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Staff Biography

[Photo: Henry OVERMAN] Professor Henry OVERMAN
Director of The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth and CEP Associate - Trade, Urban Programme
Tel:  020 7955 6581
Email: h.g.overman@lse.ac.uk
Room/Desk: LSE  S505

Curriculum Vitae PDF  Personal WebSite WWW
SERC Blog Blog

Expertise: Regional and Urban Economics; Impact Evaluation


Henry Overman, BSc. (Bristol), Msc. (LSE), PhD. (LSE) is Professor of Economic Geography in the department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. He was formerly director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre. His current research interests include the causes and consequences of spatial disparities and the impact of urban and regional policy. His research has been published in leading economics journals (The Review of Economics Studies and The Quarterly Journal of Economics) and leading economic geography journals (Environment and Planning and Journal of Economic Geography). He continues to publish in journals from both disciplines. He has provided policy advice to, amongst others, the European Commission, Department for International Development, Department for Business, Innovation and Science, Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Economic Policy Research's International Trade Programme.

Current Areas of Research:

One area of current research interest is the impact evaluation of spatial policies. I'm working with colleagues to try to evaluate the impact of the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative; Regional Selective Assistance; UK road building in the 2000s; and the Single Regeneration Budget.

I'm also interested in better understanding the causes of spatial disparities. Here, research is focused on the extent to which these arise from composition ('sorting) versus area effects ('some places are more productive than others'). I'm also interested in the extent to which housing costs and other amenities offset nominal disparities.


  • PhD London School of Economics, April 2000
  • MSc London School of Economics, June 1995
  • BSc University of Bristol, June 1993


  • Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Award for distinguished contributions to Regional Science research by scholars who have recently completed doctoral studies (2009).
  • August Loesch Prize for outstanding research in the field of Regional Science (2006).

Affiliations/Professional activities with other institutions:

  • What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth - Director
  • London School of Economics - Professor
  • Spatial Economics Research Centre - Affiliate
  • Centre for Economic Policy Research - Affiliate

Selected Publications:

See also Publications on LSE Research Online book
  • Helmers, C and H. G. Overman (2015) ‘My precious! The location and diffusion of scientific research: evidence from the Synchrotron Diamond Light Source’. Forthcoming Economic Journal.

  • Faggio, G. and H. G. Overman (2014) ‘The effect of public sector employment on local labour markets’ Journal of Urban Economics, 79(C): 91-107

  • Duranton, G. and H. G. Overman (2005) ‘Testing for Localisation Using Micro-Geographic Data’ (with G. Duranton). The Review of Economic Studies 72(4), pp. 1077-1106.

CEP Publications: