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LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Latest RLAB News

Below are the latest headlines for CEP and STICERD. For full coverage see the CEP News and Visitors Site and the STICERD News and Visitors Site

Mentally ill hounded in Britain

Once upon a time, David Cameron said that general wellbeing matters as much GDP. What's it all for if a country grows richer but its people feel no better? A genuine attempt at prioritizing wellbeing would be revolutionary, because the happiest people live in more equal societies, are less ridden by anxiety, enjoy good employment, are well housed and more trusting. Yet in Britain all those fundamentals indices of wellbeing are in retreat. Professors Richard Layard, an economist, and David Clark, a clinical psychologist, ratchet up their campaign for better mental treatment with their new book, Thrive. These champions of cognitive behavioral therapy have done more to turn mental health into practical politics than anyone before, though progress is slow.

This article was published online by PressTV on July 9, 2014
Link to article here

Related Publications
Thrive: the Power of Evidence Based Psychological Therapies, Richard Layard, David M Clark, Penguin, July 2014
Further details here

Related Links
Richard Layard webpage
David Clark webpage
Wellbeing Programme webpage

The Australian
Everything's looking rosy, but it pays to watch for an X-factor

Low volatility doesn't cause markets to turn down; but it leaves them vulnerable to unexpected bad news. Nicholas Bloom, professor of finance at Stanford University puts it well: ''The fact that volatility is well below its long-run average right now suggests that there is not much downside risk and a lot of upside risk for volatility''.

This article was published online by The Australian on July 8, 2014
Link to article here

Related links
Nicholas Bloom webpage
Productivity and Innovation Programme webpage

Macroprudential policy: A survey of UK-based macroeconomists

Article by Francesco Caselli, Angus Armstrong, Jaghit Chadha and Wouter den Haan
How should UK policy-makers respond to potential dangers to the economy from the housing market? As this column reports, a majority of respondents think that house price dynamics do pose a risk to the UK's recovery; and that macroprudential tools rather than traditional interest rate policy should be deployed to deal with this risk.

This article was published online by Vox on July 8, 2014
Link to article here

Related links
Francesco Caselli webpage
Macro Programme webpage
Francesco Caselli CEP publications webpage

Austin Robinson Prize awarded to STICERD academic
Johannes Spinnewijn

At this year's Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, held in Manchester 7-9 April 2014, Johannes Spinnewijn won the 2013 prize for his paper Insurance and Perceptions- How to Screen Optimists and Pessimists. Launched in 2007, this annual prize is awarded for the best non-solicited paper published in The Economic Journal by an author who has completed their PhD in the last five years. The winner is selected by the Editors of the EJ. His presentation is now available to view on YouTube.

Oriana Bandiera was the Programme Chair for the 2014 conference, and the main sessions are available at

New Book
John Sutton's ''An Enterprise Map of Mozambique''

Mozambique’s economy has grown rapidly in the first decade of the millennium. The key economic question is whether this rate of growth can be sustained. Professor John Sutton and his team of researchers point out that “achieving this will require a substantial advance in the country’s industrial sector”.

Sutton’s Enterprise Map Project, funded by the International Growth Centre (IGC),  aims to provide a standardized   descriptive account of the industrial capabilities of selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the fifth volume to appear, following volumes on  Ethiopia (2010), Ghana (2011), Tanzania (2012) and Zambia (2013).


Housing Plus
Think Tank 6: Supporting tenants into work

Housing Plus Think Tank 6: Supporting tenants into work

Housing Plus is about social landlords adopting a wider role in communities where they are based. The bedroom tax, benefit caps and other welfare reforms are having a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing tenants.

This workshop will explore why the problem of work now dominates, why public opinion has become hostile to supporting the unemployed, why social landlords need their tenants to work, and how they can achieve this.  By bringing together social landlords from all over the country who are trying out new ideas or are anxious to uncover more good ideas, we hope to uncover some solutions. Read the Think Tank summary and programme here and fill out the registration form here.