LSE Authors

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    Geekland: STEM knowledge is needed to apply for 1 in 6 non-tech UK jobs

Geekland: STEM knowledge is needed to apply for 1 in 6 non-tech UK jobs

In the UK, less than half of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates work in so-called ‘STEM occupations’ (such as scientists or engineers). If, as is often thought, all recruiters in ‘non-STEM’ occupations (for example, graphic designers or economists) neither require nor value science and technology skills, and simply like hiring science graduates for their problem solving and […]

Working the phones

For the purpose of  my new book, I spent six months undercover in a UK call centre. The focus of the research was to understand questions of control and resistance from the perspective of call centre workers themselves. This kind of covert ethnography – studying a phenomenon from the point of view from the subject of the study – used […]

The effortful nature of risk management practice

In managing risk, organizational actors are constantly engaged in the work of representing it. From a philosophical point of view, this co-mingling of risk and representation is unsurprising. Risks are contingencies or future possibilities which have not yet crystallized into events. As non-real possibilities, they literally do not exist and cannot be seen until they are represented and processed […]

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    Home ownership is falling faster for young people whose parents didn’t own a house

Home ownership is falling faster for young people whose parents didn’t own a house

It is well known that home ownership rates have been falling rapidly among young people. Linking own home ownership with parental home ownership, our new paper demonstrates that the sharpest falls occurred for those who grew up in families where their parents did not own their homes. Given the link between home ownership and wealth, the findings indicate growing […]

Future of work: making a living from cutting our own hair?

There is currently much debate on the future of paid employment in light of technological advancements within a range of areas, such as speech recognition, robotics, artificial intelligence, etc. Evocative imagery is presented ranging from a rather prosaic future of self-driving cars and lorries to the digital immortality of bodiless beings. I wish here to emphasise more immediate and […]

Sleep deprivation, even when moderate, hurts employment

Lack of sleep is responsible for human fatigue, and can undermine economic performance. Paradoxically, the extent to which sleep time is a productive activity, or not, has received very limited attention in economics research so far. Sleep is often overlooked in economic models despite its obvious restorative effects on human health alongside its influence on brain plasticity and feelings […]

Harmonising accounting standards across the globe

Over a decade has passed since the European Union (EU) mandated a uniform set of accounting standards, i.e. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), for all companies listed on the major European stock exchanges in 2005. Since then, over 100 countries are currently requiring their listed firms to prepare financial reports either under IFRS or under a closely linked accounting […]

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    Anna Valero: ‘Automation has taken away mid-level skills jobs’

Anna Valero: ‘Automation has taken away mid-level skills jobs’

As a Research Director of LSE’s Growth Commission, Anna Valero spent part of the post-Brexit vote months studying the gaps between public policy and the new economic reality in the UK.  In an interview with LSE Business Review’s managing editor, Helena Vieira, she discusses what the UK could do to stimulate economic growth and fight inequality. The skills gap is one of […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]