Economics undergraduate student receives the Kaneda Award for 'Outstanding Young Economist' at the Carroll Round
The Department offers its warm congratulations to Yi Jie Gwee third-year BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics student, Yi Jie who has just received the Kaneda Award for “Outstanding Young Economist” at the Carroll Round – the premier international undergraduate research conference in Washington DC organised annually by Georgetown University. The Kaneda Award is based on the paper given and the presentation. It is one of three awards currently given at the final Sunday breakfast of this this annual late April event.
His paper, ‘3Bs And No As: Expansion of Higher Education in the UK – Bane, Boon or Boom?’ presents his empirical investigation of the impact of the expansion of higher education on wages in this country. Yi Jie came to his research question because of concern and curiosity about the likely impact of the recent and projected expansion of higher education in his native Singapore. He turned to the British experience as it offers something akin to a natural experiment and good data. He found the apparent impact in Britain to be significant and positive, or as he put it more technically ‘I exploited the exogenous variations induced by the government’s expansionary education policies. Using a difference-in-differences strategy I found that the overall expansion appears to have a positive effect on wages.’
32 Lincoln's Inn Fields Official Opening
On Monday 29 April, HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the newest landmark building of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, previously known as the Land Registry building.
The Princess Royal, who is the Chancellor of the University of London (UoL), was met by LSE Chair Sir Peter Sutherland, LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun and UoL Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Adrian Smith. She was given a tour of the newly opened building and was able to see it in operation as well as viewing a display on the research conducted by the academics based in the building. Her visit culminated in a reception, where she unveiled a plaque and met with LSE students and staff as well as others involved in its redesign and renovation.
LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun said: “LSE is a vibrant and exciting place to be and it was an honour to show HRH The Princess Royal around our newest working building. While we would be the first to admit that our campus has not always measured up to our academic reputation, we are always working to raise the bar. With 32LIF joining our flagship New Academic Building, and our forthcoming Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, I believe we can now justifiably be as proud of our estate as we are our academic reputation.”
The design approach for the new building was influenced by the property’s Grade II listing and its location within the Strand Conservation Area. A number of features have been retained, including the authentic brick facades and pitched slate roofscapes, which have traditional Dutch‐style gables with ornate turrets at each corner. The Chief Registrar’s Room has also been restored, and the main entrance hall, which possesses a number of period features such as mosaic terrazzo flooring, marble columns and decorative wooden panelling, has been enhanced. A new, single-storey glass and steel entrance pavilion has also been constructed to improve accessibility and provide the required secure entry and foyer space for a large number of students.
For more information please visit the LSE News and Media Pages.
Economics at LSE since 1895: An exhibition
Date: Monday 29 April 2013
Venue: B.07, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields
32 Lincoln's Inn Fields will be officially opened on Monday 29 April. To celebrate the opening LSE Archives will be putting on an exhibition which will be open to all LSE staff and students to visit.
The exhibition will feature information on the history of economics at LSE since the School’s foundation in 1895, including why the founders believed a School of Economics and Political Science was necessary; the developments during the School’s early years, when LSE became part of the University of London and then established the country’s first BSc degree in economics; the expansion during the directorship of William Beveridge (1919-37); the Department of Economics to the 1960s and a list of convenors (heads of the Department) since 1962.
The exhibition will also feature photographs of prominent economists from the School’s archive. There will be some originals from the archives and rare books collections on display, usually under lock and key in the Library, including:
* A merchants guidebook from 1643
* A volume by William Petty (1623-87), one of the founders of economic science
* The first edition of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
* Early graphs illustrating the economy in the 18th century
* Diary entry by Hugh Dalton regarding his teaching arrangements at LSE in 1919.
Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSE32LIF
This exhibition is free but only open to LSE staff and students. You need a valid LSE ID card to enter 32 LIF and the exhibition.
Danny Quah LSE Lecture Malaysia: "Nobody's world, everybody's problem? Who's afraid of a little global hegemony?"
The LSE Office for University of London International Programmes invites alumni of the University of London International Programmes to an Economics lecture titled: Nobody’s world, everybody’s problem? Who’s afraid of a little global hegemony? by Professor Danny Quah, The London School of Economics and Political Science.
