Past Seminars


InstEAD Annual Lecture: Digital Disruption and Economic Measurement

Speaker, Professor Diane Coyle (University of Manchester)

The Annual Lecture took place on Thursday 23 March 2017, 5:00pm – 6:15pm

Rapid digital developments are changing how gross domestic product (GDP) is currently defined, creating a gap between what we measure and what we care about, i.e. economic welfare. In this lecture Diane Coyle will discuss how to shift from GDP being the standard measurement that determines policy to something that better reflects economic welfare.


Diane Coyle is founder of the consultancy Enlightenment Economics, specialising in the economics of new technologies. She was previously Vice Chair of the BBC Trust (to April 2015), a member of the Migration Advisory Committee (2007-2012) and the Competition Commission (2001-2009). She was Economics Editor of the Independent to 2001, with previous jobs in HM Treasury and DRI Europe. Furthermore she is the author of numerous books, most recently GDP: A Brief But Affectionate History, The Economics of Enough, and The Soulful Science (all Princeton University Press).

Seminar: ‘The Burden of Legacy Costs: Evidence from Pension Black Holes’

Speaker, Dr Brian Bell (King’s College London)

This seminar took place on Wednesday 8th March 2017.

Who pays for the costs that arise from legacy employment arrangements? We create a unique dataset that links worker and CEO pay to the costs that UK firms have been forced to pay to plug large deficits in their historic defined benefit pension plans. We show that both firms and workers share the burden of such costs. The burden on workers falls more heavily on those with some exposure to the pension plans, but even those who have never been members of the plan take a hit to wages.

Seminar: Professor Marco Francesconi (University of Essex)

This seminar took place on Wednesday 30 November 2016 ,
Seminar title: Liquid Assets? The Short-Run Liabilities of Binge Drinking (joint with Jonathan James)

We estimate the effect of binge drinking on road accidents, accident and emergency (A&E) attendances, and arrests using a variety of unique English data and a two-sample instrumental variables estimation procedure. Drinking 10 or more units of alcohol in a single session increases road accidents by 14%, injury-related A&E attendances by 5%, and arrests by 52%. The marginal increase from 8 to 10 or more alcoholic units implies nearly 4,500 extra road accidents every year, 63,000 additional A&E attendances, and 110,000 additional arrests. The externality per mile driven by a binge drinker is about 6 pence and the punishment that internalizes this externality is equivalent to a fine of £20,000 per drunk driving arrest.

Seminar: Nikolaos Georgantzis (University of Reading)

This seminar took place on Wednesday 26 October 2016
Seminar title ‘Looking for nuggets of goodness in the nest of evil’

This new research reports results from experimental sessions in two Greek prisons in Chania, Crete. Patterns of corruption, trust and reciprocity are found to be similar (or even more prosocial) to other groups of subjects. Challenges and future extensions are discussed from various points of view.

Seminar: Motherhood, Young People and Intersectional Differences

This seminar took place on Wednesday 18th May 2016.

ann_phoenix_175x175Professor Ann Phoenix is the ESRC Professorial Fellow for the Transforming Experiences research programme. She is Professor and Co-Director of the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Her research is mainly about social identities and the ways in which psychological experiences and social processes are linked. It includes work on racialised and gendered identities and experiences; mixed-parentage, masculinities, consumption, young people and their parents and the transition to motherhood. She currently holds a joint ESRC grant on ‘Identities in process: Becoming Asian, black and white mothers’ (with Wendy Hollway at the Open University). Ann was born in the Caribbean and came to the UK aged six years.


Romantic notions of motherhood frequently treat motherhood as bounded within relatively narrow normative confines. Thus, while it is now more commonly accepted that mothers can have a range of living arrangements, many common kinds of motherhood are rendered invisible in normative discourses that suggest, for example, that children and mothers should be continually co-resident; that parents should treat children as economically priceless and so lavish goods on them (as Zelizer suggests) and that there are clear demarcations between parental and childhood duties. This talk interrogates such normative notions by examining various areas of my research that indicate why an intersectional understanding of motherhood and childhood is crucial. It focuses on research on serial migration (where family members migrate at different times); language brokering; young people and consumption and family lives and environment. The talk argues that difference in motherhood, childhood and family lives more generally, need to be contextualised and widely recognised.

Seminar: Is money a psychological problem? The Drug, the Illusion, and some Practical ConsequencesStephen Lea

Speaker, Professor Stephen Lea (University of Exeter)

This seminar took place on Wednesday 4th May 2016.

