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News Archive 2011

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LSE Housing Special Event
Families and young people in troubled neighbourhoods

Date: Thursday 1 December 2011
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: LSE campus, venue to be announced to ticketholders
Speakers: Iain Duncan Smith, Professor Jane Waldfogel, Professor Anne Power
Chair: Professor John Hills

The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion tracked 200 families bringing up children in deprived neighbourhoods over ten years. The families told us a lot about their biggest worries and greatest needs. Streets and parks are unsafe; local facilities cost too much; energetic teenagers are not allowed to go further afield for fear of trouble so they often hang out on local streets. The thing families wanted most was for more for young people to do. Joblessness among low-skilled young people is extremely high in East London and other poor areas. Employers lose confidence and look for more highly qualified, more experienced and more privileged recruits, creating a vicious cycle for young people from troubled neighbourhoods. Families strive hard for their children, but young people need support. The riots this summer showed how fragile society’s hold is on community resilience, and how many parents fail to control or contain their young people. Most people brought to trial after the riots came from highly disadvantaged and fragmented urban communities.

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, will talk about the importance of families to society; and explain how we can create better futures for our most disadvantaged children. Education, Sure Start for all ages, crime prevention, job training, outdoor space and youth activities all build community resilience.

Professor Jane Waldfogel from Columbia University, a specialist in family and child poverty; and Professor Anne Power, author of Family Futures, and Head of LSE Housing and Communities will respond.

For a transcript of Iain Duncan Smith's speech, please click here, and for a podcast of the event, please follow this link.

See photos from the event here.


News Posted: 01 December 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publication: The Lesser Evil: Executive Accountability with Partisan Supporters
Gerard Padro i Miguel

Abstract
We develop a model of electoral accountability with primaries. Prior to the general election, the supporters of each of two parties decide which candidates to nominate. We show that supporters suffer from a fundamental tension: while they want politicians who will faithfully implement the party's agenda in office, they need politicians who can win elections. Accountability to supporters fails when supporters fear that by punishing or rewarding their incumbent for her loyalty or lack thereof, they unintendedly increase the electoral prospects of the opposing party. Therefore, accountability decreases with the importance that supporters assign to the elections, and it breaks down in two cases. First, a popular incumbent safely defects as she knows she will be re-nominated. Second, an unpopular incumbent defects because she knows she will be dismissed even if she follows the party line. These behaviors are labeled impunity and damnation respectively, and are illustrated with case studies.

"The Lesser Evil: Executive Accountability with Partisan Supporters" (with Erik Snowberg), forthcoming in Journal of Theoretical Politics.
News Posted: 21 November 2011      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing special event
Cutting Carbon Costs: our big energy battle

Location: London School of Economics

Date: Tuesday 8th November 2011

Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm

Outline:
Our desire for comfort and our drive for economic growth make it increasingly difficult to meet our energy demand without irreversibly damaging our environment.  EU nations (in particular Germany, Scandinavia and Austria) have leapt far ahead of us in renewable energy.  Everyone agrees that without massive energy saving, renewables will not work.  This conference will present path breaking evidence on how to cut energy use in half and make renewables our biggest source of energy, looking at the complex technical problems of saving carbon, particularly in low income neighbourhoods. A full programme is available here

Presentations

Session 1: Cutting Carbon Costs is not as easy as it sounds

  • Anne Power, London School of Economics: Cutting Carbon Costs - learning from Europe here
  • Paul Ekins, UCL: How Germany’s Green Investment Bank opens the door to change: KfW’s revolving reinvestment fund here
  • Christian Stolte, DENA: Germany's ambitious energy saving targets – how are they delivered? here

Session 2: How energy saving works?

  • Paul Ciniglio, Radian: Housing associations lead the field here
  • David Adams, Willmott Dixon: Private building companies seize the chance here
  • Russell Smith, Parity Projects: Closing the skills gap here

Session 3: How can we win the energy battle?  Who pays? Who delivers?

  • Dimitri Zenghelis, LSE and Cisco: Attracting green investment / underpinning green innovation here
  • Paul King, UK Green Building Council: Zero Carbon Britain - no slides

Session 4:  Keynote speech – The Dangers of ‘Wait and See’ – the urgency of climate change

  • Professor Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford), Chair of the Grantham Research Institute - transcript here

Session 5: Achieving the UK’s ambitious targets

  • Phil Wynn Owen, DECC: Making the Green Deal work here
  • Jon Bright, DCLG: Why homes and communities drive the big energy picture here
  • John Hills, LSE: Fuel poverty: The problem and why it matters for climate change policy here

Key questions:

  • Can renewable energy do enough quickly enough?  What are the barriers? 
  • How can we combat fuel poverty?
  • Will the new ‘Green Deal’ work? 
  • Will energy companies really help?
  • Who will foot the bill?
  • Why does retrofitting have a bad name? 
  • Why are renewables more fashionable than insulation?
  • Is there such a thing as ‘magic wallpaper’?
  • Can poor communities gain?

Leading speakers:

  • Professor Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford), Chair of the Grantham Research Institute
  • Professor John Hills, Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion & leading an independent review of fuel poverty measurement for DECC.
  • Mr Christian Stolte, Head of the Energy-Efficient Buildings Division, German Energy Agency (DENA)
  • Jon Bright, Director, Homelessness & Support, Building Standards & Climate Change, DCLG
  • Phil Wynn Owen, Director General, National Climate Change & Consumer Support

Who should attend?

