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Project Syndicate

The moral urgency of mental health

PRINCETON – If we can prevent great suffering at no cost to ourselves, we ought to do so. That principle is widely accepted and difficult to dispute. Yet Western governments are neglecting an opportunity to reduce the great misery caused by mental illness, even though the net cost would be nil. The evidence for this claim comes from recent research by a team of economists at the London School of Economics. The team, directed by Richard Layard, drew on data from four major developed countries (Australia, Britain, Germany, and the United States) in which people were asked to indicate, on a 0-10 scale, how satisfied they were with their life.  Associated Article: 'Origins of Happiness: Evidence and Policy Implications', Andrew Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee and George Ward, Vox article published December 2016.


Related Links:
Project Syndicate - The moral urgency of mental health

CEP Wellbeing

Andrew Clark webpage

Sarah Flèche webpage

Richard Layard webpage

Nattavudh Powdthavee webpage

George Ward webpage


News Posted: 15/11/2017      [Back to the Top]

Bloomberg View

Small colleges can save towns in middle America

Other research confirms that the beneficial effect of universities isn't just correlation. A 2015 paper by economist Shimeng Liu found that areas where the U.S. federal government made land grants to universities back in the 1860s have been flourishing in the 21st century. In other words, investing in universities was one of the most far-sighted moves that the government ever made. The effect appears to be worldwide. Looking at countries around the globe in a recent paper, economists Anna Valero and John Van Reenen find: Increases in the number of universities are positively associated with future growth…Doubling the number of universities per capita is associated with over 4% higher future GDP per capita. Furthermore, there appear to be positive spillover effects from universities to geographically close neighboring regions.


Related Links:
Bloomberg View - Small colleges can save towns in middle America

How universities boost economic growth

The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe

CEP Growth

Anna Valero webpage

John Van reenen webpage


News Posted: 14/11/2017      [Back to the Top]

News One Place

Child-induced fatigue costs economy dear, says new study

Parents with young children are ‘substantially’ less productive than their colleagues, due to a lack of sleep As every parent of a newborn knows, sleep is a foreign country, a place that they happily visited a long time ago but fear they may now never experience again. The constant disruption to sleep patterns posed by a screaming baby can play havoc with relationships, waistlines and sanity, but it’s also having a deleterious effect on the nation’s finances. Until now. In the first study of its kind, Joan Costa-i-Font and Sarah Flèche, of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science , have found that baby-induced fatigue is significantly undermining economic performance. Their work is to be presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference in April.


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News One Place - Child-induced fatigue costs economy dear, says new study

Economics of a good night's sleep

Parental Sleep and Employment: Evidence from a British Cohort Study

CEP Wellbeing

Sarah Flèche webpage


News Posted: 14/11/2017      [Back to the Top]

What Works Growth blog

The good news about exports

Article by Henry Overman: With Brexit looming, we’ve been running a series of workshops with local areas to think about different policy responses and consider what the evidence says on effectiveness. One thing that local areas wanted to know was what the evaluation evidence said on export support and inward investment promotion. In response, we’ve surveyed the available evaluations and launched three new toolkits that consider what we can learn. Two of the toolkits look at supporting exports through either export promotion agencies (EPA) or export credit agencies (ECA). The third, looks at inward investment promotion.


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What Works Growth blog - The good news about exports

CEP Urban and Spatial Programme

CEP Trade

Henry Overman webpage


News Posted: 13/11/2017      [Back to the Top]