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Deciding our Future in Copenhagen: will the world rise to the challenge of climate change?
Professor Lord Stern

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Public Lecture

Date: Tuesday 1 December 2009

Nick Stern is IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE and chairman of LSE's new Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. He also directs the Asia Research Centre and the India Observatory at LSE.

This public lecture launches two reports by Lord Stern ahead of a major speech at the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen in December 2009.

News Posted: 01 December 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Tim Besley: State Capacity, Conflict and Development

A paper by Tim Besley entitled "State Capacity, Conflict and Development"(joint with Torsten Persson) will be published in Econometrica.

In this paper, the authors point out that the absence of state capacities to raise revenue and to support markets is a key factor in explaining the persistence of weak states. They report on an on-going project to investigate the incentive to invest in such capacities. The paper sets out a simple analytical structure in which state capacities are modelled as forward looking investments by government. The approach highlights some determinants of state building including the risk of external or internal conflict, the degree of political instability, and dependence on natural resources. Throughout, the authors link these state capacity investments to patterns of development and growth.


News Posted: 30 November 2009      [Back to the Top]

Department of Economics Public Debate - Monday 30 November 2009
The Global Economics Crisis: One Year In

Department of Economics Public Debate

Date: Monday 30 November 2009
Time: 6.30-8.00pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: Professor Tim Besley, Professor Willem Buiter, Professor Charles Goodhart, Professor Chris Pissarides

Where does the global economy now stand one year in to the global crisis? What is the impact of the range of policy actions that governments have undertaken?

There is an unmissable opportunity to hear some of the leading Economics professors at the LSE debate the global economic crisis next Monday evening in the Old Theatre. Professors Tim Besley, Willem Buiter and Charles Goodhart will be discussing where the global economy stands one year in to the global crisis, and what has been the impact of the range of policy actions that governments have undertaken. Chairing the debate will be Professor Lord Layard, who will open the debate to questions from the floor after all parties have expressed their views.

The debate will start at 6.30pm sharp; please ensure you are in your seats by 6.15pm at the latest. The event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Any queries, email events@lse.ac.uk or phone 020 7955 6043.


News Posted: 26 November 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: The Financial Express
Buying Land and Selling Kidneys

In two articles for the Financial Express Maitreesh Ghatak, looks at the legal and ethical limits of economic transactions by analysing the trade in human organs and finding parallels in coercive land acquisition.

Read the articles:
Buying land and selling kidneys, published Nov 09, 2009
Why would you sell your heart?, published Nov 16, 2009


News Posted: 16 November 2009      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Event
The Great British Refurb Workshop

40% energy reduction in homes and communities by 2020 -
Can we do it?

Date: Tuesday 8th December 2009
Location: The Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE
Cost: £75 with reductions for second and subsequent delegates from the same organisation. Reductions available for those unable to pay the full registration fee.
Contact: Nicola Serle. Email: n.serle@lse.ac.uk. Tel: 020 7955 6684

Summary:

The UK government has announced an ambitious programme to upgrade all our existing stock of 25 million homes by 2030, cutting at least 60% off our energy bills. This would involve upgrading 25,000 homes a week! Yet we are very far from putting in place either the advice, the funding or the technical support that is needed to householders to achieve this.

At the same time, the UN Copenhagen Summit looms and the UK Government has committed itself to cutting energy in the immediate future, 20% by 2020, and by more if other countries sign up. We know that energy saving in buildings will get us 50% of the way towards our target, and we know that energy saving in buildings is straightforward if only people know how.

These are the challenging topics we will be debating on the 8th December with leading government representatives, German experts, funding bodies and active practitioners. The workshop is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, the World Wildlife Fund, the Existing homes Alliance, the Higher Education Innovation Fund 4 and the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion.
For further information please contact Nicola Serle at LSE by email n.serle@lse.ac.uk or by calling 020 7955 6330.


