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News Archive 2007

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PSA Award
Sir Nicholas Stern awarded the Political Publication of the Year Award

Sir Nicholas Stern has been awarded the Political Publication of the Year award by the Political Studies Association’s (PSA) for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by Gordon Brown, UK prime minister, and published in October 2006.This is the first time that the judges have awarded the Political Publication of the Year to a report.

For more details click here.


News Posted: 28 November 2007      [Back to the Top]

House of Lords Appointment
Professor Sir Nicholas Stern to be appointed to the House of Lords.

Professor Sir Nicholas Stern was appointed to the House of Lords as a non-party-political peer on Thursday, 18 October 2007, and and will be introduced into the House of Lords on 17 December, 2007


News Posted: 26 November 2007      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch
City Survivors: Bringing up children in disadvantaged neighbourhoods

Anne Power will launch her new publication City Survivors with a seminar at LSE on -

Thursday 22nd November

4.30pm to 6.00pm

- in the CEP Conference Room (R405), 4th Floor, Research Laboratory, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD.

This event is FREE but booking is essential.

An informal drinks reception will follow the seminar.

To request a seat for this event, please contact:
Anna Tamas email: a.tamas@lse.ac.uk, tel: +44(0)20-7955-6562.

About the book:
City Survivors is based on yearly visits over seven years to two hundred families living in four highly disadvantaged city neighbourhoods, two in East London and two in Northern inner and outer city areas. Twenty four families explain over time from the inside, how neighbourhoods in and of themselves directly affect family survival. These stories convey powerful messages from parents about the problems they want tackled, and the things that would help.

The book offers original and in-depth, qualitative evidence in a readable and accessible form that will be invaluable to policy-makers, practitioners, university students, academics and general readers interested in the future of families in cities.

Anne Power: City Survivors: Bringing up children in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Bristol: Policy Press.

Paperback £21.99 ISBN 9781847420497 ---- Hardback £60.00 ISBN 9781847420503

To order this book please see www.policypress.org.uk

News Posted: 22 November 2007      [Back to the Top]

CASE Book Launch
Making Social Policy Work

Edited by John Hills, Julian Le Grand and David Piachaud

"A treasure trove of insights into what makes social policy work from a constellation of stellar academic stars. From first principles through to final delivery the book looks across the spectrum. Key specialists from the different fields - family, schools, higher education, health, social care, welfare, neighbourhood renewal, pensions, redistribution - examine what has worked and what might work better". Malcolm Dean, The Guardian

Social policy is now central to political debate in Britain. What has been achieved by efforts to improve services and reduce poverty? What is needed to deliver more effective and popular services to all and increase social justice? How can we make social policy work? These are some of the questions discussed in this collection of essays by a distinguished panel of leading social policy academics.

The book covers key issues in contemporary social policy, particularly concentrating on recent changes. It examines the history and goals of social policy as well as its delivery, focusing in turn on the family and the state, schools, higher education, healthcare, social care, communities and housing. Redistribution is also examined, exploring child poverty, pension reform and resources for welfare.

The essays in this collection have been specially written to honour the 70th birthday of Howard Glennerster whose pioneering work has been concerned not only with the theoretical, historical and political foundations of social policies but, cruciallly, with how they work in practice. It is a collection for those working in and interested in policy and politics in a wide variety of fields and for students of social policy, public policy and the public sector.

Contents: Introduction - John Hills, Julian Le Grand and David Piachaud; Part One: The aims of social policy: Principles, Poor Laws and welfare states - Jose Harris; Welfare; what for? Tania Burchardt; Part Two: Delivering social policy: Families, individuals and the state - Jane Lewis; Schools, financing and educational standards - Anne West; Financing higher education: tax, graduate tax or loans? - Nicolas Barr; Quasi-markets in healthcare - Julian Le Grand; social care: chocie and control - Martin Knapp; Neighbourhood renewal, mixed communities and social integration - Anne Power; Part Three: Redistribution: between households; over time; between areas: The restructuring of redistribution - David Piachaud; Pensions, public opinion and policy - John Hills; Distributing resources - Tony Travers.

