John Van Reenen was disappointed but not surprised by the UK’s vote to Leave the EU. Whilst his own research predicts serious economic and political damage in the case of Brexit, he thought a Leave vote was a real possibility ever since David Cameron committed to a vote in 2013. In his last post as Director of LSE’s Centre […]
There is a degree of consensus among economists that a Brexit will make us worse off. The exception is recent work by Economists for Brexit. Their forecast of income gains from Brexit contrasts with all other economic analysis, explain Thomas Sampson, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano and John Van Reenen.
The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union (EU) has […]
What impact do universities have on a country’s economy? Outlining the results of a study of universities across 78 countries, Anna Valero and John Van Reenen find that doubling the number of universities in a region increases that region’s income. They note that if the UK were to add one university to each region, national income would increase by about 0.7 […]
How would leaving the EU affect the UK’s economy? Gianmarco Ottaviano, João Paulo Pessoa, Thomas Sampson and John Van Reenen outline findings from a new report on the economic consequences of a ‘Brexit’. They indicate that if the UK left the European Union there would likely be a significant negative impact on the economy, with the most important cost emerging […]
The UK economy has experienced a prolonged period of weakness over the last five years. John Van Reenen writes that the real problems for the UK are inadequate long-run investment in infrastructure, innovation and human capital. He argues that what Britain needs is an independent infrastructure body to recommend and deliver national infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, short-term expediency has once again […]
The UK’s Spending Review has been forced on the British Chancellor because weak economic growth has blown a hole in the deficit reduction programme. John Van Reenen welcomes the partial reversal of the hugely damaging cuts in public investment, but argues that it is too little, too late. Rock bottom interest rates mean the UK should be boosting investment substantially now. […]
France has a raft of labour-market regulations that kick in for firms with 50 workers or more. Luis Garicano and John Van Reenen use this threshold to identify the economic effects of size-contingent regulations. Such policies seem to subsidise small firms at the expense of larger firms. But since small firms are on average less productive than large firms, the […]
John Van Reenen reacts to the news this week that the UK has avoided economic contraction in the last quarter. Whilst Osborne may see this as cause to celebrate, there is nothing commendable about an economy that continues to stagnate. This news should not be taken as a sign to continue down the path of austerity. Rather, a policy change, starting […]
John Van Reenen analyses the economic legacy of Margaret Thatcher. In the late 1970s, when the UK was behind other developed nations in terms of material wellbeing, her supply side policies spurred economic revival. There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that a range of important policy changes initiated by her underpinned these economic gains. Nevertheless, there are many important economic and […]
The books that inspired John Van Reenen: “I think I always enjoy reading Conservative thinkers more than leftist ones. It’s much more fun to have books that really challenge your positions rather than confirming your prejudices”
In a cross-post from the LSE Review of Books blog, John van Reenen, Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance LSE, talks us through the must-read comics that first inspired his interest in science and technology, the books he would recommend for a non-economist, and why everyone should read Milton Friedman’s Right to Choose. Beginnings Like most people I […]
The lesson from this week’s election is to ignore pontificating from highly paid pundits. Put your faith in the numbers.
John van Reenen finds great cause for optimism in President Obama having won a second term. He argues that this election was also a vindication for quantitative social science, as the eventual results confirmed what mathematical models had predicted contrary to the instincts of pundits. President Obama’s victory this week was important for many reasons. First and foremost, the American people will […]