Money is a psychological puzzle, because it is a powerful incentive without direct biological roots.  Nonetheless, it has been relatively ignored by psychologists.  Across a space of 35 years, my late colleague Paul Webley and I sought to bring order to the psychological study of money, first by surveying the different understandings of money offered by major psychological theorists, second by viewing money as a multifaceted symbol, and finally by dividing the psychological functions of money into two types: those where money can be interpreted as a tool, helping us to achieve other ends in a rational way, and those where it can be interpreted as a drug, capturing motivation and promising satisfaction in ways that are irrelevant to our non-pecuniary life.  In recent years, research on the psychology of money has expanded somewhat, and has revealed (among other findings) that the relationship between money and happiness is complex and unreliable, and that a mental focus on money can undermine socially desirable motivations.  In this talk, I will briefly review both the historical development of ideas about the psychology of money, and these recent findings, and then consider how they can help us interpret the financial and economic crisis for the past decade.

Professor Stephen Lea is a foremost expert in economic psychology; a field that explicitly unites the two disciplines. He is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed academic articles, including in both Science and Nature. Stephen
is a founder member of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP) and served as President from 2003-2005. He currently sits on the editorial boards for Journal of Economic Psychology, and Journal of Socio-Economics.

Watch the lecture video recording ‘Is money a psychological problem?’


Seminar: The Violent Legacy of Victimization: Post-Conflict Evidence on Asylum Seekers, Crimes and Public Policy in Switzerland

This seminar took place on Thursday 26th November 2015.

Professor Dominic Rohner is a Professor of Economics at the University of Lausanne. Despite finishing his DPhil as recently as 2008 he has published (or has forthcoming papers) in the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Economic Growth, the Journal of Development Economics, and a number of other journals. He’s also an Associate editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association, and a CEPR and CESifo Research Fellow.

His fields are political economy and development economics, with a particular focus on conflict, and his work uses both theory and empirics.

InstEAD Annual Lecture: ‘Policy Challenges for the UK Economy’

Photo of Prof. Tim BesleySpeaker, Professor Tim Besley (London School of Economics)

This lecture took place on Tuesday 6 October 2015.

The InstEAD Annual Lecture was given this year by former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Commission Professor Tim Besley on the policy challenges the UK Economy will face over the next few years.

Tim Besley is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics (LSE). He served as an external member on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Commission from 2006-2009,  is a commissioner on the LSE Growth Commission and a steering committee member of the International Growth Centre.

Furthermore, he is the current President of the International Economic Association and Director of the Suntory-Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD) at LSE.

Professor Besley’s research is mostly policy focused in the areas of Development Economics, Public Economics and Political Economy and he published a book in 2011 titled Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters co-authored with Torsten Persson.

Seminar: Does greater autonomy among women provide the key to better child nutrition?

Speaker, Professor Wiji Arulampalam

This seminar took place on Thursday 19th March 2015.

Wiji Arulampalam is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. She is also Programme Director at Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and Research Fellow at IZA, Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn, Germany.

Abstract: We use the Indian National Family Health Survey Round 3, to study the effect of maternal autonomy on child nutrition defined by Height-for-age Z score (HAZ) and Weight-for-height Z score (WHZ). We use a novel approach to create an index of maternal autonomy using the full set of sample of women in the dataset and use that in nutrition equations. We use the latent factor modelling framework but allow the index to be correlated with factors such as religion, caste, education etc. to account for traditions and social norms. Our results confirm the general result found in the literature that maternal autonomy is positively associated with the nutritional status of children. However this is only found for children aged under 3. We do not find the same for children between 3 to 5 years of age. For boys between 3 to 5 years of age in rural areas, maternal autonomy is found to have a significant negative impact on the nutritional status, as measured by the HAZ scores or the probability of being stunted. This result is robust to changes in the variables used in the creation of the autonomy index as well as to changes in the specification of the nutrition equations. We also find that a mother with an average level of autonomy has a positive effect on the nutritional status of girls.

‘High’ Achievers? Cannabis Access and Academic Performance (with Ulf Zölitz)

Dr Olivier Marie

(University of Maastricht and Centre for Economic Performance)

This seminar took place on Thursday 4th December 2014.

Abstract: We investigate how legal cannabis access affects student performance. Identification comes from a policy introduced in the city of Maastricht which discriminated legal access based on nationality. We observe 54,000 course grades of local students before and after policy introduction and apply a difference-in-difference approach.

The academic performance of students who are no longer legally permitted to buy marijuana increases substantially. Grade improvements are driven by younger students and the effects are stronger for women and low performers. Exploration of underlying channels indicate large improvements in numerical skills and enhanced understanding in line with how THC consumption affects cognitive functioning.

Health (and ethics) Needs Economics: Which Health Technologies, at What Price and for Whom?
Speaker, Professor Karl ClaxtonPhoto of Karl Claxton

This lecture took place on Thursday 30 October 2014

Professor Claxton will examine how decisions about access to new health care technologies ought to be made in a collectively funded health care system like the NHS in the UK.