  • Local government officers
  • Housing associations
  • Planners
  • Industry consultants and service suppliers
  • Engineers
  • Environmental organisations
  • Transport groups
  • Trade associations
  • Financial institutions
  • Renewable and other energy companies
  • Community groups trying to tackle the problems of carbon use at a local level

 Reports related to this event:

A new report by Anne Power and Monika Zulauf has been published by The Brookings Institution. Download the full report Cutting Carbon Costs: Learning from Germany's Energy Saving Program in Adobe PDF
and executive summary can be found here

The KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) Experience in the Reduction of Energy Use and in CO2 Emissions from Buildings: Operation, Impacts and Lessons for the UK a report by Mark Schröder, Paul Ekins and Robert Lowe (UCL Energy Institute, University College London) and Anne Power and Monika Zuklauf (LSE Housing and Communities, London School of Economics) and a brief summary is available here

For more information please contact: Nicola Serle tel: 020 7955 6684, email: n.serle@lse.ac.uk
To book online please go to www.eshop.lse.ac.uk or download the booking form


News Posted: 08 November 2011      [Back to the Top]

CASE starts major new work programme on UK poverty and inequality
Social Policy in a Cold Climate

From October 2011, CASE researchers are starting a major new programme of work to report on the impact of the recession, spending changes and the government’s social policy reforms on inequality and poverty in the UK.   The research, entitled Social Policy in a Cold Climate, will cover the period 2007 to 2014, examining the distributional effects of spending increases in the last three years of Labour government and of the recession and the Coalition’s policy reforms and spending cuts.   The work is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London, and will involve a team of researchers including Ruth Lupton, John Hills, Tania Burchardt, Kitty Stewart and Polly VIzard.

For more information, click here


News Posted: 20 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

Independent Fuel Poverty Review interim report launch
Professor John Hills

Professor John Hills published the interim report of his independent review of fuel poverty on 19 October 2011.

The report sets out:

  • that fuel poverty is a serious and distinct problem affecting millions of people in England
  • that measuring fuel poverty accurately matters
  • that the existing definition of fuel poverty has some strengths but some serious weaknesses
  • a new approach to measuring fuel poverty, based on the overlap between low income and unreasonable costs and a fuel poverty gap, shows how badly affected households are.

The report also includes questions for consultation. The consultation period closes on 18 November 2011. Details of how to respond to the consultation are set out in chapter 8 of the report.

The final report of the review will be published in 2012. It will focus on implications for policy-making and delivery.


News Posted: 19 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications: Policy Papers: The Land Acquisition Bill: A Critique and a Proposal
Maitreesh Ghatak

The paper is joint work with Parikshit Ghosh and was published in Economic and Political Weekly of India, October 8, 2011, Vol. XLVI, No 41, it is available here. A shorter version can be accessed here.

Abstract: The 2011 Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill on land acquisition recently tabled in Parliament is well-intentioned but seriously flawed. Its principal defect is that it attaches an arbitrary mark-up to the historical market price to determine compensation amounts. This will guarantee neither
social justice nor the efficient use of resources. The Bill also places unnecessary and severe conditions on land acquisition, such as restrictions on the use of multicropped land and insistence on public purpose, all of which are going to stifle the pace of development without promoting the interests of farmers.

We present an alternative approach that will allow farmers to choose compensation in either land or cash, determine their own price instead of leaving it to the government’s discretion, and also reallocate the remaining farmland in the most efficient manner. Our proposed method involves a land auction covering not only the project site but also the surrounding agricultural land.
News Posted: 14 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

Banco de Portugal - Lisbon Meeting Best Paper Award for
Oliver Vanden Eynde

Oliver Vanden Eynde, PhD student at EOPP has won the "Banco de Portugal - Lisbon Meeting Best Paper Award" for his paper titled "Targets of violence: Evidence from India's Naxalite Conflict".

This work was presented at the "Lisbon Meeting on Institutions and Political Economy". This is Oliver's second award, after winning the "Economic History Society New Researchers' Prize" for his paper "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab" presented at the "2011 Economic History Society Annual Conference".

You can find more about Oliver's research on his personal website.
News Posted: 13 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publication by Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson: Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters
Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson

"Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things." So wrote Adam Smith a quarter of a millennium ago. Using the tools of modern political economics and combining economic theory with a bird's-eye view of the data, this book reinterprets Smith's pillars of prosperity to explain the existence of development clusters--places that tend to combine effective state institutions, the absence of political violence, and high per-capita incomes.

To achieve peace, the authors stress the avoidance of repressive government and civil conflict. Easy taxes, they argue, refers not to low taxes, but a tax system with widespread compliance that collects taxes at a reasonable cost from a broad base, like income. And a tolerable administration of justice is about legal infrastructure that can support the enforcement of contracts and property rights in line with the rule of law. The authors show that countries tend to enjoy all three pillars of prosperity when they have evolved cohesive political institutions that promote common interests, guaranteeing the provision of public goods. In line with much historical research, international conflict has also been an important force behind effective states by fostering common interests. The absence of common interests and/or cohesive political institutions can explain the existence of very different development clusters in fragile states that are plagued by poverty, violence, and weak state capacity.

Please visit book’s website for more information and to download lecture slides and data related to the book.
News Posted: 11 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Tim Besley, Konrad Buchardi, Maitreesh Ghatak

Incentives and the de Soto Effect

The paper is forthcoming in Quarterly Journal of Economics and can be found here.

Abstract: This paper explores the consequences of improving property rights to facilitate the use of fixed assets as collateral, popularly attributed to the influential policy advocate Hernando de Soto. We use an equilibrium model of a credit market with moral hazard to characterize the theoretical effects, and also develop a quantitative analysis using data from Sri Lanka.
We show that the effects are likely to be non-linear and heterogeneous by wealth group. They also depend on the extent of competition between lenders. There can be significant increases in profts and reductions in interest rates when credit markets are competitive. However, since these are due to reductions in moral hazard, i.e. increased effort, the welfare gains tend to be modest when cost of effort is taken into account. Allowing for an extensive margin where borrowers gain access to the credit market, can make these effects larger depending on the underlying wealth distribution.
News Posted: 10 October 2011      [Back to the Top]

4Ps Business and Marketing
Should CEOs Waste time on 'Internal Meetings'?