News Posted: 11 November 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak


News Posted: 09 November 2009      [Back to the Top]

Video - Professor Janet Hunter
Measuring the economic impact of a natural disaster

On 1 September 1923, an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale struck the main Japanese island of Honshu. What wasn't immediately destroyed in the 4 - 10 minutes during which the ground shook was consumed by fires which swept through the largely wooden buildings of Tokyo and the port city of Yokohama - Japan's central import hub.

In this short film Professor Janet Hunter, of the Department of Economic History, looks at how the Japanese economy reacted to this disaster. Despite the massive devastation and loss of life - as many as 140,000 died - one extraordinary feature is how quickly the Japanese economy recovered. Within two to three years, most of the large-scale indicators such as gross domestic product, had reverted to trend. Indeed by 1926 it was, in many respects, as if the earthquake had never occurred.

According to Professor Hunter's research, patterns are emerging that permit insights into the psychology of markets. These suggest that even short-term profit-seeking, although seemingly callous and opportunistic, ultimately plays a vital role in assuring swift recovery.

View the Video: Measuring the economic impact of a natural disaster

Video Length: 8 minutes 44 seconds.


News Posted: 27 October 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
The Lionel Robbins's Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science - 75th Anniversary Conference Proceedings

The Lionel Robbins's Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science - 75th Anniversary Conference Proceedings have now been published. You may download the publication in Adobe PDF format.

The conference aimed to renew the considerations of Robbins's theme, to reflect on the current nature and significance of economic science and examine Robbins's own position from a historical perspective.

You may also view the presentations and papers on the conference website
News Posted: 27 October 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak

Maitreesh Ghatak, joint with Sanjay Banerji (Essex), analyses the issues of land transfer from agriculture to industry in the context of industrialization in West Bengal, India in this Financial Express piece entitled "No Way Out of This Plot", published on Sep 30, 2009.

To read the full article, click here.


News Posted: 05 October 2009      [Back to the Top]

STICERD Special Events
Green Growth - Professor Lord Stern

Over the next few years, we have a real chance to set a path towards a low-carbon future. It is the only realistic future for growth and for overcoming world poverty. The global economic downturn is an opportunity to invest in green technology while costs are lower.

Nick Stern is IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE and chairman of LSE's new Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

This event took place at the LSE on 24 September 2009.

A podcast (mp3) of this event is available to listen or download.

A videocast is also available of this event.


News Posted: 24 September 2009      [Back to the Top]

STICERD Special Event
The Political Economy of Development - Professor Tim Besley

It is widely recognised that the interplay of political and economic forces has a major bearing on the path of development. How do the developments in the recent political economy literature bear on the practical problems that some countries face in achieving sustainable development paths? Tim Besley is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics, and served on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee from September 2006 until August 2009.

This event took place at the LSE on 23 September 2009.

A podcast (mp3) of this event is available to listen or download.

A videocast is also available of this event.


News Posted: 23 September 2009      [Back to the Top]

LSE Teaching Excellence Award
Justin Kueh

Congratulations to Justin Kueh who received the LSE Teaching Excellence Award in June this year for Microeconomic Principles II (EC202)! Justin won another top prize, with nomination as the best class teacher students had ever encountered, partly for his gifts of explanation and intuition in this mathematically rigorous course partly for his evident dedication and contagious enthusiasm for the material. ("He extends the class material by relating it to current research" and "he makes me work hard for the subject because he is very motivating").

For more information, click here.


News Posted: 17 September 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak - Small is smart

Maitreesh Ghatak analyses the effectiveness of microfinance in this article "Small is Smart" published in the Financial Express, August 24, 2009. He argues that while microfinance is no magic bullet for solving all the problems of poverty, it does relax credit constraints faced by the poor.
News Posted: 24 August 2009      [Back to the Top]

Journal Editorship
Maitreesh Ghatak

Maitreesh Ghatak will be taking up the position of Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Development Economics starting October 1, 2009.
News Posted: 27 July 2009      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
Soup Runs in Central London: The right help in the right place at the right time?

This report - written by Laura Lane and Anne Power of LSE Housing and CASE - aims to provide an independent and objective perspective on soup runs in the London Borough of Westminster. A broad understanding of soup run has been used throughout - to include any mobile food distribution service operating primarily to serve the homeless within the borough.

