August 2014

LSE Economics PhD student receives the Price Theory Scholar Award for the 2014-2015 academic year

photograph of Miguel EspinosaMiguel Espinosa, a PhD student at the department, has received the Price Theory Scholar Award for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Price Theory Scholars programme was established in 2006 by the Becker Centre on Chicago Price Theory with the support of the Searle Freedom Trust. The Programme gives promising PhD students in the early stages of independent research at other institutions an opportunity to study Price Theory at the University of Chicago. Recently, the Becker Centre merged into the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, which now continues this programme. The goal of the visiting programme is to expose students to price theory in the Chicago tradition, which emphasises the application of simple economic principles to important real-word problems. Previous awarded scholars include Jesse Shapiro, Heidi Williams, John Beshears, Przemyslaw Jeziorski, Glen Weyl as well as Michael Peters|, Lecturer in Economics at the Department.

Miguel is the first UK university student to win this prestigious prize. His intellectual interests include theoretical and empirical industrial organization and its intersection with political economy. He is working on different projects at this juncture, including one that relates market concentration to lobbying expenditures. Miguel plans to spend the fall 2014 quarter at the Becker Friedman Institute advancing his research and investigating the robustness of his ideas.

Further information can be found at the Becker Friedman Institute|’s website.

July 2014

New Arrivals in the Department of Economics

The Department welcomes the following new faculty members:

Dr Gabriel Zucman (Lecturer)|

photograph of Gabriel ZucmanGabriel Zucman received his PhD from the Paris School of Economics and EHESS in 2013, and has spent the last year as a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Economics in UC Berkeley. He will be teaching economic policy analysis, microeconomics and macroeconomics for public policy and public economics in the forthcoming academic year.

Gabriel’s research work is concentrated on the accumulation and distribution of global wealth, from both a public finance and international macro perspective.  He has recently published a book on tax evasion, ‘The Missing Wealth of Nations’ in France. The English translation is forthcoming by the University of Chicago Press. 

Dr Shengxing Zhang (Assistant Professor)|

photograph of Shengxing ZhangShengxing Zhang received his PhD from New York University in 2014, after being awarded his MA in Finance from Fudan University in Shanghai. He will be teaching mathematics and statistics and macroeconomics in the forthcoming academic year.

Shengxing’s main fields are macroeconomics, financial economics, monetary economics, information economics and search and matching. His job market paper built a dynamic model of the shadow banking system that intermediates funds through the interbank repo market to understand tis efficiency and stability.

Professor John Van Reenen joint recipient of 2014 EIB Prize for Excellence in Economic and Social Research

photograph of John Van ReenenThe European Investment Bank Institute has jointly awarded Professor John Van Reenen|, professor at the department and director of CEP, and Professor Nicholas Bloom from Stanford University the 2014 EIB Prize for Excellence in Economic and Social Research. The award is in acknowledgement of the academic excellence, work published and impact on public policy of their research on this year's prize topic "Innovation, Market Structure and Competitiveness".

The jury of the 2014 EIB prize praised Professor Nicholas Bloom and Professor John Van Reenen: “for their influential research assessing the interaction between company size and market structure and the impact of investment decisions on innovation and productivity in different sectors”.

The authors have been pioneers in analysing the effects of managerial and technological innovation on economic performance and inequality, developing new tools to measure organizational innovations in over 32 countries (the World Management Survey They have also examined the determinants of innovation, with a particular concentration on what policies influence productivity, such as competition, trade and regulations.

Professor Van Reenen said, “I am very honoured to receive this prize, especially to share it with Nick.” Professor Bloom added, “Receiving the prize is both unexpected and a great pleasure”.

For further information please visit the European Investment Bank Institute|'s website.

Austin Robinson Prize awarded to Dr Johannes Spinnewijn

photograph of Johannes Spinnewijn|At this year's Royal Economic Society Annual Conference|, held in Manchester 7-9 April 2014, Dr Johannes Spinnewijn| won the 2013 prize| for his paper Insurance and Perceptions- How to Screen Optimists and Pessimists|. He describes his research here|.