PB £25.00 ISBN 978 1 86134 957 6. HB £65.00 ISBN 978 1 86134 958 3. 304 pages.

Launch price £20.00 - buy your copy today or order at www.policypress.org.uk before 16 November. When ordering on the website, please use promotional code POBM110 at the checkout.

Published 31 October 2007 by The Policy Press.


News Posted: 31 October 2007      [Back to the Top]

Conference
BREAD/CEPR Conference on Development Economics at LSE

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Development Economics Program and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) are organizing a joint conference on 5th-6th October, 2007 at the London School of Economics. The conference will take place in R505 in STICERD, which is on the 5th floor of the Lionel Robbins Building.

For more information, see the website of the conference.


News Posted: 05 October 2007      [Back to the Top]

World Bank Conference
Lecture by Maitreesh Ghatak on 'Provision of Public Services by Non-state Actors'

Maitreesh Ghatak delivered a lecture on "The Provision of Public Services by Non-state Actors" at the World Bank's Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) held at Bled, Slovenia in May 2007.

To watch video, click here.


News Posted: 12 September 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Tim Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak: Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility

A paper by Tim Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak entitled 'Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility' has been published in the Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 91, No. 9, p. 1645–1663, September 2007 [Lead article]. This paper explores the feasibility and desirability of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The authors identify CSR with creation of public goods or curtailment of public bads. Using a model with profitmaximizing firms, the paper shows that there is a direct parallel between CSR and traditional models of private provision of public goods. Indeed, firms that use CSR will produce public goods at exactly the same level as predicted by the standard voluntary contribution equilibrium for public goods. The authors compare CSR with government provision and charitable provision, discussing when CSR by private for-profit firms could have a comparative advantage in dealing with public goods provision.

News Posted: 29 August 2007      [Back to the Top]

Weak Market Cities Programme visits Saint-Étienne
Research highlighted in local newspaper 'Le Progrès'

Espace Loisirs
The Weak Market Cities team meeting residents at the Espace Loisirs in Beaulieu.
From left to right: Jean-Paul Barbot (director of the Espace Loisirs), Anne Power, Astrid Winkler, Jörg Plöger and Rachid Kaddour (local academic).


The Weak Market Cities Programme hit the French newspapers when director Anne Power and researchers Astrid Winkler and Jörg Plöger visited Saint-Étienne - one of 7 European cities they analyse in their study of how old industrial cities regenerate themselves.

Local interest was generated after Anne Power's meeting with Saint-Étienne's mayor Michel Thiollière, who recognised the social problems facing cities following deindustrialization and expressed his enthusiasm for the study.

Le Progrès published two articles following the meeting with the mayor and the programme's subsequent visit to the social housing 'grand ensemble' neighbourhood of Montchovet. For further information please visit the Weak Market Cities Programme website.
News Posted: 19 July 2007      [Back to the Top]

Call for Papers
CEPR/BREAD Conference on Development Economics

To be held at LSE 5th - 6th October 2007

Sponsored by: London School of Economics, EBRD and CEPR

Conference Location: R505, STICERD, LSE

Call for Papers:

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Development Economics Program and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) will hold a joint conference on 5th-6th October, 2007 at the London School of Economics.

You are invited to submit a paper for the conference. Please submit your paper via email to both iput@cepr.org and Bread.conf@gmail.com The deadline for submissions is 20th August 2007.

All papers presented at the conference will be selected through this open submissions process. To leave ample time for discussion only a small number of papers will be selected for this 2 day conference and there will be no parallel sessions.

Papers will be selected by Robin Burgess (LSE and CEPR) and Esther Duflo (MIT and CEPR).

