Research Impact 2014

Department of Economics

Below you will find information about the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and its results in 2014 as well as about the impact of LSE's research and specifically of the impact of research undertaken by faculty of the Department.

*Information and results for the 2021 REF will be published here in due course.

Department of Economics Research Impact and case studies

Below you will find some selected case studies from the Department of Economics.


Professor Oriana Bandiera
Professor of Economics
Director of The Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)

Improving the recruitment of health workers in developing countries


Professor Henrik Kleven 
Professor of Economics                                       

Helping countries improve their tax systems



Professor Emeritus Lord Richard Layard
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Founder of the Centre for Economic Performance

Making personal happiness and wellbeing a goal of public policy

Research Excellence Framework 2014

LSE has confirmed its position as a world-leading research university, with an outstanding performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Specifically, 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, according to which  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. Similarly, the Department of Economics is showcasing below case studies of departmental research that has influenced public life.

LSE Research Impact

For the purposes of the REF2014, impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia. Impact includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

  • the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding
  • of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
  • in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. 

Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.

The impact must have occurred specifically within the period 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2013, having been at any stage of development or maturity during this period. 

Further Research Impact case studies


Professor Stephen Machin
Professor of Economics
Director of the Centre for Economic Performance

Applying economic appraisal to improve educational outcomes