his departmental webpage.

More information about the award and the official announcement is available at the UniCredit and Universities website: Support for Research – Econ JM Best Paper Award

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October 2014

2014 Nobel Prize in Economics

The Department of Economics would like to congratulate Jean Tirole  who has been awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2014 for his analysis of market power and regulation.

photograph of Jean TiroleJean Tirole (pictured left, Mme Tirole (IDEI). CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) is one of the most influential economists of our time. He has made important theoretical research contributions in a number of areas, but most of all he has clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms.

Jean Tirole’s research taught us that important economic problems such as the design of regulation for imperfectly competitive markets can be approached rigorously and incisively via the theoretical analysis of the strategic interaction of economic agents.

For further information about the Nobel Prize and Jean Tirole please visit the Nobel Prize official website.

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Saw Swee Hock Student Centre Official Opening

photograph of the Saw See Hock Student CentreFriday 24 October will be a day of festivities celebrating the official opening of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre - LSE's newest building currently shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize!

The events, organised by those who are based in the building, are aimed at the LSE community. Both LSE and the LSE Students' Union invite you to join us for this day of celebration, activities, workshops, celebrity guests, music, comedy, freebies, food and much more. A special edition Gearty Grilling with a twist will be broadcast on the day as part of the celebrations.

For further information and for the detailed programme of events, please visit the LSE Diary and Events page.

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September 2014

LSE launches new Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree

LSE has now opened applications for a new, four-year undergraduate PPE degree which starts in October 2015, combining the disciplines of philosophy, politics and economics for the first time.

The programme will offer an innovative, interdisciplinary approach by the world’s second ranked social science university to tackling major social and economic issues.

bookcase in BLPES © Nigel Stead/LSEAs a world-leading centre for social sciences, the LSE has for many years offered unrivalled undergraduate programmes in each of these three areas and in combined courses such as the BSc Politics and Philosophy and the BSc Philosophy and Economics.

LSE’s new four-year BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics will differ from many other PPE programs by providing a thorough grounding in all three subjects and extensive training in interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Dr Alex Voorhoeve, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at LSE and one of the key academics involved in delivering the new programme, said that students would devote the first three years of the degree to a comprehensive study of each area.

“LSE’s PPE programme will make the most of the School’s innovative teaching and assessment methods and students will be located in London’s political, economic and academic heart,” Dr Voorhoeve said (further commentary on the LSE News and Media page).

Students undertaking the programme will tackle some of the following issues:

  • ethical questions around financial markets;
  • the best measures of economic and social progress;
  • the value of democratic institutions;
  • the limitations of social sciences in the policy making area.

For more information about LSE’s new PPE degree please visit the LSE Study pages.

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Professor Lord Nicholas Stern awarded the BIEE 10 Year Prize for Outstanding Contribution to British Energy Economics

The British Institute of Energy Economics has awarded a prize for outstanding contribution to British Energy Economics over the last ten years, marking both its thirtieth anniversary and its tenth academic conference, both happening in 2014.

photograph of Nicholas SternA Prize Committee of energy economists, chaired by Professor Yelena Kalyuzhnova, received nominations in May. The committee was unanimous in recommending that Professor Lord Stern of Brentford should receive the prize. His 2006 Review of the Economics of Climate Change has been the most influential single piece of energy economics published over the last decade, and had important implications for government policy and company strategies. The report is also firmly grounded in the academic literature and has provoked further research into the questions it addresses. Since the publication of his report, Lord Stern has been a very active advocate of the necessity to take action on climate change.

Receiving the award Lord Stern, who is Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, said “It’s a tremendous honour to be given this award by the British Institute of Energy Economics. The Institute has played a leading role in public discussion of issues around energy and the economics of energy for a very long time. Indeed I think it has defined in many ways what a serious discussion on those issues should be”.

For further information and for a video of the acceptance speech of Professor Lord Nicholas Stern please visit the British Institute of Energy Economics website.

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Latest QS rankings put LSE Economics at 3rd in the World

photograph of LSE GraduatesThe latest QS World University Rankings has placed the LSE Economics Department in 3rd place globally, behind Harvard and MIT, confirming our reputation as the best place outside the US for research and study in economics and econometrics.

First compiled in 2004, the QS rankings are based on peer evaluation, and are considered to be one of most influential and widely observed international university rankings systems in the world.  The QS assesses over 3,000 institutions to compile its rankings, using six indicators, four of which are based on “hard” data, and the remaining two on major global surveys (one of over 60,000 academics and another of nearly 30,000 employers), each of which is the largest survey of its kind.

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News Archive

Click on the News Archive to read the news of previous years.

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