"Too many Meetings, too much time wasted," is a lament one often hears within top and middle management. Should CEOs even believe in meetings?

After analysing the timetable of 94 European CEOs of major corporations, Prof. Raffaella Sadun of HBS' Strategy unit, in an April 2011 paper titled, What CEOs Do, and How They Can Do it Better, concludes, "The vast majority of a CEO's time, some 85 per cent was spent working with other people through meetings... while only 15 per cent was spent working alone. Of the time spent with others, CEOs spent on average 42 per cent percent with only "insiders"; 25 per cent with insiders and outsiders together; and 16 per cent with only outsiders. Likewise, time spent with insiders was strongly correlated with productivity increases. For every 1 per cent gain in time spent with at least one insider, productivity - for example, profits per employee - advanced 1.23 per cent. Less reassuring, however, was that the time CEOs spent with outsiders had no measurable correlation with firm performance."

For full article go to http://www.4psbusinessandmarketing.com/28072011/editorsdesk.asp?sid=4738&pageno=3

Related Work:

What Do CEOs Do? Oriana Bandiera, Luigi Guiso, Andrea Prat, and Raffaella Sadun , March 2011


News Posted: 28 July 2011      [Back to the Top]

The Wall Street Journal
The Juggle, Worth It to Work Long Hours?

In this age, when the 40-hour work week is increasingly viewed as part-time, many of us are pulling long hours at the office. But at some point, all that time spent in the cube reaches a point of diminishing returns and it's worthwhile just to call it a day and head home.

Determining that point, however, is tough, as Laura Vanderkam writes in a recent piece for Fortune.com. Vanderkam, the author of the helpful time-management book "168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think," examines the academic research on hours worked and actual productivity to try to come up with an answer.

Researchers at Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and other institutions have launched a CEO Time Use Project to determine how a chief executive's time corresponds with a company's performance, defined as revenue per employee and the profitability of the firm. (The project uses time logs kept by CEOs' personal assistants, among other data.)

The study, which so far only has data from a group of Italian CEOs, found a strong correlation between the hours worked and the productivity of the firm; every one percentage point rise in hours worked meant firm productivity rose by 2.14 percentage points, Vanderkam writes.

For full article go to http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/07/13/worth-it-to-work-long-hours/

Related Work:

What Do CEOs Do? Oriana Bandiera, Luigi Guiso, Andrea Prat, and Raffaella Sadun , March 2011
News Posted: 13 July 2011      [Back to the Top]

Applications for STICERD desks
Call for applications (LSE PhD Students ONLY)

STICERD offers a limited number of desks to economics doctoral students, who work in applied microeconomics. We now welcome applications for the year 2011/12 from PhD students and MRes students, who:
  • have already successfully passed their three core courses (Ec441, Ec442, Ec443)

  • are interested in applied microeconomics (theory and/or empirics)
STICERD is a research centre located on the fifth floor of the Lionel Robbins Building. It offers a vibrant research environment and a unique opportunity to interact with other researchers. Each desk includes a PC and the use of STICERD facilities, but there is no associated grant or fee support. More information about STICERD can be found on: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/

Students who are assigned STICERD desks are asked to make a full use of their office space and to take part in the centre's activities, including a weekly work-in-progress seminar series. They may also be asked to help out with other small tasks (up to four hours per week).

If you wish to apply, please email a brief research statement explaining why you are interested in STICERD (no more than half a page) and a CV (including your marks at the LSE). In the CV, please include two primary areas of research interests (e.g., Development Economics and Public Economics). Please email this material to Henrik Kleven (h.j.kleven@lse.ac.uk) , Gerard Padro (g.padro@lse.ac.uk) and Mark Schankerman (m.schankerman@lse.ac.uk), with a copy to Sue Coles (s.coles@lse.ac.uk).

Please send the material to us before Wednesday, 31 August 2011.

When you do this, please let us know about your availability at LSE during the first week of Michaelmas term (Thursday, 29th September - Wednesday, October 5th) when we plan to schedule the interview. In particular, let us know if there is a day of that week when you cannot make it. Based on the feedback we get, we will choose a date for interviewing the prospective candidates.

If we receive a number of applications that is larger than the number of available desks, we will select applicants based on their academic record at the LSE and on how close their research interests are to those of other STICERD members.

Best wishes,

Henrik Kleven
Gerard Padro
Mark Schankerman


News Posted: 07 July 2011      [Back to the Top]

Development Economics - Useful Link
ThRed - Theoretical Research in Development Economics

ThRed is an organization dedicated to research in Development Economics, including empirical work motivated and guided by theory

ThRed supports research which combines theory and empirics, as well as research that is purely empirical but theoretically grounded: research which helps us choose between alternative theories, or stimulates further theoretical research. Our goal is to hold workshops, events, and host working papers and lecture notes, all geared to a methodological focus that is theory-oriented.

ThRed has held several conferences in Development Economics, and plans to organize more. The ThRed website website will post news of conferences, and provide a respository of working papers and lecture notes.

The ThRed website is at http://thred.devecon.org/

For more useful development economics websites and links please see the Useful Links section on the EOPP website.
News Posted: 29 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

Vox - interview with Tim Besley
State Capacity and Development

Tim Besley of the London School of Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the importance of a country's fiscal capacity and legal capacity for its development prospects - and the link to policy debates about 'fragile states'. The interview was recorded in London in June 2011 after a 'blue-sky' conference on development policy-making organised by CAGE, the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the World Economy at the University of Warwick.

Listen to the interview on the Vox website

Download the Podcast (MP3)


News Posted: 24 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing Special Event
Social Impacts and Social Equity Issues in Transport – Workshop Series - Workshop 3: Housing and Sustainable Communities

Date and Time: Tuesday 21st June, 9.30am-4.30pm


Location:

Morishima Conference Room (LRB505), 5th Floor, Lionel Robbins Building, London School of Economics, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD


Programme and Presentations:
This workship is running in collaboration with CASE, LSE Housing and Communities, TSU Oxford, the ESRC and UKTRC:
CASE/LSE Housing/TSU Oxford/ESRC
Outline of Event:

The UK Transport Research Centre is an exciting new initiative to encourage leading social scientists to contribute their expertise to addressing the challenging problems facing the future development of transport and travel in the UK. UKTRC is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is coordinating a programme of research, and a wide range of capacity building, knowledge transfer and engagement activities to facilitate greater dialogue between academics, practitioners, policy makers and the public.

As part of a range of activities which will take place under the UKTRC banner, LSE Housing and Communities based within the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE is running the third seminar of the series on housing and sustainable communities.

The workshop series is led by Dr Karen Lucas (from the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford) and Professor Anne Power (from CASE at the London School of Economics). These workshops will be held every three months and each will focus on a different social issue that relates to the social impacts of transport and mobility that link social and transport policy. Each event will be led by a research institution with particular expertise in one of the areas.

Workshop 3 will explore:
  1. Inequality and the impact on disadvantaged communities of concentrated poverty
  2. Urban research related to poorer communities - international perspective
  3. Transport and accessibility problems as they affect:
    • Employment opportunities
    • Local environments
    • Energy and transport costs
    • Local service quality
  4. Integrating lower income communities into the wider city
    • The role of public transport
    • The role of social space and traffic taming
    • The value of compact cities and density - the balance between mobility, choice and sustainability
If you are interested in finding out more about the workshop series generally, please contact karen.lucas@ouce.ox.ac.uk or go to http://www.tsu.ox.ac.uk/research/uktrcse/
News Posted: 21 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

The Power of Slow (blog)
How Many Work Hours are Enough?

Fortune 500 magazine recently reported on research conducted by Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and others on how much time CEOs spend at work. Entitled CEO Time Use Project, this study is headed by Raffaella Sadun, an Italian academic at Harvard who released the first findings of Italian CEOs in a pool of over 200 from around the world. On average, Italian CEOs work 48 hours a week.

What researchers have found is people themselves tend to stretch the truth about how much time they spend at work, a finding that places John Robinson’s Time Use Survey research into question (the next one is due to be release later this month). While many of his respondentsclaimed to work up to 80 hours, many of them really only worked 60. Even back in 1998, the self-reporting methodology was called into a question.

For full article go to http://powerofslow.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/how-many-work-hours-are-enough/


News Posted: 17 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

Workshop
Economics of Non-Profits, NGOs and Aid Effectiveness

A workshop in Namur

This workshop is organized by G. Aldashev (University of Namur), M. Ghatak (LSE) and T. Verdier (PSE)

For more information and registration please follow the link


News Posted: 15 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

Conference
ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS OF PUBLIC POLICY CONFERENCE

The Conference is being organised by Robin Burgess and Maitreesh Ghatak. It is aimed to bring together a selected group of researchers working on development economics, public economics and political economy, the core areas of the research program EOPP (Economic Organization and Public Policy). We look forward to generating discussions about the emerging research themes and ideas in these fields in the coming years, and to what extent there are important overlaps in the respective research agendas. The occasion is also to celebrate ten years of Tim Besley's tenure as Director of STICERD and also, co-incidentally, his 50th birthday.


News Posted: 13 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

Fortune Management CNN
How many hours should you be working?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells graduates in his usual commencement address that "it never hurts to be the first one in in the morning -- and the last one to leave."

In last year's bestselling book Rework, 37 Signals co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson complain about people who "try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them.... This results in inelegant solutions." Workaholics "aren't heroes," they write. "They don't save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done."

So, what's the magic number?

Bloomberg, Fried and Hansson are all successful people, so who's right? Up until now, there hasn't been too much data surrounding this question, but researchers at Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and other institutions have recently begun an ongoing CEO Time Use Project to figure out exactly how work hours relate to success. Using time logs kept by CEOs' personal assistants, and looking across different cultures, the study asks how CEO time use corresponds with a company's performance.

At this point, data is only available from a group of Italian CEOs of large firms. But according to Harvard's Raffaella Sadun, "we found this very strong correlation between the number of hours spent at work by a CEO and the productivity of the firm" (defined as revenue per employee) "and also the profitability of the firm." Every one percentage point rise in hours worked meant firm productivity rose by 2.14 percentage points.

For full article go to http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/06/how-many-hours-should-you-be-working/

This article was also reprinted in EDUESL.com


News Posted: 06 June 2011      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch - 5th July 2011
Family Futures

Date and Time: Tues 5th July 2011, 6.30-8pm, followed by an informal reception

Location: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London School of Economics, London, WC2A 3LJ
Speakers:

Rt Hon Margaret Hodge Member of Parliament for Barking.

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics.

Dr Katherine Rake Chief Executive, Family and Parenting Institute.

Jane Waldfogel, Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs at Columbia University School of Social Work and a visiting professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics.

David Piachaud, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics (Chair).
Podcast and Presentations:




Outline
Family futures is about family life in areas of concentrated poverty and social problems where surrounding conditions make bringing up children more difficult and family life more fraught and limited. Home and neighbourhood carry special meaning for families, because where they live, how they fit in with their neighbours, and how their children grow up all intertwine, to build a sense of community. This timely book, by acclaimed author Anne Power and her team, is based on a unique longitudinal study of over 200 families interviewed annually over the last decade. It answers three important questions in the words of families themselves:
  • What challenges face families in poor areas?
  • How are the challenges being met?
  • Have government efforts helped or hindered progress over the past decade?
This event will have wide appeal to people who work with, live in and care about families and low-income areas.

Copies of the book can be purchased from Policy Press http://www.policypress.co.uk/

For further information about this event, please contact

News Posted: 26 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing Special Event - 28th June 2011
Breakfast Seminar: Community Assets and the Big Society - who carries the cost?

