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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

The Economist
How German bombs shape Londonís gangs

Tom Kirchmaier, Stephen Machin and Carmen Villa-Llera examine the relationship between areas of London that were bombed in the Second World War and crime rates. Discovering that the probability of finding a gang is 7% higher in areas that were bombed than those that were not.

The Observer
A million jobs in peril as one in 16 UK firms say they are at risk of closure

A million workers are still employed by businesses at risk of closure over the next three months, as the government is poised to withdraw critical Covid support schemes, according to new analysis by Peter Lambert, Apolline Marion and John Van Reenen.

British Academy
Vernon Henderson and Barbara Petrongolo become Fellows of the British Academy

Congratulations to Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) associates Professor Vernon Henderson and Professor Barbara Petrongolo, who have been elected as new Fellows of the British Academy.

They are among 84 new Fellows of the British Academy who have been elected in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the SHAPE (social sciences, humanities and the arts) subjects.

Baroness Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has also been elected as an honorary fellow.

Professor Henderson, an associate of CEP’s urban programme, is a school professor of economic geography at the LSE. His research focuses on urbanisation in developing countries and he is a founder and past president of the Urban Economics Association.

Professor Petrongolo, an associate of CEP’s labour markets programme, is professor of economics at the University of Oxford and a professorial fellow at Nuffield College. She has worked extensively on the performance of labour markets with job search frictions and her work also researches the causes of gender inequalities in labour market outcomes.

Professor Julia Black, president of the British Academy, said: “The need for SHAPE subjects has never been greater. As Britain recovers from the pandemic and seeks to build back better, the insights from our diverse disciplines will be vital to ensure the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the UK and will continue to provide the cultural and societal enrichment that has sustained us over the last eighteen months. Our new Fellows embody the value of their subjects and I congratulate them warmly for their achievement.”

Xavier Jaravel awarded the Prize for the Best Young Economist of France

Congratulations to Dr Xavier Jaravel who has been awarded the "Prix du meilleur jeune économiste de France", an annual award given by Le Monde and the Cercle des économistes to a French economist under the age of 40.

Created in 2000, the Prize for the Best Young Economist highlights the capacity of the laureates to be attentive to today's economic reality and to constantly seek solutions to bring to the most urgent problems.

Xavier Jaravel is associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics and member of the Public Economics Programme at STICERD. His work focuses in particular on the links between the dynamics of innovation and inequalities.

Professor Tim Besley, Director of STICERD, said: "It is a wonderful and well-deserved acknowledgement of his many outstanding academic contributions. He follows in the footsteps of Camille Landais, STICER's previous recipient of the award. Together with other members of the Public Economics Program, they are making an enormous contribution to STICERD."

Find out more on the Le Monde website.

Professors Oriana Bandiera and Nava Ashraf receive the 29th Arrow Award

Congratulations to Professor Oriana Bandiera and Professor Nava Ashraf who, together with Edward Davenport and Scott S Lee, received the 29th Arrow Award for the best paper in health economics.

Nava Ashraf, Oriana Bandiera, Edward Davenport, and Scott S. Lee, 2020. "Losing Prosociality in the Quest for Talent? Sorting, Selection, and Productivity in the Delivery of Public Services" American Economic Review, 110(5): 1355-1394.

The Committee for the Arrow Award of the International Health Economics Association is proud to acknowledge the authors of this innovative and informative paper, which investigates whether career benefits for health workers attract talent at the expense of prosocial motivation in Zambia. The professionalization of public service delivery, whereby career professionals replace informal local providers has raised concerns of a possible trade-off between qualifications and skills on the one hand, and intrinsic motivation and local rapport on the other. This study embeds a field experiment in a nationwide health care recruitment in Zambia to test whether career benefits, as measured by the salience of a career in civil service, attract talent at the expense of prosocial motivation. The authors collaborate with the government of Zambia as they formalize primary health care in remote rural areas by creating a new health worker position in the civil service. Due to the shortage of medical staff, hiring effective agents can potentially make a great difference for the quality of health services and, ultimately, health outcomes in these communities. The study finds that offering career opportunities attracts less prosocial applicants for a new health care position. However, the trade-off exists only at low levels of talent, while at higher levels of talents they are equally prosocial. Those who are hired, who are more talented and equally prosocial, perform better at every step of the causal chain. They provide more inputs: 29 percent more household visits, and twice as many community meetings. They increase facility utilization: the number of women giving birth at the health center is 30 percent higher, and the number of children undergoing health checks is 24 percent higher, being weighed 22 percent higher, and receiving immunization against polio 20 percent higher. They improve a number of health practices among the households they serve: breastfeeding and proper stool disposal increase, deworming, and the share of children on track with their immunization schedule. These are matched by changes in health outcomes: the share of children under age 5 who are underweight falls by 25 percent. In summary, offering a civil service position with career opportunities attracts workers who deliver services with remarkable health impact. We congratulate the authors on the publication of this important paper.

Find out more on the iHEA News website.

Camille Landais awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant

Camille Landais has been awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant for the project "GENEQUALITY". The project will run for 5 years (2021-2026) and aims to understand the root causes of the strong specialization in gender roles at the arrival of children, how this affects gender inequality, and what can/should be done about it.

Professor Landais said: "I am just absolutely elated. One of the exciting dimensions of the project will be its use of new techniques from the natural language processing literature to offer new measures of gender norms, and uncover the way they are formed and affected by policies."

Find out about the projects that will be funded here.