As Malaysia's 13th General Elections unfold, it is clear that the economic fortunes of the country are linked to the ebb and flow of shifts in the global economy. What forces will shape those global changes? Which will be most significant for Malaysia's economic success? Professor Danny Quah will discuss the significance in the last three decades of the dramatic shift eastwards in the world’s economic centre. His lecture will debate issues including:
* Have the last 30 years of growth in the East been an aberration, or has the East built the political and technological systems needed to keep growth going?
* Has the East grown only because the West provided the world a consumption-driven engine of growth?
* Does the East need to become more like the West?
* Will continuing democratization be blocked by the democratic publics of the West?
The lecture will be chaired by Dr Keith Sharp, with special thanks to Datuk Dr Paul T.H. Chan, Vice Chancellor & President Co-Founder of HELP University College Sdn Bhd.
For further information, please visit the University of London International Programmes pages and the online magazine: London Connection.
UK invests £51 million in International Growth Centre
The UK government has announced a major £51million investment to the International Growth Centre (IGC) to enable it to expand its work from 12 to 15 countries.
The IGC, which is based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in partnership with the University of Oxford, provides independent and demand-led growth policy advice directly to governments based on rigorous analysis and frontier research. It is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Since its launch in 2008, the IGC has provided independent advice to 13 countries and managed 10 research programmes spanning topics such as agriculture, trade, infrastructure and urbanisation and state capabilities.
The £51 million investment will enable it to continue operations in existing partner countries across South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but also to expand its work through a renewed focus on key growth concerns. The IGC has already helped governments in Pakistan, Rwanda, Bihar and Bangladesh to reform their tax structures in order to boost revenue collection and has assisted governments in Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique to work towards harnessing wealth from their mineral resources.
LSE Department of Economics Professor Robin Burgess, director of the IGC, said:
“Increasing economic growth is critical to improving living standards for millions of people in the developing world to lift them out of poverty. Providing concrete evidence based on rigorous analysis and frontier research on what policies work to engender economic growth is a key offering of the IGC to policy makers across Africa and Asia. We are delighted that DFID’s continued support will enable us to deepen and expand our work in bringing the worlds of research and policy closer together.”
Professor Paul Collier, University of Oxford and co-director of the ICG said:
“Governments of poor countries struggle with daunting problems, some unique to their own circumstances. Soundly-based policy choices that respond to these problems can pay dividends far in excess of the cost of the underlying knowledge. Global excellence in knowledge that helps poor countries to help themselves - the mission of the IGC - is money well-spent.”
Justine Greening, UK secretary of state for international development, made the announcement in a speech at the London Stock Exchange. She addressed Britain’s continued investment in international development and said:
“International Development is in our interests not just because it creates new markets, but because I believe it can deliver a more balanced, resilient global economy…I want DFID to do more to help build up strong and investable business environments in the developing countries themselves. That means helping countries build their own tax base, squeezing out corruption and providing the technical advice that means when economic growth does happen, countries are well placed to then reap and reinvest the gains.”
For further information, please visit the LSE News and Media pages.
Professor Danny Quah to give lecture at the University of Singapore
LSE-NUS Public Lecture: "Managing No One's World: In Whose Interest?" by Danny Quah, Kuwait Professor Economics and International Development at the LSE
5-7pm Wednesday 03 April 2013
Seminar Room B, The Shaw Foundation Building
National University of Singapore
Few observers today doubt that the last three decades have seen a dramatic shift eastwards in the world’s economic center. But profound uncertainty surrounds the significance of that event. This lecture evaluates what is known about this Great Shift East. Has the rise of the East, driven by China, unbalanced the global financial system, with the East attaining the clout to be culpable but not the maturity to be responsible? Sure, the rise of the East has helped stabilize the global economy and has lifted out of deepest poverty hundreds of millions of human beings: Yet many observers continue to yearn for an earlier world order involving US unipolarity and global hegemony, even if that world order is one where the interests of the entire world and those of the global hegemon do not always perfectly align. Scepticism abounds on sustainability: Have the last 30 years been an aberration, or has the East built the political and technological systems needed to maintain growth? Is the East now caught in a middle-income trap? Has the East only grown because the West provided the world a consumption-driven engine of growth? Does the East need to become more like the West? And, finally, regardless whether political legitimacy and economic sustainability obtain only with Western-style democracy, will continuing democratization of the world, paradoxically, be blocked by the democratic publics of the West? If China and the rest of the East fail, we will never know.
