John Van Reenen

The value of good management

Ask any sports fan about their favourite team and they will usually spend half the time either cursing or extolling the manager. The manager is apparently responsible for every loss, and perhaps even the occasional victory. On the other hand, many people also have an ingrained cynicism about the fads and fashions of management thinking. For example, there’s an […]

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    Well-managed Pakistani firms are more capital- intensive and more likely to export

Well-managed Pakistani firms are more capital- intensive and more likely to export

The causes and consequences of the vast differences in productivity within and across countries have been the subject of research for decades. Recently, economists have woken up to the important role of management practices in firms to explain these differences. Working with the State Bank of Pakistan and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, we have conducted what is to […]

The reasons behind Brexit – notes from a derided expert

There are multiple reasons for the Brexit vote, but by far the most important one can be summarised in a single word: immigration. In the last few weeks before the vote, the Leave campaign was ruthless in focusing on our fears of foreigners. Sadly, with the exception of London, this has been shown time and time again to be a great vote […]

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    Leaving the EU would almost certainly damage our economic prospects

Leaving the EU would almost certainly damage our economic prospects

The economic consequences of leaving the EU have naturally been a central focus of the referendum campaign. As June 23 draws near we bring together the conclusions from our research on the likely consequences, and reflect on some of the claims made.

First and foremost a vote to leave the EU would almost certainly make us financially worse off compared […]

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    Foreign investors love Britain – but Brexit would end the affair

Foreign investors love Britain – but Brexit would end the affair

Foreign direct investment (FDI) comprises investments from outside a country to set up new establishments, expand existing ones or purchase local companies. According to government body UK Trade & Investment, the UK has an estimated stock of over £1 trillion of FDI, and only the United States and China have more. About half of this stock of FDI is […]

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    Less trade and lower living standards in the UK: the price of Brexit

Less trade and lower living standards in the UK: the price of Brexit

There are many issues that will weigh in the minds of UK voters in the run-up to the referendum on membership of the European Union (EU) on 23 June. Many people feel that they are oppressed by a remote, undemocratic super-state that can over-rule UK laws. Others believe that the EU promotes better co-operation between communities that were at […]

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    “A stark choice on 23 June will determine our fate for generations to come”

“A stark choice on 23 June will determine our fate for generations to come”

Even those campaigning to leave the European Union (EU) concede that there will be negative economic consequences in the next few years following a vote for Brexit. CEP researchers have been analysing the long- term effects of Brexit and we conclude that they will be even worse than the short-term damage.

Our best estimate is that GDP per capita will […]

The distributional effects of Brexit: Who bears the pain?

In recent days, pro-Brexiteers have been saying that leaving the EU may hurt the rich but it will help the poor. Although there is now a strong consensus that leaving the EU would damage the overall economy (HM Treasury, 2016; IFS, 2016; OECD, 2016; NIESR, 2016, The Guardian 28 May 2016)  there has been almost no breakdown of what […]

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    How do ‘Economists for Brexit’ manage to defy the laws of gravity?

How do ‘Economists for Brexit’ manage to defy the laws of gravity?

The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union (EU) has generated an unusual degree of consensus among economists. Acrimony and rancour surrounded debates around austerity and joining the euro, but analysis from the Bank of England to the OECD to academia has all concluded that Brexit would make us economically worse off. The disagreement is mainly over the […]

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    How Brexit will reduce foreign investment in the UK….and why it matters

How Brexit will reduce foreign investment in the UK….and why it matters

Foreign investors love Britain…

Foreign direct investment (FDI) comprises investments from outside a country to set up new establishments, expand existing establishments or purchase local companies.

According to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI, 2015), the UK has an estimated stock of over £1 trillion of FDI, about half of which is from the European Union (EU). Only the United States and […]

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    The more universities in a country, the faster its economic growth

The more universities in a country, the faster its economic growth

In 1900, only one in a hundred young people in the world were enrolled at universities, but over the course of the twentieth century this rose to one in five.  It turns out that this enormous expansion of the higher education sector was not just the product of riches – it has helped fuel economic growth.

We compiled new data […]

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    The question is not ‘if’ but ‘how much’ Brexit would cost the UK

The question is not ‘if’ but ‘how much’ Brexit would cost the UK

There are many issues that will weigh in the minds of voters in the run up to the 23rd June EU referendum. Many people feel that they are oppressed by a remote, undemocratic super-state that can over-rule British laws. Others believe that the EU promotes better co-operation between communities that were at war for centuries. These views often stem from deeply […]

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    Budget 2016: Osborne rolls with the blows, but the politics tramples good economics

Budget 2016: Osborne rolls with the blows, but the politics tramples good economics

Four months is a long time in economics. That’s how long it’s been since the Chancellor delivered the Autumn Statement. Then “Lucky George” said he had enough fiscal good news to abandon the plans to radically reduce tax credits to the low paid. Unfortunately, the bad news has come thick and fast since then, causing a downgrade in the […]

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    Tax relief for Research and Development is a rare example of an innovation policy that actually works

Tax relief for Research and Development is a rare example of an innovation policy that actually works

The problem

In recent decades, many countries have increased the tax support they provide for research and development (R&D). The traditional model of funding has been to have government bureaucrats sifting through project proposals and then deciding which are the most deserving. An alternative is to let firms decide where to put their research money and simply treat R&D more […]

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    How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce?

How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce?

LSE Business Review’s official launch event took place on 2 December. A panel of top UK economists discussed How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce? 

Former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable was the keynote speaker and touched on many insights from his book After the Storm: The World Economy and […]

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    Healthcare competition can improve management quality and save lives

Healthcare competition can improve management quality and save lives

Throughout the world, the share of national income absorbed by healthcare seems to rise inexorably. Technological progress, rising citizen expectations and an ageing population have all helped to propel this escalation in costs. In the United States, almost one dollar in every five is spent on health. In an era of budgetary austerity, policy-makers have been searching desperately for […]