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...
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
Economic and Social Research Council Renewed Funding for Professor Frank Cowell
Congratulations 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.
Professor Sir Charlie Bean appointed Chairman of the CEPR Board of Trustees
Professor 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.
Professor Lord Nicholas Stern received the Schumpeter Award 2015 for Innovative Achievements
Professor 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."
On 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: email@example.com all rights reserved).
Further information, including the press release and photographs from the award ceremony, is available via the Schumpeter Gesellschaft pages.
Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides awarded the Kiel Institute Global Economy Prize 2015
Professor 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.
European Research Council Award to Dr Jeremiah Dittmar
Congratulations 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.
REF2014 and Research Impact
LSE 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.
Economics PhD Student awarded the 7th FIW Research Conference 'International Economics' Best Conference Paper Award 2014
Congratulations 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 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.
LSE Research Festival 2015
LSE 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.
"Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect", new book by J D Angrist and J S Pischke
Steve 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.
The 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).
Happy 100th Birthday Bill Phillips, “the Indiana Jones of macroeconomics”!
Bill 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.
Economics PhD student awarded the FREIT-EIIT Graduate Student Competition
Congratulations 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.
Economics PhD student awarded the UniCredit and Universities first Econ JM Best Paper Award 2014
Congratulations 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.
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.
Jean 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.
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre Official Opening
Friday 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.
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.
As 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.
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.
A 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.
Latest QS rankings put LSE Economics at 3rd in the World
The 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.
Click on the News Archive to read the news of previous years.