News 2021-2022

Tim Besley elected member of Academia Europaea


Tim Besley

Congratulations to Professor Tim Besley who has been elected a member of Academia Europaea.  

The object of Academia Europaea is the advancement and propagation of excellence in scholarship in the humanities, law, the economic, social, and political sciences, mathematics, medicine, and all branches of natural and technological sciences anywhere in the world for the public benefit and for the advancement of the education of the public of all ages. The aim of the Academy is to promote European research, advise governments and international organisations in scientific matters, and further interdisciplinary and international research.

You can find out more here

August 2022


Dr Swati Dhingra to join the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee


Swati Dhingra

Congratulations to Swati Dhingra who has been appointed to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Swati Dhingra will join the MPC on 9 August for a three-year term, replacing current external member Michael Saunders.

The MPC is responsible for deciding what monetary policy action the Bank of England will take to keep inflation low and stable. It meets eight times a year to set the Bank of England’s own interest rate.

Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “Dr Swati Dhingra’s experience in international economics will bring valuable new expertise to the MPC. I am delighted to appoint her to this role and look forward to seeing her contribution to policymaking in the coming years.”

May 2022


Professor Ricardo Reis awarded an ERC Advanced Grant



Congratulations to Ricardo Reis who has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for the project DISINF (The Distributional Consequences of Inflation). The grant will run for 5 years (2022-2027).

Ricardo's research will use detailed micro data from the financial sector to measure what is the exposure of different groups to inflation risk, which institutions sell and buy inflation risk, and how this affects the differential pass-through of inflation to nominal interest rates. These redistributions can cause costly financial crisis and are often behind financial repression measures.

Second, it will use models of non-financial firms that are differentially exposed to inflation risk and are likely to have their operations impacted by unexpected shocks. The heterogeneous impact of inflation across firms generate a new source of costs of inflation, as they lead to distortions in the allocation of inputs and production that are amplified by price rigidity.

Third, the composition and maturity of the public debt redistributes risk between current generations and future ones. Empirically, the extent to which the government shifts inflation risk between itself and the private economy varies considerably over time, and this affects the cyclicality of the tightness of the government budget constraint as well as the incentives to inflate away the debt. For the central bank, inflation has a differential effect on the attractiveness of banknotes, public digital currency, and private digital currency, and this in turn determines the seignorage revenue that central banks earn and so the financial constraints that monetary policy faces in the pursuit of stable inflation.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The ERC Advanced Grants support ground-breaking researchers throughout Europe. It gives our talents the possibility to realise their creative ideas. Their pioneering work contribute to solve the most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.”

Read the ERC’s full press release

May 2022


Professor Silvana Tenreyro wins the 2022 EEA Birgit Grodal Award


Silvana Tenreyro

Congratulations to Silvana Tenreyro, winner of the 2022 Birgit Grodal Award for her significant contributions in applied macroeconomics.

On bestowing the award, the European Economic Association (EEA) said:

‘Silvana has made significant contributions in monetary and international economics. Her papers on monetary policy transmission and on the Phillips curve have been influential both in academia and in policy circles. Her work on volatility and development has improved our understanding of the roles of technological diversification and of the characteristics of shocks hitting emerging and advanced economies in the growth process. She is also the author of a widely cited methodological paper on the estimation of gravity equations in international trade.

Moreover, she has an excellent record of public service, holding positions in various professional societies and serving as external member of the Bank of England Monetary committee.’

The EEA Council bestows the Award, once every two years, to a European-based female economist who has made a significant contribution to the Economics profession. The Award is named after Birgit Grodal, the first female elected President of the EEA, who sadly passed away before she took up her presidency. Find out more.

On receiving the award, Silvana Tenreyro said:

'I’m very grateful to the Award Committee, to my wonderful co-authors, with whom I carried out the research mentioned in the award, and to my family for their constant support.'

April 2022


Professors Oriana Bandiera and John Van Reenen named Foreign Honorary Members of AEA


Congratulations to Oriana Bandiera and John Van Reenen, who have been named Foreign Honorary Members of the American Economic Association (AEA).

The AEA says, 'The Foreign Honorary Members award is presented to foreign economists of distinction. Honorees are elected by the American Economic Association's Executive Committee upon recommendation from the Honors and Awards committee.'

Read the press release announcing the AEA's award recipients for 2022.

April 2022


Dr Rachael Meager awarded a 2022 AEJ Best Paper Award



Annually, an article is selected from each American Economic Journal (AEJ) from nominated articles, for the AEJ Best Paper Award.

Congratulations to Rachael Meager who has been awarded a 2022 AEJ Best Paper Award for the article "Understanding the Average Impact of Microcredit Expansions: A Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis of Seven Randomized Experiments," in AEJ: Applied Economics.

In this article, Rachael Meager estimates the average effect of microcredit as a tool to alleviate poverty across seven studies. She finds that the impact on household business and consumption variables is unlikely to be transformative and may even be negligible. There is also reasonable external validity of these varied evaluations of microcredit. (AEJ: Applied Economics, Volume 11, No. 1, January 2019)

April 2022


Dr Ethan Ilzetzki awarded a 2021 ERC Consolidator Grant


Ethan Ilzetzki

Congratulations to Dr Ethan Ilzetzki on being awarded a 2021 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for the project, ‘Fiscal Policy, Productivity, and Growth: New Data and New Approaches’.