Date and Time: Tues 28th June 2011, 8.30am-12.00pm


Location:

Morishima Conference Room (LRB505), 5th Floor, Lionel Robbins Building, London School of Economics, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD


Speakers:

David Halpern, Director of the Behavioural Insights Team in the Cabinet Office / No10, & Principal Advisor to the Office of Civil Society.

Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics.

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics

Bert Provan, Former Senior Civil Servant / Visitor in the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion

Michael Pyner, Chief Executive, Shoreditch Trust & Deputy Chair, Locality

Caroline Slocock, Director of Civil Exchange & Advisor to the Early Action Task Force

Neil Stott, Chief Executive, Keystone Development Trust.
Programme and Presentations:
Outline
Many ideas about the 'Big Society' originate from the 19th Century when co-operatives, friendly societies and mutual aid were the survival strategies of the poor, underpinning families and communities in the face of harsh social conditions. In the current policy debates about how to compensate for essential cuts in public spending to reduce the current deficit, the 'Big Society' is supposed to help create stronger communities that can do more to help themselves without first turning to the state for help. In the 'Big Society', communities know how to organise local events and services, they are involved in running local schools, building and managing housing, raising funds for local causes and helping with children, families and young people in need of friendly, caring contact and support. This workshop will examine what mobilises communities to achieve social goals, looking at the critical roles of entrepreneurship, volunteering, co-operation and government.

Key questions:
  • Is there something intrinsically co-operative about communities? Why is the idea of communities so lasting? Why does it recreate itself in so many forms?
  • Why is the idea of profit-sharing activity common across different organisations, cultures, political perspectives and parties? If it is so common, why does it not happen more often?
  • With the current climate change pressures and resource constraints, how can community activity and co-operative forms of organisation build great resilience?.
Who should attend:
  • Community based groups
  • Neighbourhood management organisations
  • Tenant management organisations
  • Groups interested in common ownership and in the development of worker based mutuals and co-operatives
  • Educational establishments
  • Local authorities
  • Housing associations
  • Health groups
  • NGOs
  • Churches and faith organisations
  • Political and other associations
  • Industrial and Provident Societies
  • Anyone interested in how society works and how to make it work better
For further information about this event, please contact

'Community Assets and the Big Society - who carries the cost? ' is sponsored by the LSE HEIF 4 Bid Fund:

HEIF

News Posted: 26 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

Public Lecture
Public Policy, Equity and Growth: a panel discussion

Date: Thursday 19 May 2011

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

Panelists: Professor Peter Diamond, Professor Martin Fieldstein, Professor Sir James Mirrlees Professor Lord Stern

Chair: Professor Tim Besley

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can now be requested.

For more information about the event and to apply for a ticket please go to the event website

This event is part of a celebration of 25 years on from the LSE project on Taxation, Income Distribution and Incentives run in STICERD by Sir Tony Atkinson, Mervyn King and Professor Lord Stern. The panel brings together a distinguished panel of experts to discuss what we have learned in the intervening period about how public policy can best be structured to support equity and growth.

News Posted: 19 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
Cutting Carbon Costs: Learning from Germany's Energy Saving Program

A new report by Anne Power and Monika Zulauf has been published by The Brookings Institution

Download the full report Cutting Carbon Costs: Learning from Germany's Energy Saving Program in Adobe PDF

Download the executive summary here


Summary:

Energy shortages, unpredictable and high energy prices, waste, pollution, and fears of climate change all drive a sense of urgency in the West about reducing its energy dependence on unreliable sources. Europe imports over half its total energy from volatile producers around the globe. While the United States is able to meet somewhat more of its energy demand from domestic sources, its per capita energy consumption level is twice that of Europe's.

  • The cheapest and most cost-effective path to greater energy security is energy saving, and the biggest, most certain place to do that is in our built environment, which in developed Western countries uses half of all energy and generates half of all greenhouse gases. Most of this energy usage is wasted by leaking out through walls, windows, roofs, floors, doors, and through inefficient equipment.

  • All members of the European Union (27 countries) have adopted highly ambitious production targets for renewable energy, and equally ambitious reduction targets for CO2 emissions, down at least 20 percent from 1990 levels.

  • Germany is leading the way in developing "green" technologies and has the most ambitious energy-saving program in Europe, aiming for a 30 percent reduction in energy usage by 2020, and a 30-percent renewable energy share, consisting mainly of biomass, wind, and solar.

  • Germany's energy saving program is based on three pillars:
    • A clear legal framework and tight regulation at the national level, requiring energy efficiency upgrades to buildings and increased use of renewable energy sources among electricity providers;

    • Strong financial incentives through subsidies and loans to reduce energy consumption in the built environment at all levels of government (at the national level, these are provided via a public investment bank sponsored by the German government); and

    • Information, promotion, and behavior change, working through regional and local bodies, developing enforceable standards through Energy Performance Certificates, and supporting model projects all over Germany.


  • Since 2006, Germany has created nearly half a million new jobs in renewable energy, and over four years, around nearly 900,000 jobs in retrofitting homes and public buildings, such as schools. Green investment, new green technology development, and renewable energy exports are all major growth areas in Europe's strongest economy. By having taken these steps, Germany remains on track to meet aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020 and 2050.

  • Germany's experience - its successes and lessons learned - provide a solid evidence base from which nations like the United States can "leapfrog" Europe, and tackle even more pressing energy and climate change demands through deliberate public and private action.

Download the full report Cutting Carbon Costs: Learning from Germany's Energy Saving Program in Adobe PDF

Download the executive summary here


News Posted: 13 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

The Economist
What do bosses do all day?