For further information, please see the attached flyer.
Chris Pissarides appointed economic advisor to the President of Cyprus
Professor Chris Pissarides has been appointed personal economic advisor to the newly-elected President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who was sworn in on Thursday 28 February.
Nobel laureate Professor Pissarides will head a small team of economists who will advise the new government on all aspects of economic policy.
Chris said of his appointment, “Cyprus is going through very difficult times. The banking sector is nearly bankrupt because of exposure to Greece and government debt is soaring. The troika of the IMF, ECB and EU are requesting far reaching reforms and fiscal austerity. They are challenging times and being in the middle of it should be exciting.”
For further information, please visit the Reuters pages.
Obituary: Frank Hahn, 1925-2013
We are very sad to report that Frank Hahn, who was a PhD student at LSE, and a professor in the Department of Economics at LSE from 1967 to 1972, died earlier this week at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after a short illness.
Frank received his PhD from the LSE in 1951, having studied under Nicholas Kaldor and Lionel Robbins. After lecturing at the University of Birmingham from 1948-60, he spent six years in Cambridge, as a Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Politics, and a Fellow of Churchill College, before being offered an economics professorship at the LSE in 1967. He returned to Cambridge in 1972, where he spent the majority of his career as a Professor of Economics until he retired in 1992; he was also Professor Ordinario at the University of Siena from 1989.
Frank had a distinguished record of achievement in theoretical economics, carrying out pioneering work in market analysis, monetary economics, coordination failure, multiple equilibria, the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics, equilibrium and optimality with missing markets, conjectural equilibria and much else besides, but in his preface to the 1992 collection of essays in Frank’s honour, “Economic Analysis of Markets and Games”, Douglas Gale recognized that one of the things that distinguished his work was that his motivation often came from practical concerns about unemployment, savings and investment, poverty, or the stability of markets.
As for his colleagues in the Economics Department at LSE, Nick Stern remembers Frank as “funny, outrageous and penetrating as well as great economist”, and has many fond memories of him.
“I remember at the IEA Jerusalem 1970 conference on growth, there was an intervention in French. An American, who shall be nameless, asked for a translation, and Frank suggested it was unnecessary: "I think you can assume we have all had a modicum of education". Dealing with an econometrician who thought the problem was one of estimation technique, he said "Tenth stage least squares will not help you if the model is senseless", and some advice he gave 40 years ago on understanding our subject has always stayed with me: "a model is just a sentence in an argument".”
In a similar vein, Frank Cowell recalls “a Churchill seminar given by Gérard Debreu on some particularly abstruse point in GE modelling, during which several in the audience (which contained other Nobel prize winners) were unconvinced of Debreu's main point. So Hahn helpfully clarified: "look Gérard it's 1973 and the UK economy is in equilibrium. You take away one of my bananas. What happens?"
Some final thoughts from Nick Stern: “He taught us so much and gave us so much fun. And he was a kind man even though he often did his best to conceal it. We will miss him very much but his lessons are with us. Our thoughts are with Dorothy.”
A funeral service for Frank Hahn will be held on Friday, 8th February, at 2.00pm, in Churchill College Chapel for family and close friends, followed by burial at the Arbory Trust Woodland site in Barton. A Memorial Service will be arranged for a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to Churchill College c/o Co-operative Funeralcare, 34 James Street, Cambridge, CB1 1HX.
Queen awards Regius professorship in economics to LSE
The government has announced that the LSE will be one of twelve universities to have the prestigious title of Regius Professor bestowed upon it by The Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee, with the creation of a new Regius Professor in Economics.
A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege, with only two created in the past century; it is regarded as a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at an institution. All entries were assessed by a panel of experts on the merits of their application alone, but more weight was given to two primary criteria: the excellence of the Institution’s work in the proposed discipline and the recognition the discipline has gained, nationally and internationally, regardless of how long it has been studied.
The Head of the Economics Department, Professor Michele Piccione, said the award was “a great honour that recognizes the outstanding contribution that LSE economics has made to the development of the discipline”.
