October 2016

Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Oliver Hart

photograph of Oliver HartProfessor Oliver Hart (pictured left), Visiting Centennial Professor in the Department of Economics at LSE and Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard, has been today jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for 2016. 

Professor Hart shares the award with Bengt Holmström of MIT for their contributions to contract theory - work which “lays an intellectual foundation for designing policies and institutions in many areas, from bankruptcy legislation to political constitutions” the prize awarding body said.  

Professor Leonardo Felli, Head of the Department of Economics at LSE, said:

“The Department of Economics at the LSE is absolutely delighted about the decision of the Nobel prize committee to award the 2016 Nobel prize in Economics to two of the most distinguished economists of our time, Professors Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom, for their work on the theory of contracts. Their analysis of the contractual relationship between individuals has enhanced our understanding of the inner functioning of modern firms, corporations and organizations, as well as providing a key insight into the basic contractual relationships between economic agents, the building block of all economic activities.”

Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides, Nobel laureate and Regius Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics at LSE, said:

“I am delighted by the award to Oliver Hart. Oliver has carved new areas of research in the theory of the firm, monopolistic competition, asymmetric information and contracts and has been instrumental in giving new directions to the work of Nobel laureates Ronald Coase and James Mirrlees. He has been a wonderful colleague here at LSE and has stimulated work in his area of research by students and faculty that will last for many years to come. This award brings a fully justified acknowledgment at the highest level for his many contributions to the profession.“

Professor John Hardman Moore, Professor of Economic Theory in the Department of Economics at LSE, said:

"Oliver Hart joins the illustrious group of LSE faculty to have won the Nobel Prize. As someone who has collaborated with Oliver over twenty-five years, I can report some inside information: Oliver Hart is a genius, with a penetrating mind that reaches into the very depths of our subject. It has been my privilege to have worked alongside him, and to have done so at that greatest of institutions, the London School of Economics. John Moore"

Professor Oliver Hart works mainly on contract theory, the theory of the firm, corporate finance, and law and economics. His research centres on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations. His book, Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure, was published in 1995 and he is author of numerous journal articles. Professor Hart is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Finance Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has several honorary degrees. He has been president of the American Law and Economics Association and a vice president of the American Economic Association.

Oliver Hart gave the inaugural Coase lecture at LSE on 22 February 2007 where he discussed how his recent work with John Hardman Moore on contracts as reference points can be used to shed light on the theory of the firm. Listen to a podcast of the talk via the LSE News and Media podcasts page.


September 2016

LSE appoints Economics alumna Dame Minouche Shafik as its new Director from September 2017

photograph of Nemat Shafik (copyright: DFID - UK Department for International Development)Minouche Shafik (pictured, source: DFID-UK Department for International Development), one of the Bank of England's deputy governors and an alumna of the Department (MSc in Economics),  will become the School's new Director from 1 September 2017.

She is the first woman to be appointed to the position on a permanent basis and LSE’s 16th Director overall.

She is currently Deputy Governor of the Bank of England where she is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Financial Policy Committee, and the Board of the Prudential Regulation Authority.             

Previously she served as Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development, and Vice-President of the World Bank. She has taught at the Wharton Business School and Georgetown University and published on a wide array of topics in economics and international development.         

Minouche held academic appointments at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Economics Department at Georgetown University. She has a BA in Economics and Politics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a DPhil in Economics from St. Antony's College, Oxford University. She has published a number of books and articles on a wide variety of economic topics.  

Minouche Shafik says, “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the LSE.  The School’s long tradition of bringing the best of social science research and teaching to bear on the problems of the day is needed now more than ever. LSE is a unique institution that combines intellectual excellence and global reach. I am looking forward to working with both staff and students to guide it through what will be a time of challenge and opportunity in the higher education sector.”

For more information, please visit the LSE News and Media pages.


The Department welcomes Professor Stephen Machin

photograph of Stephen MachinProfessor Stephen Machin (pictured left) joins the department as Professor of Economics. He will also be the new Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE.

Professor Machin has been Researcher Director at the CEP since 20013 and Professor of Economics at University College London since 1996. He is  one  of  the  world’s  leading  economists in fields as diverse as education, labour, inequality, crime and firm performance. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Society for Labour Economics.

For further information please see the CEP Press Release.


News Archive

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