LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Technology, innovation, learning, economic performance and competitiveness

Technology is the key to rises in living standards but only if the skills are there. We are studying how their interaction has affected the relative living standards of nations and groups within them. A key theme in the Lab's research concerns changing rewards to skills and a major new programme of work is underway studying firms' new demands for skills and how organisations use people more and less successfully. The interactive effects of schools, training and the local labour market on employability have a crucial role in ensuring that new technology works to the benefit of all.

Key to the economics of international growth will be the role of the Internet in disseminating knowledge and technology more widely and at a faster rate than ever before. The work of the Lab will study what new forms of intellectual property rights will both motivate producers of intellectual assets and allow dissemination and use of these assets to stimulate cross-country growth. We will use new micro datasets to study whether the impact of the Internet leads to more perfect labour, product and financial markets. These include data and software supplied by a global e-auction company, which allows field studies of actual auctions and development of controlled auction experiments; and data provided by e-recruitment companies, which permits study of the efficiency of job search and whether this focuses labour demand on a limited set of workers or widens the pool that companies examine for hiring. In addition, we will examine how the Internet is changing trade unions in the UK and around the world by providing them with new portals to information, new ways of communicating with their members and with society, and customising services such as workplace, legal and career assistance to their members, at low cost.