The issue of soup runs in Westminster has become a contentious and controversial issue with strong advocates both for and against their operation. For some, soup runs are a valuable, life-saving resource that help to feed and support rough sleepers and other vulnerable people. For others, soup runs represent an outdated, poorly targeted and uncoordinated service that supports and sustains damaging street lifestyles. We wanted to find out whether and how soup runs in Westminster fitted into the commitment of the Government to provide 'the right help, in the right place at the right time'.

Soup runs in Central London:'The right help in the right place at the right time?' By Laura Lane and Anne Power, July 2009.

Read the executive report (in Adobe PDF)

Read the full report (in Adobe PDF)

News Posted: 10 July 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications:
Gerard Padró i Miquel

A paper by Gerard Padró i Miquel entitled "Defensive Weapons and Defensive Alliances" (joint with Sylvain Chassang) has been published in the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings in May 2009. The paper provides a careful formal analysis of how the unilateral acquisition of defensive weapons may affect the sustainability of peace.

News Posted: 29 June 2009      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
Growing up in Social Housing in Britain: A profile of four generations 1946 to the present day

Ruth Lupton, Rebecca Tunstall, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, Polina Obolenskaya, Ricardo Sabates, Elena Meschi, Dylan Kneale and Emma Salter

The future role of social housing, and its contribution to life chances is currently the subject of much debate.  This new report, produced for the Tenant Services Authority, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Scottish Government, draws on four British birth cohort studies to provide a rich historical context for current policy proposals.
It describes social housing’s changing role for four generations of families since the second world war and explores the relationship between childhood housing tenure, family circumstances and later adult outcomes across five domains of life: health, well-being, education, employment and income.

The report was produced jointly by academics at CASE and the Institute of Education and launched on 18th June 2009 at the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference.

Link to the report.


News Posted: 24 June 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Anger in the Wake of Aila

Maitreesh Ghatak's latest article in Financial Express is on the role of media in democracy.
News Posted: 18 June 2009      [Back to the Top]

International Growth Centre
Oriana Bandiera

Oriana Bandiera has been appointed Co-Director, along with Raj Chetty (Berkeley) of the State Capabilities research programme at the International Growth Centre since April 2009.
News Posted: 02 June 2009      [Back to the Top]

EOPP Conference
Microfoundations of Development Workshop: May 29 - 30, 2009

Maitreesh Ghatak is organizing the "Microfoundations of Development Workshop" on May 29 - 30, 2009 at LSE. The venue of the conference is:

R505, 5th Floor
Lionel Robbins Building, LSE
10 Portugal Street, WC2A 2AE.

The programme committee consists of Maitreesh Ghatak, Tim Besley, Greg Fischer and Gerard Padro i Miguel.

Coordinator: Miriam Sinn (email: M.J.Sinn@lse.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0)20 7852 3536).

For more details, click here.


News Posted: 27 May 2009      [Back to the Top]

Journal Editorship
Maitreesh Ghatak

Starting January 2009, Maitreesh Ghatak has taken up the associate editorship of the Journal of Comparative Economics.
News Posted: 27 May 2009      [Back to the Top]

Best Paper Award
Nathan Foley-Fisher

Nathan Foley-Fisher was awarded the "Best Paper in International Finance" award at the RIEF IX Doctoral Meeting in Aix-en-Provence, France for his paper on "The HIPC Initiative and Terms of Trade Shocks".

For more details click here.


News Posted: 12 May 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Oriana Bandiera: Social Incentives in the Workplace

A paper by Oriana Bandiera entitled "Social Incentives in the Workplace" (joint with Iwan Barankay and Imran Rasul) is forthcoming in Review of Economic Studies.