For enquiries about registration, travel and accommodation, please contact Ingrid Put at CEPR email: iput@cepr.org
News Posted: 16 July 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Maitreesh Ghatak (joint with Pranab Bardhan and Alexander Karaivanov): ''Wealth Inequality and Collective Action''

A paper by Maitreesh Ghatak (joint with Pranab Bardhan and Alexander Karaivanov) titled 'Wealth Inequality and Collective Action' has been published in the Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 91, No. 9, p. 1843–1874, September 2007. The authors analyze the effect of inequality in the distribution of endowment of a private input (briefly, wealth) that is complementary in production with a collective input on efficiency. The collective input is the outcome of a collective action problem (e.g., contribution to pure or impure public goods and extraction from common-property resources). In an environment where transactions costs prevent the efficient allocation of the private input across individuals, and the collective action problem is resolved in a decentralized manner, they characterize the optimal second-best distribution of wealth.They show that while efficiency increases with greater equality within the group of contributors and non-contributors, in some situations there is an optimal degree of inequality between the groups, thereby locating Olson’s original insight in a more general framework.

News Posted: 29 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Maitreesh Ghatak (joint with Massimo Morelli and Tomas Sjostrom): 'Entrepreneurial Talent, Occupational Choice, and Trickle Up Policies' Journal of Economic Theory, vol.137, no.1, November 2007

A paper by Maitreesh Ghatak (joint with Massimo Morelli and Tomas Sjostrom) entitled Entrepreneurial Talent, Occupational Choice, and Trickle Up Policies has been published in the Journal of Economic Theory, Volume 137, No. 1, November 2007. The authors study market inefficiencies and policy remedies when agents choose their occupations, and entrepreneurial talent is subject to private information. Untalented entrepreneurs depress the returns to entrepreneurship because of adverse selection. The severity of this problem depends on the outside option of entrepreneurs, which is working for wages. This links credit, product and labour markets. A rise in wages reduces the adverse selection problem. These multimarket interactions amplify productivity shocks and may generate multiple equilibria. If it is impossible to screen entrepreneurs then all agents unani mously support a tax on entrepreneurs that drives out the less talented ones. However, if screening is possible, e.g., if wealthy entrepreneurs can provide collateral for their loans, then wealthy entrepreneurs do not support surplus enhancing taxes.


News Posted: 29 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

Major LSE research to launch this week
Tackling Low Educational Achievement

A new report, Tackling Low Educational Achievement: a report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation , by Professor Robert Cassen, the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE, and Dr Geeta Kingdon, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, will be launched with a seminar on Thursday 28 June at the Work Foundation.

The report gives a profile of the tens of thousands of students who leave school every year with little or nothing to show for it, discusses the factors underlying low achievement, and addresses how the situation can be improved by policy. As well as conducting their own research the authors have reviewed the extensive recent research by others, so that their report is fully comprehensive.

Professor Cassen and Dr Kingdon's research was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and will be published on Friday 22 June. The authors present their findings and outline their key recommendations in a public event, introduced and chaired by Estelle Morris, on Thursday 28 June.

The event, at 9am for a 9.30am start, will be held at:
The Work Foundation,
Asticus Building,
21 Palmer St,
London SW1H 0AD.

The event is free and open to all but registration is required. Please email Anna Tamas at a.tamas@lse.ac.uk to register.

The full report and a summary are available to download free from the Teacher Training Resource Bank (TTRB) website:
News Posted: 28 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Oriana Bandiera: 'Contract Duration and Investment Incentives: Evidence from Land Tenancy Agreements' Journal of the European Economic Association, September 2007

A paper by Oriana Bandiera titled "Contract Duration and Investment Incentives: Evidence from Land Tenancy Agreements" has been published in Journal of the European Economic Association, September 2007. The paper analyses the empirical determinants of contract length, a key and yet neglected dimension of contractual structure. The author estimates contract length and contract type jointly using original data on tenancy agreements signed between 1870 and 1880 in the district of Siracusa, Italy. The findings indicate that the choice of contract length is driven by the need to provide incentives for non observable investment, taking into account transaction costs and imperfections in the credit markets that make incentive provision costly. The results also illustrate that since both length and the compensation scheme are used to provide incentives within the same contract, joint analysis is important for a correct interpretation of the evidence.