Further details of this exciting news will follow; in the meantime, the Cabinet Office’s press release can be found in their News page.
New Centre for Macroeconomics launched at LSE
A new £5million Centre for Macroeconomics will bring together a group of world class experts to carry out pioneering research on the global economic crisis and help design policies to alleviate it.
Chaired by LSE’s Nobel Prize-winning economics professor, Christopher Pissarides (pictured left), the new centre will encompass experts from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL), Cambridge University, the Bank of England, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), and other leading global institutions.
Five major research programmes will address the key issues of unemployment, fiscal austerity, financial markets, shifts in the world economy, and the development of new methodologies. It is hoped that new methodologies and better communication with policy makers will enhance the research and will lead to better policy decisions.
Professor Pissarides commented: "The new centre will be engaged in path-breaking research that gets to the heart of current debates and puzzles about the economy and the on-going recession. It became obvious soon after the start of the financial crisis that we did not have the tools to understand it, and were consequently less able to recommend policies to combat it. It also became obvious to us that globalisation and financial development had changed the nature of macroeconomic fluctuations, requiring many different skills within macroeconomics. The new centre is bringing together a diverse group of top experts in the field, who will work together to shed light on the very complicated set of problems facing policy makers today."
The centre is being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funder of research on economic and social issues.
The centre’s co-directors are Wouter Den Haan (pictured left), Professor of Economics at LSE, and Morten O. Ravn, Professor of Economics at UCL.
Professor Ravn commented: “Over the past five years unemployment, fiscal austerity and instability in financial markets have posed serious challenges for the UK and much of the world economy. New research and better communication between economists is needed to address them. Our foremost aims are for the centre to provide first-rate research into macroeconomic aspects of these issues and to provide leadership and focus for UK macroeconomists and their interaction with policy makers. The centre will give policy makers access to cutting edge research and provide academics with stimulus from policy circles.”
Professor Den Haan commented: “We will not be shy in exploring new approaches to the questions currently facing us. We hope to develop economic models that are better suited to deal with large shocks like those we recently experienced and that can better capture the complexity of the real world.”
For more information please visit the LSE News and Media pages.
The Department of Economics is moving!
From Monday 14 January 2013 the Department of Economics will be based in 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields.
The building is located on the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields at the junction with Serle Street. It offers five floors of academic offices plus three lower floors of teaching and student activity areas. Its design style is Neo Jacobean and restoration works have been part of the refurbishment project.
From the 14th January, the department will share the space with the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), the Centre for Macroeconomics, the International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Stuntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD).
For further information please visit the LSE Services intranet pages. The exact location can be found in the Maps and Directions section of the LSE website.
Please note that the administration and academic offices in St Clements Building will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday 9th January.
The new offices will open at 9.30am on Monday 14th January in 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Professor Danny Quah receives Individual Performance Excellence Award
In December 2012, Professor Danny Quah (pictured), Kuwait Professor of Economics and International Development at LSE, was given the Hanban’s Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award of the Year, at a ceremony in Beijing.
The award recognises Professor Quah’s work on ‘promoting greater understanding on China’s place in the world, by insightfully analysing and effectively communicating to general audiences worldwide the effects of shifts in the global economy and of the rise of the east.’
Professor Quah said: ‘I consider myself just a technical economist who has had to work really hard to explain to people what I do. LSE has generously allowed me the space to try to do both. This award is a great honour for me but, more, an acknowledgement of LSE’s premier place in communicating across all the social sciences.’
Albert O. Hirschman 1915–2012
Albert Hirschman, a renowned social scientist, whose highly influential work in economics and politics in developing countries has had a profound impact on economic thought and practice, died on December 10. He was Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University and had studied at LSE between 1935 and 1936.
You can find a short biography at the Institute for Advance Study pages and an Obituary by Dennis Kavanagh at the Financial Times.