This article is available at http://www.economist.com/node/18651811
News Posted: 05 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
The KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) Experience in the Reduction of Energy Use and In CO2 Emissions from Buildings: Operation, Impacts and Lessons for the UK


Mark Schröder, Paul Ekins and Robert Lowe (UCL Energy Institute, University College London) and Anne Power and Monika Zuklauf (LSE Housing and Communities, London School of Economics)

The widespread devastation of the German housing stock at the end of the Second World War resulted in the creation, as part of the Marshall Plan, of a remarkable bank: the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The bank proved a most effective vehicle for lending, recovering and re-lending Marshall Plan funds for the reconstruction of German infrastructure and buildings. In subsequent decades the bank expanded and diversified its activities.

The UK has a number of new policy initiatives related to the improvement of home energy efficiency, including the Green Deal, Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and, less directly, the Green Investment Bank. While the particular history and experiences of KfW mean that its approaches to home energy efficiency could not be transferred directly to the UK, nevertheless a comparison between conditions in the two countries shows that there are a number of important lessons from the activities of KfW that are relevant to what the UK is hoping to achieve.

The Green Deal, Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Investment Bank are all welcome new policies in the right direction. But on the basis of the KfW experience, they do not go far enough on any of the key dimensions: the regulatory framework, the level of the financial incentive or the clarity of the message about integrating home energy efficiency and micro-generation using renewables for both electricity and heat. More will need to be done. In considering this, much can be learnt from what the KfW bank has achieved, how it has achieved it, and the overall policy framework that has supported these achievements.

The full report can be downloaded in Adobe pdf, and a brief summary is available here


News Posted: 01 May 2011      [Back to the Top]

Report Launch
CASEreport 66: Obstacles and Opportunities

Obstacles and Opportunities is a short report based on what 200 parents told us over a ten year period of visiting them in their homes in low-income urban areas. We have produced three books based on this research: EastEnders: Family and Community in Urban Neighbourhoods; City Survivors: Bringing Up Children in Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods; and Family Futures: Childhood and poverty in urban areas (to be published by Policy Press in July 2011). The research that went into the three books informs this report but here we pull together a unique body of evidence and quotations. The particular focus of this report is on the opportunities and obstacles facing children and young people growing up in disadvantaged areas and the struggles of parents to overcome these barriers and build a better future for their families. We hope that this report will underline the sense of urgency about providing more, not less, for children and young people in disadvantaged areas. For these areas are still remarkably different from the average and the future of our society hinges on them becoming more equal and more integrated.

The report is written by Anne Power, Nicola Serle, and Helen Willmot and is now available to download in Adobe PDF format.
News Posted: 11 April 2011      [Back to the Top]

BNET Leadership / The View from Harvard Business
Are CEOs More Effective as 'Mr. Inside' or 'Mr. Outside'.

Using time diaries, a research team followed the activities of 94 CEOs in Italy over a week's time. They wanted to see not only how executives spent their time - a precious commodity, after all - but also to determine when they were most effective.

Here are some highlights from the paper, What Do CEOs Do, written by Raffaella Sadun of Harvard Business School, Luigi Guiso of the European University Institute, and Oriana Bandiera and Andrea Prat of the London School of Economics.

The more hours that the CEO worked with at least one insider, the more productive he was. The stronger the company’s governance, the likelier it was that the CEO spent more time with insiders. Time spent with insiders correlated with profits while time spent with outsiders did not. In sum, the team learned that CEOs who spent more time with employees inside the company were more successful than those who met with customers and other stakeholders outside the company.

This article is available at http://www.bnet.com/blog/harvard/are-ceos-more-effective-as-mr-inside-or-mr-outside/10948
News Posted: 05 April 2011      [Back to the Top]

The Globe and Mail
The Manager, Focus on questions: Spend time with staff for your firm

If you know how much time your CEO spends with people outside your company and how much with people inside the firm, you may gain a good idea of how effective he or she is. Four academics - Oriana Bandiera and Andreat Prat of London School of Economics; Luigi Guiso of the European University Institute; and Raffaella Sadun of Harvard University - followed 94 CEOs of top Italian companies, focusing on the time spent with employees and outsiders. They found that time spent only with outsiders is not correlated with company performance, while time spent with insiders is. They suggest that time spent with outsiders is on average less beneficial to a company, and more beneficial to the CEO's own interests. Harvard Business School Working Papers

This article is available at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/managing/morning-manager/focus-on-questions/article1969490/
News Posted: 04 April 2011      [Back to the Top]

2011 Carlo Alberto Medal
Oriana Bandiera wins the 2011 Carlo Alberto Medal

The members of the selection committee (Orazio Attanasio, Maristella Botticini, Luigi Guiso, Christopher Pissarides, Thomas Sargent, Guido Tabellini and Fabrizio Zilibotti) have announced that Professor Oriana Bandiera has been awarded the 2011 Carlo Alberto Medal, given to an outstanding Italian economist under 40. Details are at http://www.carloalberto.org/2011_winner.html.


News Posted: 04 April 2011      [Back to the Top]

BNET Life at Work / Leadership Lab
Study: How CEOs Really Spend their Time

Does your CEO seem to spend a lot of time meeting with people you've never heard of? And should it matter to you?

Given how much CEOs are paid, how your CEO spends his or her time should have some impact on how profitable or productive his or her company is. But at companies with weak governance, nobody's really keeping an eye on the CEO, and it seems the CEO knows it.

According to research from four professors-Oriana Bandiera and Andrea Prat, of the London School of Economics, Luigi Guiso of European University Institute, and Raffaella Sadun, of Harvard University at those companies, CEOs spend much more time on activities that are personally beneficial to them and less time on activities that help their companies thrive...

