LSE Authors

  • Permalink Gallery

    Keeping up with the Joneses: Superstar houses and the US mortgage frenzy

Keeping up with the Joneses: Superstar houses and the US mortgage frenzy

Built in 1927 on the eve of the Great Depression, the Palm Beach residence of President Donald Trump – Mar-a-Lago – ranks among the 20 biggest houses in the United States. At 62,500 square feet, it is about 35 times the size of the median suburban house in the country.

Analysing a large dataset of houses built between 1920 and […]

Gender quotas and the crisis of the mediocre man

A common criticism against gender quotas is that they are anathema to meritocratic principles. This research on Sweden shows that the opposite can be true: Quotas actually increased the competence of politicians by leading to the displacement of mediocre men whether as candidates or leaders. The results may also be relevant for judging gender quotas in business.

More than 100 countries […]

Technology may not be responsible for jobless recoveries

Since the early 1990s, the US has been plagued by weak employment growth when emerging from recessions – so called ‘jobless recoveries’. Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels look at multiple recoveries elsewhere in the world over a 40-year period to see if the same applies – and whether modern technology is responsible.

Recoveries from recessions in the United States used […]

The roles of nature and history in world development

Why do people live where they do, whether in the world as a whole or within a given country?  Why are some places so densely populated and some so empty? In daily life, we take this variation in density as a matter of course, but in many ways it can be quite puzzling.

Key drivers of the distribution of population […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    LSE Growth Commission: invest more in people, not only buildings and machines

LSE Growth Commission: invest more in people, not only buildings and machines

The LSE Growth Commission sets out a new blueprint for inclusive and sustainable growth that deals with the challenges facing the UK, old and new.

Based on the latest research, analysis and evidence from leading practitioners and scholars, the Commission – drawn from leading business, policy-making and academic figures – outlines the top priorities in four key areas.

Jobs and skills

In […]

Think locally, act globally

Why do we observe climate-friendly behaviour?

From an economic perspective, it is particularly hard to explain why people, and countries, engage in pro-environmental behaviour. Even more so when it comes to climate-friendly behaviour. Since its benefits are enjoyed worldwide, regardless of who shoulders its burden, why not simply free riding on the efforts of others?

Yet, people purchase hybrid cars, solar […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

How changes in the prices of milk and beef affect deforestation in Brazil

At first glance, this may seem like a trivial question but in the context of the Brazilian Amazon, heavily deforested over the last half-a-century, understanding the links between commodity prices and deforestation is important given ever-increasing demand for beef and dairy products. Tropical forests host critical biodiversity ‘hotspots’ as well as providing a range of important ecosystem services, in […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The long-lasting and damaging influence of commissions on experts’ advice

The long-lasting and damaging influence of commissions on experts’ advice

Experts often face a dilemma when clients ask for advice on risky decisions. For example, your financial adviser might be tempted to sell you a risky investment on which he earns sales commission or other benefits – even though he thinks that a more conservative investment would suit you better. Such behaviour then collides with the ideal of giving […]

How your sexual orientation affects your salary in the UK

Finding the right data

Since the mid-1990s, labour market discrimination based on sexual orientation has been investigated by a number of researchers (Badgett 1995, Black et al. 2003, Arabsheibani et al. 2005 and others). These studies frequently find sizeable earnings differences: 1) partnered gay men earn significantly less than partnered heterosexual men; and 2) partnered lesbian women earn significantly more than partnered heterosexual […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    With software updates, Tesla upends product life cycle in the car industry

With software updates, Tesla upends product life cycle in the car industry

Traditionally, cars are sold as finished and complete products, with a price premium attached to the specification and quality of design and craftsmanship. The buyers do not expect new cars to improve or change once they are rolled out of the dealer’s premises. Only occasional maintenance services, software updates or repairs are carried out to keep cars functional. To […]

Workers are happier with less hierarchy

Workers’ satisfaction with their job is, on average, higher in a flatter organisation than in a hierarchical organisation. That is the consensus finding of a survey of leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world on the impact of different organisational structures on workers’ wellbeing.

Hierarchical versus flat organisations

In the second round of the World Wellbeing Panel monthly survey, 31 […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Theresa May should press President Trump about his actions on climate change

Theresa May should press President Trump about his actions on climate change

On 13 January, the office of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, received a letter signed by 100 members of the climate change research community about the potential threats to, and opportunities for, the UK national interest arising from the recent elections in the United States.

I had signed the letter after becoming concerned by alarming reports of plans that could […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Does a firm hiring an experienced manager improve its performance?

Does a firm hiring an experienced manager improve its performance?

The enormous variation in firm performance has become a focus of empirical and theoretical interest throughout the social sciences, including economics. The topic is both complex and fascinating. Firms are such multifaceted organisations — whether small regional players or large multinationals — where technological, social, institutional, historical, and human factors all interact. Within such a complex world, a recent […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Early British railways in Argentina were not ‘British’ alone

Early British railways in Argentina were not ‘British’ alone

My study adopts a broadly chronological approach, addressing the growth and development of the railway network from inception in the 1850s to maturity (though not maximum extension) around the time of the First World War. The principal chapters focus on the formative period from mid-nineteenth century to the 1870s, the consolidation of a national rail network in subsequent decades and […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Data on electricity demand shows a slowdown in manufacturing post-Brexit

Like many others we were frustrated about the absence of both reliable and (almost) real-time economic indicators about the true state of the economy post-Brexit. Survey data was plentifully available, but often contradicted itself, and appeared to be heavily biased towards the political leaning of the sponsor. Hence, we decided to look for a truly independent and reliable indicator, […]

Economic growth strategies affect female employment

Eastern European countries had the highest female employment rates in the world during the socialist period. While the transition to capitalism had an initially negative impact on labour markets across the region, by the end of the transition some of these countries managed to recover their female employment to the high levels they had experienced prior to 1989 (see […]

Macroprudential policies can backfire

The purpose of macroprudential policies, or ‘macropru’, is to prevent excessive risk accumulating in the financial system, to contain financial crises when they happen, and to ensure the financial system contributes to economic growth.

There are many directions the authorities can take when implementing macropru (e.g. Cerutti et al. 2016). Most are passive, focusing on crisis resolution and fixed rules […]

More public holidays would boost national wellbeing

Holidays, by Jim Lukach, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
On average, people are happier during festive seasons like Christmas and New Year celebrations. What’s more, increasing the number of mandatory public holidays would improve a country’s overall wellbeing. These are the consensus findings of a new survey from leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world. The wellbeing research group at LSE’s […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The risk culture in financial institutions needs fixing, but how?

The risk culture in financial institutions needs fixing, but how?

Canary Wharf Skyline, by David Iliff, under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence
In the aftermath of the financial crisis and other large scale corporate scandals, a large number of public inquires and documents written by regulators, consulting firms and professional associations drew attention to something that needs fixing: the risk culture of financial sector organisations (see, for example, publications by the International institute of Finance, the Financial […]

Fear of fracking affects house prices in the UK

© DesignRaphael Ltd
The UK government has recently given its approval for exploratory drilling and hydraulic fracturing – ‘fracking’ – for shale gas at two sites in Lancashire. This follows a similar decision for North Yorkshire earlier in the year.

Some will see these approvals as landmark planning decisions marking the way to a low-cost energy future for the UK. For others, […]