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Changing of the guard at the Centre for Economic Performance

John Van Reenen and Stephen Machin take over as the new director and director of research at LSE's Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) today [Wednesday 1 October].

John Van Reenen takes over from the Centre's founding director, Richard Layard, and his co-director since 2000, Richard Freeman. Stephen Machin takes over as the CEP's director of research from Anthony Venables.

The new director has been professor of economics at University College London since 1999 and is well known for his work on productivity and innovation. He has been a senior policy analyst to the previous secretary of health, Alan Milburn, and a partner of the economic consultancy, Lexecon. In addition to becoming director of the CEP, he has also been appointed professor of economics at LSE.

Stephen Machin, a leading labour economist, has been a member of the CEP since 1991 and has directed the DfES Centre for the Economics of Education, based at CEP, since it was set up in 1999. He has been professor of economics at University College London since 1996. He has done pioneering work on inequality, social mobility, minimum wages and crime. He is one of the editors of the Economic Journal.

On taking his appointment as director of the Centre, John Van Reenen said: 'We shall deepen the CEP's commitment to rigorous, world-class economic research that remains relevant to both policy and social science. The UK faces major challenges in the coming years and our research needs to provide original thinking in order both to understand the world and to help change it for the better.'

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Notes to Editors:

1. The Centre was established in 1990 as the ESRC's largest interdisciplinary research centre and has grown to become one of the largest concentrations of applied economic and social research in Europe. Its work on unemployment and poverty, worklessness, education and skills, productivity, globalisation and post-communist reform has had major impacts on academic economics and government policy alike. For more information on CEP, visit http://cep.lse.ac.uk/|

2. The CEP's standing was recognised earlier this year by the award of a Queen's Prize for Higher Education.

3. Professors Lord (Richard) Layard, Richard Freeman and Anthony Venables will continue to run programmes of research in the Centre.

4. Pictures of Professor Van Reenen and Professor Machin are available on request.

1 October 2003

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