This project investigates how government spending and tax (fiscal) policies affect not only the business cycle but also an economy’s productivity and long run potential. Modern economic approaches to fiscal policy put a firewall between aggregate demand and aggregate supply. The premise of this project is that cyclical policies may affect the economy’s productive potential, not only on short term inflation and unemployment. The project will draw modern data, but also on archival data from historical episodes, including the US military buildup during the Second World War and post-war public investments.

ERC Consolidator Grants support mid-career researchers, helping them consolidate their teams and conduct pioneering research.

March 2022


Professor Philippe Aghion awarded the Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea



Congratulations to Professor Philippe Aghion who has been awarded the Academia Europaea’s Erasmus Medal.

The Erasmus Medal honours a European scholar who has maintained, over a sustained period of time, an outstanding level of international scholarship as recognised by peers: ‘It is perhaps the highest recognition for purely scholarly achievements that the Academy can bestow on a scholar.’ Read more.

Professor Aghion will receive the medal at the Academy’s Annual Conference, scheduled to take place in Barcelona on 26-27 October 2022, and will deliver the accompanying AE-Heinz-Nixdorf Erasmus Lecture.

Philippe Aghion has been described by the Academy as ‘a truly global giant in his academic field with a strong European basis and worldwide recognition due to an enormous amount of publications in top scientific journals, through widely recognized books and many influential societal policy debates. As one of the world's leading theorists, in his publications he collaborates intensively with the best empirical researchers to deal with pressing challenges of high policy relevance to obtain the strong attention not only from the academic community but also among policymakers and in the wider public.’

Read more on the Academy’s website.

February 2022


Professor Sir Tim Besley to advise UK Government on levelling up


Tim Besley

Congratulations to Professor Sir Tim Besley who has been appointed to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council.

The Council, announced in the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, contains leaders of academia, industry and civil society, who will support Ministers by advising on the design, delivery and impact of levelling up policy. It is one of five “mutually reinforcing pillars” identified in the White Paper as being key to ensuring the government delivers on its levelling up agenda. 

Professor Susana Mourato, Pro-Director of Research at LSE, said: “Regional inequality in the UK is not a new problem but it is a hugely significant one, leading to typically lower education, health and economic outcomes for those living in more deprived areas. If these inequalities are to be addressed, it is vital that the right policies are put in place now, and I am delighted that Professor Sir Tim Besley will be advising government on this issue.” 

Professor Sir Tim Besley said: “There are significant and entrenched inequalities between and within regions of the UK that need urgently to be addressed. If we are to create sustainable change, policymakers will need to consider many factors, including infrastructure, education, healthcare, skills and housing. I am pleased to be contributing to the government’s work to address these key issues and look forward to the work ahead.”

Read the full article in LSE news.

February 2022


Dr Xavier Jaravel awarded a ERC 2021 Starting Grant


Congratulations to Dr Xavier Jaravel who has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for the project,  'Prices and Inequality'.

397 early-career researchers won ERC Starting Grants; '€619 million will be invested in excellent projects dreamed up by scientists and scholars. Grants worth on average €1.5 million will help ambitious younger researchers launch their own projects, form their own teams and pursue their best ideas.' Find out more here.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: 'I am looking forward to seeing what new breakthroughs and opportunities the new ERC laureates will bring, and how they will inspire young people to follow their curiosity and make discoveries for the benefit of us all.'

Dr Jaravel shares a few words: 

"The ERC starting grant is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ambitious research agenda, thanks to the unparalleled resources it provides to assemble a team and fund data access over 5 years. My project will focus on "inflation inequality", the idea that households face different inflation rates, which can increase inequality but also poverty rates. From a policy perspective, this topic has become even more relevant in recent months, with mounting concerns about sustained inflation going forward. Thanks to the ERC grant, I hope to provide a comprehensive analysis of inflation inequality in dozens of countries, using new data, new models and new conceptual frameworks."

January 2022


Roberto Maura-Rivero named a finalist of the Meta PhD Research Fellowship



Congratulations to PhD Economics student Roberto Maura-Rivero on being named a finalist of the 2022 Meta PhD Research Fellowship.

The Meta PhD Research Fellowship programme awards PhD candidates conducting cutting-edge research on emerging topics. This year, the Fellowship received over 2,300 applications from over 100 universities worldwide and selected 37 Fellows from 24 universities. Find out more here.

We spoke to Roberto about his achievement:

‘Machine Learning and Deep Learning are revolutionizing all disciplines and new amazing discoveries are made every year. In my PhD, I am working on a theoretical understanding of how these tools can be modified to help us answer economic questions and how to apply them to real problems.

It is an honour to be a finalist of the Meta PhD fellowship and I feel that this recognition will increase the attention on this exciting area of study.’

February 2022