In this paper, the authors present evidence on social incentives in the workplace, namely on whether workers’ behavior is affected by the presence of those they are socially tied to, even in settings where there are no externalities among workers due to either the production technology or the compensation scheme in place. To do so the authors combine data on individual worker productivity from a firm’s personnel records with information on each worker’s social network of friends in the firm. They find that compared to when she has no social ties with her co-workers, a given worker’s productivity is significantly higher when she works alongside friends who are more able than her, and significantly lower when she works with friends who are less able than her. As workers are paid piece rates based on individual productivity, social incentives can be quantified in monetary terms and are such that — (i) workers who are more able than their friends are willing to exert less effort and forgo 10% of their earnings; (ii) workers who have at least one friend who is more able than themselves are willing to increase their effort and hence productivity by 10%. The distribution of worker ability is such that the net effect of social incentives on the firm’s aggregate performance is positive. The results suggest that firms can exploit social incentives as an alternative to monetary incentives to motivate workers.

For more details, click here.


News Posted: 05 May 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak - Poor Man's Capitalism

Property rights are accepted as central to economic development. But in this article published in the Financial Express on 23 March 2009, Maitreesh Ghatak shows that property reforms alone cannot solve the problems of the poor who do not have any assets at all. He highlights the importance of financial sector reforms to make property rights effective, rather than nominal .

For more details click here


News Posted: 23 March 2009      [Back to the Top]

The Guardian
In a fair state?

New Labour wanted the measure of its success to be whether it had made Britain a more equal society after 10 years in power. With the time up, John Hills, director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, marks its card.

This article appeared in The Guardian on 25th February 2009.

Link to the article

Related Links:
Towards a More Equal Society? Poverty, Inequality and Policy since 1997, edited by John Hills, Tom Sefton and Kitty Stewart, The Policy Press, 2009.
News Posted: 25 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

Conference on Tax Policy Analysis
Henrik Kleven

Henrik Kleven, together with Joel Slemrod (University of Michigan) and Wojciech Kopczuk (Columbia University), is organizing a conference entitled “Tax Policy Analysis Using Large Panel Data Sets of Tax Returns” at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on 13-14 March 2009.

For more details click here.


News Posted: 23 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch
Towards A More Equal Society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997

Edited by John Hills, Tom Sefton and Kitty Stewart.

When New Labour came to power in 1997, its leaders asked for it to be judged after ten years on its success in making Britain "a more equal society". As it approaches the end of an unprecedented third term in office, this book asks whether Britain has indeed moved in that direction.

The highly successful earlier volume A more equal society? was described by Polly Toynbee as "the LSE's mighty judgement on inequality". Now this second volume by the same team of authors provides an independent assessment of the success or otherwise of New Labour's policies over a longer period.

It provides:
  • consideration by a range of expert authors of a broad set of indicators and policy areas affecting poverty, inequality and social exclusion;

  • analysis of developments up to the third term on areas including income inequality, education, employment, health inequalities, neighbourhoods, minority ethnic groups, children and older people;

  • an assessment of outcomes a decade on, asking whether policies stood up to the challenges, and whether successful strategies have been sustained or have run out of steam; chapters on migration, social attitudes, the devolved administrations, the new Equality and Human Rights Commission, and future pressures.
The book is essential reading for academic and student audiences with an interest in contemporary social policy, as well as for all those seeking an objective account of Labour's achievements in power.

Book Launch

A special CASE Social Exclusion Seminar will be held on Wednesday 25th February (16:30 - 18:00) , R505 Michio Morishima Room 5th Floor, LSE Research Laboratory, to launch Towards a More Equal Society? Poverty, Inequality and Policy since 1997 Booking is Essential. Please contact Anna Tamas, Email: a.tamas@lse.ac.uk, Tel: +44(0)20-7955-6562 to reserve a place.

Towards a more equal society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997
Edited by John Hills, Tom Sefton and Kitty Stewart.
Policy Press 2009

Paperback ISBN 9781847422019

Hardback   ISBN 9781847422026

Publication Date : 25 Feb 2009


News Posted: 18 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications:
Tim Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak

"Property Rights and Economic Development" by Tim Besley and Maitreesh Ghatak is forthcoming as one of the chapters in the Volume V of the Handbook of Development Economics edited by Dani Rodrik and Mark Rosenzweig. The chapter develops a unified analytical framework for studying the role of property rights in economic development. It addresses two fundamental and related questions concerning the relationship between property rights and economic activity. (i) What are the mechanisms through which property rights affect economic activity? (ii) What are the determinants of property rights? In answering these, the chapter surveys some of the main empirical and theoretical ideas from the extensive literature on the topic.