The Austin Robinson Prize commemorates the contribution of made by Sir Austin Robinson (1897-1993) to both economics and The Economic Journal . Educated at Cambridge, Robinson became a fellow of Sidney Sussex College. He made a significant contribution to the field of applied economics. In 1942 he acted as Economic Adviser at the War Cabinet, and later worked as adviser to the Board of Trade under Sir Stafford Cripps before returning to his position at Cambridge. Robinson worked tirelessly for the Economic Journal, beginning as Assistant Editor under John Maynard Keynes in 1934. In 1944 he took up the role of Joint Editor alongside Roy Harrod, and a year later became secretary of the Royal Economic Society, positions he held until his retirement in 1970. During his 36 years at the Economic Journal, Robinson proof read approximately 30,000 pages, wrote about 6000 short notes on books, published around 1000 articles and 3000 reviews. Robinson received a knighthood in 1975.

The 2014 Programme Chair was Professor Oriana Bandiera| and the Deputy Programme Chair was Dr Ethan Ilzetzki|.

Previous winners from the Department of Economics include Dr Guy Michaels| for his paper The Long Term Consequences of Resource-Based Specialisation|.

Deutsche Bank runner-up Prize in Financial Risk Management and Regulation to Economics PhD student

photograph of Inna Grinis|Inna Grinis, PhD student at the Department|, is the runner-up for the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Risk Management and Regulation.

The prize essay competition on research papers in the field of financial risk management and regulation is organised by the Financial Markets Group with the generous support of Deutsche Bank.

The Award is given to outstanding LSE PhD students or LSE MSc students who intend to pursue a PhD at  LSE. LSE PhD or MSc students who graduated one year previously are also eligible to apply.

Inna got the prize for her paper entitled: 'Credit Risk Spillovers, Systemic Importance and Vulnerability in Financial Networks'. The first prize was awarded to John C.F. Kuong from LSE Finance for his essay: 'Self-fulfilling Fire Sales: Fragility of Collateralised Short-term Debt Markets'.

Further Information can be found at the Financial Markets Group| website.

Major Review Award, LSESU Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards and Class Teacher Awards

LSE Major Review Award

photograph of Francesco NavaWe are very pleased to report that Dr Francesco Nava|, who was offered tenure this year, has been given a Major Review Award.  These awards recognise LSE faculty who have received outstanding feedback from their students, and who have been actively engaged in developing innovative approaches to course design and delivery.

Asked to comment on his teaching ethos, Francesco said, “I try to cater to all types of students, bearing in mind differences in background and in learning pace. I encourage participation and questions during lectures, and I spend a considerable amount of time after lectures clarifying materials to the least advanced students, or providing advice and guidance to the most advanced. The best experience that I have every year is seeing some of the students, who were initially less advanced, progress and excel over their programme.”

LSESU Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards

The Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards (previously known as the LSE Teaching Awards) recognise those who “offer crucial guidance and teaching services and who play a major role in shaping the learning experiences of LSE students”. 

Over 450 members of staff were nominated this year, so competition was intense, but we are proud to say that two of our PhD students were highly commended for their work as Graduate Teaching Assistants.  Rosie Coleman, LSESU Education Officer, explained the rationale behind their selection.

Award for Innovative Teaching: Highly Commended

Nicola Limodio

photograph of Nicola LimodioThis category recognises those “going beyond the traditional role of teaching, providing exciting perspectives and cutting edge research to their students’ learning and enhancing this learning with technology”. 

Nicola was highly commended for employing “out of the box methods to make every class different”.

Rosie said of his commendation: “Nicola has a unique and well-structured approach to teaching, always bringing something new to the class in order to make it more interesting. At the start or end of each class, Nicola shows two or three videos, articles or pictures which remind students of the core principles or important context to microeconomics. Additionally, he creates PDFs on his website to clarify problems and improve understanding.”