News Posted: 19 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Timothy Besley (joint with Ian Preston): 'Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence', Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 122:4, November 2007

A paper by Timothy Besley (joint with Ian Preston) titled ''Electoral Bias and Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence'' is forthcoming in Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 122:4 (November 2007).
News Posted: 18 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Oriana Bandiera (joint with Iwan Barankay and Imran Rasul): 'Incentives for Managers and Inequality Among Workers: Evidence from a Firm-Level Experiment' Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol 122:2, May 2007

A paper by Oriana Bandiera (joint with Iwan Barankay and Imran Rasul), "Incentives for Managers and Inequality Among Workers; Evidence from a Firm-Level Experiment " has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol.122, no.2, May 2007.

Abstract: The authors present evidence from a firm level experiment in which they engineered an exogenous change in managerial compensation from fixed wages to performance pay based on the average productivity of lower-tier workers. They find that the introduction of managerial performance pay raises both the mean and dispersion of worker productivity. Analysis of individual level productivity data shows that managers target their effort towards high ability workers, and the least able workers are less likely to be selected into employment.


News Posted: 18 June 2007      [Back to the Top]

STICERD Conference
In Honour of Peter M. Robinson's 60th Birthday

Friday 25th May to Saturday 26th May 2006.

Michio Morishima Room (R505) 5th Floor,
LSE Research Laboratory,
London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

If you would like to attend, contact Javier Hidalgo

Download the Programme in Adobe PDF pdf

Peter Robinson was born in England in 1947. In 1968 he received his degree in Statistics at University College London, and he completed the M.Sc. in this discipline at the London School of Economics, where he served as Lecturer in 1970. In this same discipline he obtained his PhD at the Australian National University in 1973 under the supervision of Prof. Edward Hannan. After working at the universities of Harvard, British Columbia and Surrey, he returned to the London School of Economics in 1984, where he currently occupies the Tooke Chair in Economic Science and Statistics, the highest scientific distinction of this institution. The London School of Economics has lead for decades the implementation of Statistics in Social Sciences, particularly Economics, developing probabilistic models able to explain economic agents behaviour with the help of Economic Theory; that is, Econometrics. Professor Robinson has contributed significantly to the impressive advance of this discipline in the last decades, for which he has been awarded the titles of Fellow of the British Academy, the Econometric Society and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
News Posted: 25 May 2007      [Back to the Top]

Call for Papers
Lionel Robbins's Essay On The Nature and Significance Of Economic Science - 75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lionel Robbins's Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science.

The Department of Economics at LSE and the editors of Economica have decided to mark this anniversary by a conference and a special issue of the journal. The purpose of this conference is both to renew the considerations of Robbins's theme and reflect on the current nature and significance of economic science as well as examine Robbins's own position from a historical perspective.

Paper Submissions/Further Information:

The conference will take place at LSE on the 10 & 11 December 2007.

Authors who wish to present a paper should send an abstract (no more than 300 words) be E-mail to: ec.robbins.conference@lse.ac.uk by 31st July 2007.


Amos Witztum and Frank Cowell
Conference organizers
News Posted: 18 May 2007      [Back to the Top]

Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak (joint with Abhijit Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Kaushik Basu, Mrinal Datta-Chaudhuri, Ashok Guha, Mukul Majumdar, Dilip Mookherjee, and Debraj Ray): ''Beyond Nandigram: Industrialization in West Bengal''

Following the much-publicised peasant unrest over land acquisition for an automobile factory in Nandigram, a village in West Bengal, India, and subsequent police firings that resulted in loss of many lives, Maitreesh Ghatak and his co-authors have published an article entitled "Beyond Nandigram: Industrialization in West Bengal" in Economic and Political Weekly, where they claim that if one is to learn the right lessons from the tragedy of Nandigram, then it must be ensured that the government is involved in the land acquisition process and that one correctly deals with three sets of issues: the size and form of compensation, the eligibility for compensation and the credibility of the process.

News Posted: 28 April 2007      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch
Jigsaw cities: Big Places, Small Spaces

Jigsaw cities: Big places, small spaces

14 March 2007

by Anne Power and John Houghton

This new book explores Britain's intensely urban and increasingly global communities as interlocking pieces of a complex jigsaw; they are hard to see apart yet they are deeply unequal. How did our major cities become so divided? How do they respond to housing and neighbourhood decay?