For full article go to http://www.bnet.com/blog/business-research/study-how-ceos-really-spend-their-time/1123


News Posted: 18 March 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Maitreesh Ghatak: Implementing Health Insurance for the Poor: The Rollout of RSBY in Karnataka


This paper joint with D. Rajasekhar, Erlend Berg, R. Manjula, and Sanchari Roy is forthcoming in the Economic and Political Weekly of India

Abstract:

The National Health Insurance Scheme (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, RSBY) aims to improve poor people’s access to quality health care in India. This paper looks at the implementation of the scheme in Karnataka, drawing on a large survey of eligible households and interviews with empanelled hospitals in the state. Six months after initiation, an impressive 85% of eligible households in the sample were aware of the scheme, and 68% had been enrolled. However, the scheme was hardly operational and utilisation was virtually zero. A large proportion of beneficiaries were yet to receive their cards, and many did not know how and where to obtain treatment under the scheme. Moreover, hospitals were not ready to treat RSBY patients. Surveyed hospitals complained of a lack of training and delays in the reimbursement of their expenses. Many were refusing to treat patients under the scheme until the issues were resolved, and others were asking cardholders to pay cash. As is typical for the implementation of a government scheme, many of the problems discussed can be related to a misalignment of incentives.


Link to article.
News Posted: 10 March 2011      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities, and the National Communities Resource Centre Special Event
Obstacles and Opportunities: Today's Children; Tomorrow's Families - 30 March 2011

Date and Time: Wednesday 30th March 2011


Location: National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, Chester

Trafford Hall Website: www.traffordhall.com


This event is sponsored by the LSE HEIF 4 Bid Fund, and CASE
CASE/HEIF
Programme:
Report
Obstacles and Opportunities is a short report based on what 200 parents told us over a ten year period of visiting them in their homes in low-income urban areas.

The report is written by Anne Power, Nicola Serle, and Helen Willmot and is now available to download in Adobe PDF format.
Summary of the event:
How do disadvantaged families overcome educational handicaps and uncover opportunities for their children to progress? This workshop will mark the launch of a new report from LSE Housing and Communities: Obstacles and Opportunities which discusses changing neighbourhood conditions, community and family life, educational hurdles and children's needs. In this workshop we want to explore key findings on social capital, children's services and crime prevention; and we would love you to join us for this challenging event. Children's and young people's experiences of school, training and work reveal what helps and where the gaps are. The workshop will include sessions on:
  • schools and education;
  • physical and mental wellbeing;
  • children's services and supports, particularly early years and families;
  • youth, crime and anti-social behaviour linked to play, open space and leisure;
  • work, training opportunities and poverty;
  • social capital and community volunteering.
We will discuss the way cutbacks will affect disadvantaged communities and what can be done to close the gaps in society that are widening.

The National Communities Resource Centre provides training and support to thousands of residents and frontline organisations in low-income communities across the country to develop 'know-how', confidence and practical ideas for positive action within their local communities. It is the ideal base for our workshop because of its long-run Family Learning and Playing 2 learn programmes. Our workshops at Trafford Hall attract a wide range of policy and practice leaders, alongside community representatives, which bring together real expertise and experience.

Who should attend:
  • neighbourhood management organisations
  • local authorities
  • housing associations
  • schools and education professionals
  • faith groups
  • humanities researchers
  • social scientists
  • government officials
  • think tanks
  • community groups and residents
  • social workers
  • other local organisations / individuals working with families, children and young people in low-income areas
For further information about this event, please contact

News Posted: 09 March 2011      [Back to the Top]

Recent Publications
Johannes Spinnewijn: Capital Income Taxes with Heterogeneous Discount Rates (with Peter Diamond)


This paper is forthcoming in AEJ: Economic Policy

Abstract:

With heterogeneity in both skills and discount factors, the Atkinson-Stiglitz theorem that savings should not be taxed does not hold. In a model with heterogeneity of preferences at each earnings level, introducing a savings tax on high earners or a savings subsidy on low earners increases welfare, regardless of the correlation between ability and discount factor. Extending Saez (2002), a uniform savings tax increases welfare if that correlation is sufficiently high. Key for the results is that types who value future consumption less are more tempted by a lower paid job. Some optimal tax results and empirical evidence are presented.


Link to article.
News Posted: 18 February 2011      [Back to the Top]

IGC-STICERD-DESTIN Development Lecture
Creating Pathways for the Poorest: Linking safety nets, livelihoods and access to finance

Professor Syed M. Hashemi
Director, BRAC Development Institute Monday, January 24, 1-2pm
STICERD Conference Room (R505)
5th Floor, LSE RLab, Lionel Robbins Building, Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD

Map to venue

Presentation (in Adobe PDF)

About the topic

Trickle Up Graduation Pilot
West Bengal, India People at the very bottom of the economic ladder are often excluded, or exclude themselves, from microfinance. Their income is usually too low and unreliable to permit repayment of loans or investment in anything but basic food consumption. In some countries the very poor are served by safety net programs, which usually take the form of cash transfers, food aid, or guaranteed employment schemes.
Starting in 2006, CGAP and the Ford Foundation have been exploring how a 'graduation model' can create pathways out of extreme poverty, adapting a methodology developed by BRAC in Bangladesh.

The graduation model targets the 'ultra poor'- people who have no assets and are chronically food insecure. Safety nets usually help these very poor people survive but don’t allow them to build up assets. The graduation program combines support for immediate needs with longer term investments in training, financial services, and business development so that within two years ultra poor people are equipped to help themselves move out of extreme poverty. The term 'graduation' refers to participants moving out of safety net programs and 'graduating' into income-earning activities that let them sustain themselves without external subsidies. The graduation approach was originally developed by BRAC in Bangladesh. Over the past five years BRAC’s Specially Targeting the Ultra-Poor program has reached 800,000 households- over 70 percent of them are currently food secure and managing sustainable economic activities.

Since, 2006 CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program is helping to implement ten Graduation Pilots in partnership with local organizations in Haiti, India, Pakistan, Honduras, Peru, Ethiopia, Yemen and Ghana. The ten pilots involve diverse institutional forms, economic contexts, and cultures. Several of the pilots are measuring the program's effects on people's lives through rigorous randomized impact evaluations and qualitative research. This presentation will provide an overview of the graduation model and the pilot implementation.

