News 2010-2011

LSE Economics 4th in the world


LSE's Economics Department has been ranked 4th worldwide and top-ranked outside the US. According to the 2011 QS World University Rankings by Subjects, the Department is the only non-American university among the first four (after Harvard, MIT, and Stanford) and precedes Oxford and Cambridge.

For more information please go to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2011 - Social Sciences: Economics

July 2011

Professor Tim Besley elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Professor Timothy Besley, director of STICERD, director of the MPA Programme, and Kuwait Professor of Economics and Political Science, has been elected to the 2011 class of new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For more information on his election, please go to the LSE News and Media pages. 

June 2011

Model answers were mostly wrong concludes a review of contemporary economics in new edition of the journal Global Policy

Most economists were caught unawares by the world financial crisis because they were relying on the wrong models rather than the science of economics itself being at fault, a new study has suggested.

Leading economists analyse what went wrong during the crash in a special report for the journal Global Policy, published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Wiley-Blackwell.

While they reach different conclusions in four separate papers on the issue, there is broad agreement that economists based in central banks and other policy-making roles, failed to adopt the right macroeconomic models. In particular, they favoured a form of "business-school" economics which was too optimistic in its expectation of market performance and did not allow for instability in the financial sector.


Introducing the study, Rethinking Economics, Professor Tim Besley writes: 'Many practitioners now learn the economics that they put into practice in business schools rather than economics departments. Teaching the messier economics of failures in decision making, in markets, organizations and governments is easily kept out of the curriculum, inviting a Panglossian perspective.'

The study also includes a paper by Joseph Stiglitz in which he reinforces the argument that economic theory which could have predicted trouble ahead was overlooked in favour of a consensus model. He writes: 'A central tenet of the standard paradigm was that markets are efficient. Another is that markets are stable and self-correcting. Obviously, the crisis has "refuted" both these tenets. A major objective of the future research agenda should be to better understand market instability.'

Global Policy is a new innovative and interdisciplinary journal bringing together world class academics and leading practitioners to analyse both public and private solutions to globally relevant risks and problems demanding collective action.

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

May 2011

Tim Besley to give two invited lectures


Professor Tim Besley, Kuwait Professor of Economics and Political Science and Director of STICERD, will speak on "Some Principles of Public Organization" on the 8th April 2011 when he delivers the third Richard Musgrave Lecture at the CESifo.

This lecture is given under the auspices of the Richard Musgrave Visiting Professorship for which the 2011 award has been presented to Tim Besley. For more information on the lecture and the award please refer to Richard Musgrave Visiting Professorship

In the second of his two invited lectures, Tim Besley will give the Edgeworth Lecture at the Irish Economic Association 25th Annual Conference. Professor Besley will speak on "Independent Agencies and Economic Policy". For further information, please go to IEA Conference 2011.

April 2011

The 2011 Carlo Alberto Medal awarded to Oriana Bandiera


The Department of Economics is delighted to announce that Professor Oriana Bandiera has been awarded the 2011 Carlo Alberto Medal.


The Medal has been given to Professor Bandiera for her work in economic development and has been praised as a leader in her field pushing "the frontier outward".

The Carlo Alberto Medal is awarded to young Italian economists for their outstanding contributions to the economics field. For further information on the award please go to Carlo Alberto Medal and for details on Professor Bandiera's award please go to Carlo Alberto Medal: 2011 Winner.

April 2011

UniCredit & Universities Masters in Research (MRes) Economics Scholarship

The Department is pleased to announce the creation of a new scholarship for MRes Economics students. Thanks to the generous support of the UniCredit & Universities Knight of Labor Ugo Foscolo Foundation, the UniCredit & Universities Masters in Research (MRes) Economics Scholarship will provide full financial support to a student on this two year programme.

Scholarships are also being offered at Barcelona, Stockholm and Toulouse as part of this project to support talented students studying Economics or Finance in prestigious European universities.

For further details of the scholarship, please visit UniCredit & Universities Scholarship Programme.

January 2011

LSE to host first IdeasLab at World Economic Forum, Davos

Global leaders explored how to do better with less

Leaders from industry, government and civil society joined academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) at an interactive session of the World Economic Forum, Davos, on Wednesday 26 January.

The LSE IdeasLab, which took the theme Doing Better With Less, explored four topics of global importance.LSE Director Howard Davies and Professors Nicholas Stern, Nicholas Barr and Oriana Bandiera presented their ideas on public management, tackling climate change, financing education and incentives and performance respectively.

Each speaker presented their ideas in a five minute talk with slides. This was followed by the 'Lab' part of the event, an in-depth group discussion with the audience about the ideas presented. The event was facilitated by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, USA, who is an alumna of LSE.

LSE Director, Howard Davies, said: 'By bringing together experts in their field and providing a space for collaborative work, the LSE IdeasLab aims to explore the new trends, technologies and discoveries that will be key to ensuring economic growth and political stability.'

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

January 2011

Nicholas Stern wins award for 'pioneering' report on economics of climate change


LSE economist, Lord Professor Nicholas Stern, has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category. This was given in recognition of his 'pioneering report' which the award jury said 'shaped and focused the discourse on the economics of climate change'.

The advanced economic analysis applied by Stern has been the means to quantify the impacts and costs arising from climate change, as well as providing a unique and robust basis for decision-making. 

This is the third edition of the awards, set up by the BBVA Foundation, which seek to 'recognize and encourage world-class research and artistic creation.'

Commenting on his success, Lord Stern said, "I feel very privileged to receive a prize that is dedicated specifically to climate change research".

"It is certainly a very clear statement of the importance that the BBVA Foundation attaches to an area so vital for the future existence of human beings on this planet".

Considered a groundbreaking study, The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, has been hugely influential in international scientific and decision-making circles.

It contained some compelling figures on the economic threat of climate change. For example, world economic growth would contract by at least 20 per cent if no action were taken, while a switch to a low-emissions economy would cost around one per cent of global GDP each year.

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

January 2011

Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Christopher Pissarides


The Department of Economics is incredibly pleased to announced that Professor Chris Pissarides has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics (together with Peter Diamond of MIT and Dale Mortensen of Northwestern).

The Prize was awarded "for the analysis of markets with search frictions", a way of thinking about markets that recognizes that they often do not work as smoothly as economists' model of perfect competition would suggest.


This approach has been most commonly applied to the labour market where it has improved the understanding of unemployment of both academics and policy-makers. This is always an important topic but, with many countries now in the deepest recession for a generation, it is particularly relevant now.


Chris has spent almost all his academic life at the LSE - he did his PhD here and, apart from a two-year break has been here ever since progressing from PhD student to Lecturer to Professor. Our warmest congratulations to him on this well-deserved award!


The Senior Dining Room was packed to capacity on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th October, when the Department of Economics gathered to celebrate the award of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Professor Chris Pissarides.


October 2010

Dr Judith Shapiro wins top teaching award


We are delighted to announce that Dr Judith Shapiro, the Departmental Undergraduate Tutor, has been awarded the Economics Network's Student-Nominated Teaching Award for 2010.

The award provides an opportunity for UK economics students to identify and honour the most inspiring and dedicated teaching staff in their department. It is no exaggeration to say that Judith's commitment and hard work have made a terrific difference to our undergraduate students. We would like to congratulate her on this very well-deserved accolade, and to take this opportunity to add our own thanks for the marvellous contribution she has made to the life of the Department. Well done, Judith! 

October 2010