Award for Excellent Feedback and Communication: Highly Commended

Stephan Maurer

photograph of Stephan MaurerThis category is awarded to those teachers who are “approachable, responsive, providing excellent feedback and being willing to use innovative communication to help their students develop and understand”.

Stephan was described as one of the most responsive teachers his nominator had ever met, and moreover, one who “always delivers high quality classes”.

Rosie said of Stephan: “(He) is patient, dedicated and thorough. He provides timely feedback to all students on paper and in class, often including his own ideas on many topics covered to help students gain an alternative perspective on the material. He is very flexible with his time and regularly stays back or uses email to address questions unanswered in class.”

Class Teacher Awards

Class Teacher Awards recognise the special contribution made by graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and guest teachers to the life of their Department.

This year, the Economics Department boasts no fewer than five winners, all MSc and PhD students: Joshua Bernstein, Yi Jie Gwee, Andrew Hodge, Luis Martinez, and Mohammad Vesal

In addition, the following class teachers were named as runners-up: Florian Blum, Albert Blue Perez, Thomas Carr, Alex Clymo, Ana McDowall, Clement Minaudier, Maria Molina Domene, Frank Pisch, and Rajneesh Verma.

Warmest congratulations to all!

Further information can be found at the LSE teaching blog|.

The Gearty Grillings: Danny Quah on Chinese democracy

photograph of Danny QuahDanny Quah|, Professor of Economics and International Development, discusses whether China should emulate the political and social order of the West to be able to compete.

Professor Quah is the latest LSE academic to take part in the new 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 academics to a five-minute grilling to showcase the School's world class research and faculty.

Further information and the video are available from the LSE News and Media| pages.

June 2014

Professor Charlie Bean, visiting professor in the Department, in Queen's Birthday Honours List

photograph of Charles BeanProfessor Charlie Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England and visiting professor in the Department of Economics at LSE|, has been knighted for his services to monetary policy and central banking. Before his time at the Bank of England, Charlie Bean was a longstanding member of academic staff at LSE, and was head of the Department of Economics. He recently gave a public lecture at the School which you can watch here: The Future of Monetary Policy|

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

Economics academics and alumni feature in LSE Connect

LSE Connect| is the LSE's alumni magazine and is published in June and December every year. It is mailed to over 100,000 LSE alumni worldwide and is also read by current and prospective students, current and former staff, visitors and friends of the School.

Three Department of Economics academics and one alumna feature in the Summer 2014 issue|:

Haven's Door

Knocking on haven's door|: Gabriel Zucman| calls for tougher action on tax evasion

Cities to States

From cities to states|: Jonathan Leape| explains how international experts and country-embedded teams channel ideas into action at the International Growth Centre

Makes us Tick

What makes us tick?|: An interview with Oriana Bandiera| about her work on incentives and motivation

Imagination Captured

LSE and me|: Jane Howard (BSc Economics, 1974) explains how the concepts she learnt at LSE have helped her communicate the vision of Fair Trails International


If you would like to receive LSE Connect, please find some information here|.

Professor Tim Besley elected President of the International Economic Association

photograph of Tim BesleyWe are delighted to announce that Tim Besley|, School Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Deputy Head of Department for Research, has been elected President of the International Economic Association|.The IEA, which was founded in 1950, is a federation of most of the World’s major economics associations.  It is currently holding its 17th World Congress in Jordan. 

Tim will replace Joseph Stiglitz, who is stepping down at the end of his 3-year tenure.  Past Presidents of the IEA include Robert Solow, Kenneth Arrow, Amartya Sen and Tony Atkinson.  He is the third UK-based economist to have been elected President of the IEA, and the second from the LSE Department of Economics (the first was Tony Atkinson, who was Tooke Professor of Economic Science and Statistics at the time of his presidency).

News Archive

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