Autism costs in UK and US escalating, finds LSE research
Autism costs the UK more than £34 billion a year, and has more than tripled in the US to $126 billion, according to new LSE research.
The cost of providing care for each person with autism affected by intellectual disability through his or her lifespan are £1.5 million in the UK and $2.3 million in the US. The lifetime costs of caring for individuals who are not impacted by intellectual disability are £917,000 in the UK and $1.4 million in the US.
The research, funded by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy group, was conducted by Professor Martin Knapp of LSE, and Dr David Mandell of the University of Pennsylvania. It will be presented at the international conference 'Investing in our Future: the economic costs of autism', on 31 March in Hong Kong. More
Rising fees deterring students from poorer backgrounds from continuing to postgraduate study
Students from poorer backgrounds are under-represented in postgraduate study. High tuition fees, which have risen by an average of 31 per cent between 2003-04 and 2009-10, are also deterring many from making the jump from undergraduate to graduate courses.
These are among the findings of a report by Philip Wales, a PhD student at LSE, presented at the Royal Economic Society conference this week.
In order to examine progression rates from undergraduate to postgraduate study, Philip Wales obtained data from over 150 universities in the UK to develop the first substantial dataset of postgraduate fees by subject and university in the UK. Student level data has been taken from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education dataset provided by HESA.
He found that postgraduate fees increased by an average of 31.8 per cent between 2003-04 and 2008-09, from £3,232 to just over £4,261. This largely unreported increase is substantially above the rate of inflation. More
Independent review projects fuel poverty to worsen and calls for reinvigorated strategy
Professor John Hills, director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE, today published the final report of his independent review of fuel poverty.
The review confirms that fuel poverty is a serious national problem and shows that it is set to rise rapidly. It affects people with low incomes and energy costs above typical levels.
It proposes a new way of measuring the problem, focused both on the number of people affected and the severity of the problem they face. More
A measure of happiness
Recommendations in a new academic paper by Professor Paul Dolan about what questions should be asked in large-scale surveys of happiness are being used by the Office of National Statistics and are being considered by the OECD.
The paper focuses on how to measure ‘subjective well being’ (SWB) at a time when governments around the world are beginning to seriously consider using SWB to inform and evaluate public policy.
Professor Dolan and his co-author, Robert Metcalfe from the University of Oxford, suggest measuring the three different components of Subjective Well Being - life satisfaction, momentary mood and purpose - separately and recommend the level of detail at which each should be collected.
Professor Dolan says: 'Having SWB on large surveys will allow us to test the possibility of improving people’s levels of happiness and the important objective circumstances that allow people to have higher levels of happiness'.
The full paper can be seen at the Journal of Social Policy.
Discrimination makes me sick!
The attitudes of the general British population towards Muslims changed post 2001, and this change led to a significant increase in anti-Muslim discrimination.
In a recently published paper, Dr Grace Lordan (pictured), lecturer in health economics at LSE, uses this attitude change to estimate the causal impact of increased discrimination on a range of objective and subjective health outcomes.
Dr Lordan and her co-author, David W Johnston from Monash University, Australia, also investigate the pathways through which discrimination impacts upon health, and find that discrimination has a negative effect on employment, perceived social support, and health-producing behaviours.
The paper, Discrimination makes me sick! An examination of the discrimination-health relationship, can be found here.
India is not a superpower (and may never be), concludes new LSE study
India is not a superpower and will not become one in the foreseeable future, suggests a special report published by LSE.
The authors argue that despite India’s rising power and wealth it remains shackled by weaknesses which include corruption and poor leadership, extreme social divisions, internal security threats and religious extremism. The report, India: the next superpower?, features essays by nine experts which examine the nation’s economy, defence, government, culture, environment and society.
While they acknowledge the country’s formidable achievements in fostering democracy, growth and cultural dynamism, they generally agree that its structural weaknesses mean that it cannot yet call itself a superpower or be considered a full counterweight to the influence of China (as some in the West have hoped).
Some of the report’s authors believe that India should not even aspire to be a superpower while it has so many internal problems unresolved. Among them is Ramachandra Guha, chair in history and international affairs at LSE IDEAS, the research centre which produced the report. More
Anorexia study backs government ban on underweight models
Anorexia is a socially transmitted disease and appears to be more prevalent in countries such as France where women are thinner than average, according to new research from LSE.
This first ever economic analysis of anorexia, using a sample of nearly 3,000 young women across Europe, concludes that peer group pressure is the most significant influence on self-image and the development of anorexia. The findings endorse government intervention to compensate for social pressure on women, regulating against the use of underweight models in the fashion industry and in women's magazines, for example.
The research, by LSE economist Dr Joan Costa-Font and Professor Mireia Jofre-Bonet of City University, is due to be published in the academic journal Economica later this year. More