A personal note from Professor Tim Besley:
“Albert became a dear friend during my time at Princeton. And I will never forget a dinner at which my wife Gill and Albert’s wife Sarah were also present where, despite his modesty, he talked about some of his exploits in the second world war. He was a true polymath, in many ways an intellectual and economist from a by-gone era. But his insights and work will be read well into the future because, above all, he was a thinker. To my regret, Albert and I never wrote the paper that we started working on together. But it was an honour to deliver the Albert Hirschman lecture at LACEA in Buenos Aries a few years ago. And one of my most treasured books is a signed copy of The Strategy of Economic Development. While we can claim only a small amount of credit in his formation – he spent most of his career in the U.S. – his work fitted perfectly with the ambitions of the LSE. His work epitomized excellent social science which is not too narrowly constrained by any disciplinary boundary.”
Professor Van Reenen elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
In November Professor John Van Reenen was elected Fellow of the Econometric Society.
The Econometric Society is an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. For further information, please visit the Econometric Society: 2012 Election of Fellows.
US Election Analysis No. 3
Healthcare Reform: The US Policy Debate
The ability of the next US president to rein in spending on healthcare and improve the productivity of the healthcare system is largely going to determine the country’s fiscal future. That is one of the conclusions of the latest in a series of US Election Analyses, published today by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).
The aim of the CEP series is to provide non-technical, evidence-based and politically neutral introductions to the main economic issues facing the American people in the 2012 presidential election. In today’s report, Zack Cooper examines the evidence on the debate about healthcare reform, including the contentious legislation known as ‘Obamacare’ (To read the report please visit the CEP Publications pages).
Yesterday’s report by Nicholas Bloom and John Van Reenen highlighted the damaging impact of policy uncertainty on the US economic recovery while the first report by Ethan Ilzetzki covered the key issue of taxes, spending and public debt.
US Election Analysis No. 2
Economic Recovery and Policy Uncertainty
The second in a series of US Election Analyses from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) is published today.
In our second report, Nicholas Bloom, John Van Reenen (pictured) and colleagues assess the damaging impact of policy uncertainty on the US economic recovery.
The aim of the CEP series is to provide non-technical, evidence-based and politically neutral introductions to the main economic issues facing the American people in the 2012 presidential election. The first report covered the key issue of taxes, spending and public debt, a major point of disagreement between the two candidates, President Obama and Governor Romney. Healthcare reform and inequality will also be covered.
Centre for Economic Performance Launch US Election Analysis
Recession and Recovery: The US Policy Debate on Taxes, Spending and Public Debt
On the eve of the second US presidential debate, CEP is launching its first series of US Election Analyses.
In the first report, Ethan Ilzetzki covers the key issue of taxes, spending and public debt, a major point of disagreement between the two candidates, President Obama and Governor Romney. The aim of the series is to provide non-technical, evidence-based and politically neutral introductions to the main economic issues facing the American people. We will also be covering healthcare, inequality and policy uncertainty.
As the economically largest and most powerful nation on the planet, what happens in the United States will have a profound influence on the rest of the world.
Lecturership and Readership in Economics
Applications are invited from outstanding candidates for a Chair/Reader in Economics post and a Lecturer in Economics.
Please click on the following links for more information on the posts or visit the Jobs at LSE pages for more information.
Chair/Reader in Economics
How to Apply
Lecturer in Economics
How to Apply
Economics Annual Review
The Economics Annual Review for 2011-12 is now available on the Economics website at the News section. The first publication of its type produced by the Economics Department, the Review aims to keep our alumni, visitors and friends updated on the Department’s activities during the previous academic year. It contains news of internal and external appointments, awards, student prizes, public events and selected publications, as well as staff and student profiles, and articles on the various initiatives with which the Department has been involved throughout the year.
The Review has been designed as an electronic publication, and can either be read online, or downloaded into Kindle, iBooks or any other PDF reader, but a number of hardcopies have also been produced. If you would like one of these, please contact the Departmental Office at Econ.Office@lse.ac.uk.
Economics Orientation Events
Information on the Economics' Department's Orientation Events can be found in the pages for the Current Students or by visiting the Economics Orientation Timetable 2012 page.
Kaushik Basu, former Economics PhD, named World Bank Chief Economist
Kaushik Basu who recently served as the economic adviser to the Indian government has been appointed as the Chief Economist of World Bank. Professor Basu, currently on leave from his position as Professor at Cornell University, holds a doctorate from the Economics Department at LSE. He has founded the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics and has written several books.
For more information, please visit the BBC News India page.
Click on the News Archive to read the news of previous years.