About the speaker

Syed M. Hashemi has recently moved to Bangladesh to set up the BRAC Development Institute. The Institute seeks to create south-south partnerships to develop practical solutions for the poor for economic transformations, gender equity and social accountability. Prior to joining the Institute Hashemi worked for CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) in Washington DC. At CGAP he focused on identifying pro-poor innovations and disseminating best practice lessons related to poverty outreach and impact. Hashemi was amongst the pioneers who started the Social Performance Taskforce to promote a double bottom line in microfinance. He still continues to work for CGAP as Team Leader/manager of the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program, a multi-country program to develop new pathways for the poorest to graduate out of food insecurity.

Hashemi has also been Director of the Program for Research on Poverty Alleviation at Grameen Trust and Professor at the Department of Economics in Jahangirnagar University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Riverside.

About BRAC Development Institute (BDI) http://www.bracdevelopmentinstitute.org

BDI provides graduate training, promotes research and builds knowledge to address the challenges of poverty, inequity and social injustice. It brings together academics and practitioners to raise critical questions on development, develops new ideas and new strategies, pilot tests new initiatives, provides important lessons on good practices, and advocates for pro-poor policies.


News Posted: 24 January 2011      [Back to the Top]

Social Exclusion Seminar Series
Special themed social exclusion seminar series, January-March 2011

Between January and March 2011 CASE is running a special series of Social Exclusion Seminars exploring early directions in Coalition social policies and their likely impact on poverty, inequality and social exclusion.  The series features some of the most up-to-date research modelling  likely impacts.   Seminars take place on Wednesdays from 4.30 to 6.00pm, and are free.  No booking is required.  For the programme and more details, please see below.   We look forward to welcoming you to these events
26th January The Distributional Impacts of the 2010 Spending Review
Speakers:
Tim Horton (Fabian Society)
Howard Reed (Landman Economics)
9th February   Housing and Planning Policy: Increasing Housing Supply?
Speaker:
Christine Whitehead (LSE)
2nd March Poverty Projections 2010-2013 and the longer term impact of Universal Credit
Speakers:
Mike Brewer and Robert Joyce (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
16th March How will the Coalition's Social Policies affect London?
A joint event with LSE London and the Greater London Authority

Speakers:
James Browne (Institute for Fiscal Studies) on the regional impact of tax/benefit reforms;

Alex Fenton (Cambridge) on the spatial impact of Housing Allowance changes;

Matthew Waite (GLA) on the London labour market; and

Peter Kenway (New Policy Institute) on London's poverty profile.

This event will take place from 3.00-6.00pm in Room CLM 502


Seminars (except 16th March) are held in the Michio Morishima Conference Room (LRB 505), 5th Floor, Lionel Robbins Building, Portugal Street, LSE [See Map]

RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED but for further information contact:
Eleni Karagiannaki (020 7955 6697) e.karagiannaki@lse.ac.uk - OR -
Ruth Lupton (020 7849 4910)  r.lupton@lse.ac.uk


News Posted: 19 January 2011      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Event
Community Survival Depends on Community Infrastructure

Date and Time: Tuesday 15th February 2011


Location: National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, Chester

Trafford Hall Website: www.traffordhall.com


This event is sponsored by the LSE HEIF 4 Bid Fund, EAGA and by British Gas.
HEIF, EAGA and British Gas logos
Programme:
Summary of the event:
Reinvestment in the existing urban infrastructure within communities will help the UK reduce CO2 emissions and become more sustainable. This has many benefits including tackling fuel poverty, re-linking poorer existing communities with wider city networks, combating sprawl and enhancing community inclusion. Households don't exist as islands - many of the wider infrastructure problems of waste, water, energy, transport have to be tackled at community level along with crime, security, green spaces, traffic calming and social integration. Many key questions are yet to be answered:
  • How can we supply sustainable, renewable energy at community level?
  • How can we reduce energy demand?
  • How can we conserve water and reduce waste to zero?
  • How can we make existing places so attractive that greenfield building becomes an even smaller goal?
The Sustainable Development Commission, with backing from CLG, DECC and the HCA carried out a fascinating study, showcasing learning from over 80 model community projects around the UK.

LSE Housing and Communities will host this productive workshop to discuss the successes and difficulties communities face in developing greater resilience, given the localism agenda and the energy imperatives confronting us. Many social landlords are paving the way in addressing community infrastructure needs and this workshop will tap into the latest knowledge and experience of those working around the UK on community level renewal , and will push forward the beacon ideas that arose from the SDC study, looking at how the voluntary, and community sector can contribute alongside policy makers and practitioners in a climate of austerity, energy uncertainties and social pressures. We hope to develop an action plan of what needs to happen next.

The workshop will be practical, delivery-orientated and focused on the importance of local upgrading of neighbourhoods across the UK. It will consolidate current knowledge, and develop and present detailed case studies to show the relevance and potential of the Community Infrastructure Reinvestment approach. It is particularly timely with the government's strong focus on neighbourhoods and devolution of control.

Specific questions to be addressed at the workshop include:
  • Why is community infrastructure so vital to our survival and so important to energy saving?
  • What are the core ingredients of community infrastructure? What sustains a sense of place?
  • How can we adapt community infrastructure to current environmental and social need? What role can communities play?
  • What practical policy options do local authorities, housing associations, energy companies and government have?

Who should attend:
  • energy companies
  • environmental organisations
  • builders
  • neighbourhood management organisations
  • local authorities
  • housing associations
  • sustainable transport groups
  • schools
  • churches
  • humanities researchers
  • social scientists
  • government officials
  • think tanks
  • community groups and residents
  • other local organisations targeting low-income areas that stand to gain from community infrastructure reinvestment
For further information about this event, please contact

News Posted: 14 January 2011      [Back to the Top]