Jigsaw Cities examines these issues using Birmingham, Britain's second largest city, as a model of pioneering urban order and as a victim of brutal Modernist planning.

Through a close look at major British cities, using Birmingham as a case study, the book explores:
  • the origins of Britain's acute urban decline and sprawling exodus;
  • the reasons why "one size doesn't fit all" in cities of the future;
  • the potential for smart growth, mixed communities and sustainable cities.
Based on live examples and hands-on experience, this extremely accessible book offers a unique 'insider' perspective on policy making and practical impacts. It will attract policymakers in cities and government as well as students, regeneration bodies, community organisations and environmental specialists.

Anne Power is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Sustainable Development Commissioner responsible for regeneration and sustainable communities; member of the Government's Urban Task Force; author of books on cities, communities and marginal housing areas in the UK and abroad.

John Houghton was head of the Communities Division at the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit; a visiting research associate at CASE; and currently a Harkness scholar at the University of Minnesota. John Houghton worked as Anne Power's assistant during 2002-03 while Anne was Chair of the Independent Commission on the Future of Housing in Birmingham.

Read more at the Policy Press and download free sample chapters in Adobe PDF.
News Posted: 14 March 2007      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
Ends and Means: The future roles of social housing in England

Launch of a report on the assessment of the aims of social housing on 20 February 2007:

Ends and Means: The future roles of social housing in England by John Hills

This report was commissioned to help the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government "stand back and ask what role social housing can play in 21st Century housing policy". Its aim is to provide the background and analytical framework against which the implications of different answers to such a fundamental question can be debated both inside and outside government. Amongst other issues the report covers key questions raised by the terms of reference, in particular:
  • What can social housing do in helping create genuinely mixed communities?

  • Can the way we run it encourage social mobility and opportunities, including in the labour market, for people to get on in their lives?

  • Can social housing and other support be more responsive to changing needs and enable greater geographical mobility?
The report looks at the possible trade-offs between these and other objectives - but also, more encouragingly, at the ways in which achieving some of them may reinforce each other. The report assesses different objectives and implications for the direction of travel on reform, rather than making detailed policy recommendations. As will become evident from the evidence presented here and the conclusions which they lead to, there are important issues, affecting a crucial part of the lives of nearly four million households in England and the use of assets worth more than £400 billion, that require urgent debate. Specific policy responses would require careful design and consultation. This report is designed to contribute to the beginning of such a process, rather than be the conclusion of it.

The full report (CASEreport 34) and a summary are available to download free from the website:
News Posted: 20 February 2007      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Andrea Prat (joint with Cremer and Luis Garicano): ''Language and Theory of the Firm'', Quarterly Journal of Economics 122(1): 373-407, February 2007

A paper by Andrea Prat (joint with Jacques Cremer and Luis Garicano) titled "Language and Theory of the Firm" has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics 122(1): 373-407, February 2007. The authors characterize efficient technical languages and study their interaction with the scope and structure of organizations. Efficient languages use precise words for frequent events and vague words for unusual ones. A broader organizational scope allows for more synergies to be captured, but reduces within-unit efficiency, since it requires a more generic language. A manager working as specialized translator may also be used to achieve between-unit coordination while maintaining separate languages. Their theory reconciles two recent well-documented phenomena within organizations: the recent increase in information centralization and the reduction in hierarchical centralization.
News Posted: 01 February 2007      [Back to the Top]

EOPP: Research Grant Awarded
Oriana Bandiera

Economic and Social Research Council Research Grant.

Grant awarded from 2007 to 2008
News Posted: 01 January 2007      [Back to the Top]

EOPP: Research Grant Awarded
Oriana Bandiera, Timothy Besley, Robin Burgess and Maitreesh Ghatak (with Paul Collier and Stefan Dercon)

Department for International Development: "Institutions, Growth and Poverty"

Grant awarded from 2007 to 2011
News Posted: 01 January 2007      [Back to the Top]

EOPP: Research Grant Awarded
Robin Burgess

Economic and Social Research Council: "Infrastructure and Development: Evidence from India and East Africa"

Grant awarded from 2007 to 2010


News Posted: 01 January 2007      [Back to the Top]