News Posted: 13 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

International Growth Centre
Greg Fischer appointed Co-Program Director, Finance Theme

Greg Fischer has been appointed the Co-Program Director of the Finance Theme at the International Growth Centre from January 2009.
News Posted: 11 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers
Maitreesh Ghatak: ''Barefoot Businessmen''

Maitreesh Ghatak, in this article in the Financial Express, looks at detailed poverty studies and demolishes some conventional wisdom. The poor, he shows, are doughty entrepreneurs and small improvement in physical infrastructure and well-designed cash incentives can make dramatic improvements in their quality of life

for further details click here


News Posted: 04 February 2009      [Back to the Top]

RES Annual Conference:
Robin Burgess and Henrik Kleven

Robin Burgess is Programme Chair and Henrik Kleven is Deputy Chair for the Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society 2009, that will be held at the University of Surrey from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd April, 2009.
News Posted: 22 January 2009      [Back to the Top]

Forthcoming Publications
Understanding the Finance of Welfare: What Welfare costs and How to Pay for it. 2nd Edition

Author: Howard Glennerster, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Much has happened to the funding of social policy and the economy since the first edition of this book, especially in pensions and social care. In response, much of the book has been revised and all the figures and tables have been updated.

The second edition of this best-selling textbook begins by reviewing the range of ways in which basic human needs can be met and summarises in an accessible way the economic literature on why markets and even governments can fail in this respect.

The fully revised and updated edition of Understanding the Finance of Welfare
  • describes and assesses in detail the ways in which health care, personal social services, education, housing, pensions and social security are funded in the UK
  • in each case, the book contrasts the UK's position with funding arrangements in other advanced economies
  • is designed to fit the needs of social policy student syllabuses where it has become an essential text
  • is written by the leading and most highly respected academic in the field of social welfare.

Contents

Meeting basic human needs; Market failure and government failure; How to pay for social programmes? The tax constraint; Financing healthcare; Financing social care; Financing education; Financing income security; Financing housing; Rationing scarce resources: managing rising expectations; Do welfare states have a future?

Understanding the Finance of Welfare: What Welfare costs and How to Pay for it. 2nd Edition.
Howard Glennerster
Policy Press 2009

Paperback ISBN 978 1 84742 108 1   £21.99

Hardback   ISBN 978 1 84742 109 8   £65.00

New edition out : 2 Feb 2009


News Posted: 14 January 2009      [Back to the Top]

Call for Papers - STICERD/CORNELL Conference
Inequality: New Directions

Ithaca, New York, USA, on September 12-13, 2009

It is now four decades since the seminal publications of the modern theory of inequality measurement: Serge Kolm's "The Optimal Production of Social Justice", Tony Atkinson's "On the Measurement of Inequality", and Amartya Sen's "On Economic Inequality."

The conference Inequality: New Directions will provide the opportunity to take stock and to look to the challenges and research avenues that lie ahead. It will include contributions from Tony Atkinson, Francois Bourguignon, Udo Ebert, James Foster, Serge Kolm, Patrick Moyes, Amartya Sen, Tony Shorrocks, Joseph Stiglitz and Shlomo Yitzhaki.

The organizers, Frank Cowell (LSE) and Ravi Kanbur (Cornell) now invite submissions of completed papers on new directions in the conceptualization and measurement of inequality. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2009. Decisions on selection will be communicated by April 30, 2009. Conference versions of the selected papers will be expected to be delivered by August 1, 2009.
  • The conference will take place at Cornell University's campus in Ithaca, New York, USA, on September 12-13, 2009.

  • The conference will meet travel costs and provide accommodation for one author per paper selected.

  • Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a leading refereed journal.

  • Papers should be sent to Ravi Kanbur at sk145@cornell.edu

News Posted: 13 January 2009      [Back to the Top]