He will demonstrate why an assessment of the additional costs of new technologies is essential in making decisions that are more likely to improve the health of all NHS patients. In doing so he will draw on the results of recent research that has estimated the health impact of imposing additional costs on the NHS and draw out some implications for drug pricing and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) current proposals for ‘value based assessment’.

Karl Claxton is a Professor in the Department of Economics and Related Studies at the University of York. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Economics, University of York. He is a member of the NICE Decision Support Unit and continues to contribute to the development of guidance for the appraisal of health technologies for NICE.

He was a  Harkness Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and from 1999 until 2007 he held an adjunct appointment at Harvard as an Assistant Professor of Health and Decision Sciences.

His research interests encompass the economic evaluation of health care technologies with particular interest in the analysis of uncertainty using Bayesian decision theory and value of information analysis.

Download the presentation from Professor Karl Claxton 30 October 2014 (PDF 664kb)

Seminar: Using Linked Datasets to Estimate the Causal Effect of Physical Activity on Health – Dr Brenda Gannon (Speaker), Professor Alastair Hall and Luke Munford, University of Manchester

This Seminar took place on Wednesday 23 July 2014.

Abstract: Following the legacy of the Olympics and Paralympics 2012, the Department of Health in the UK announced in 2013, an investment of £5 million in sport aimed at getting children and their families to get more active, as part of the Government’s plans to increase investment in preventative healthcare. It is estimated that preventable conditions such as diabetes, stroke and diabetes cost the NHS £1 billion a year. So if we consider a result that suggests exercise activity even leads to a 1% reduction in poor health, their investment will be justified – our project aims to precisely quantify this effect.

In this paper, we provide estimates of the causal effect of physical activity on health and apply econometric models to a unique data set that we have created by linking individual level information in the recently available Understanding Society data set with local area level administrative data (Local Authority District). The Understanding Society data is a rich source of information on health and physical activity, and the local administrative data provides an array of information that can be used as instruments to control statistically for potential reverse causation in the econometric estimation of the effect of physical activity on health. This econometric estimation will employ standard Instrumental Variables models and moment-based methods (Generalized Method of Moments and Generalized Empirical Likelihood) and will take advantage of recent developments in the econometric literature to perform inferences that appropriately take account of the quality and number of the instruments. Thus, our study will provide rigorously justified econometric estimates of the causal effect of physical activity on health outcomes based on recent UK data, to inform the current policy debate about how to promote healthy living in the UK.


Childcare and early child development. Evaluating the impact of universal part-time preschool education in England – Speaker Dr Jo Blanden

This workshop took place on Thursday 3 July 2014.

Abstract: Using a large administrative data set on all state schools in England, this paper studies the effect of free part-time preschool education at age 3 on child outcomes in primary school at ages 5 and 7.

We use the staggered implementation of free preschool places across Local Education Authorities in England to identify the effect of funding childcare places for 3-year-olds in nurseries and other registered settings on child outcomes.

Seminar: Retirement and the Marginal Utility of Income

The seminar from Professor Andrew Clark, Paris School of Economics on Retirement and Marginal Utility of Income took place on Tuesday 3 June 2014.

Subjective well-being (SWB) has been shown to be a strong predictor of future outcomes, whether on the labour market (e.g job quits, unemployment duration) or in other domains of life (e.g marital break ups).

In order to overcome the issue of heterogeneity in SWB functions, empirical work has introduced individual specific effects into well-being regressions.

However, this latter only addresses “level heterogeneity”. If SWB functions are interpersonally comparable, then their slopes with respect to the variables of interest will also affect behaviour. We here appeal to latent-class analysis to model both intercept and slope heterogeneity in SWB, and then evaluate the impact these slopes on transitions to retirement. We identify several groups of individuals whose SWB is not affected in the same way by income.

We use this slope heterogeneity to construct a continuous measure of the marginal utility of income. When we estimate retirement probability as a function of this income elasticity of well-being, we find that the more individuals value a unit of income, the less likely they will retire.

This correlation is found conditional on both the level of income and the level of well-being.


Workshop: Longitudinal Study of Young People in England

The joint workshop with Steve McIntosh from Economics and Dan Gladwell from ScHARR took place on Wednesday 21 May 2014.

The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), also known as Next Steps, is a major innovative panel study of young people which brings together data from several sources, including annual interviews with young people and their parents, and administrative sources.

LSYPE respondents were first interviewed in the spring of 2004 (at age 13) and were interviewed annually until 2010, resulting in a total of seven ‘waves’. For the first four waves of LSYPE, the parents or guardians of the respondents were also interviewed.

In the first wave, around 15,500 young people were interviewed as part of the survey and we returned to the existing survey respondents every year for interviews .

A wide range of questions have been asked over the past seven waves. Unsurprisingly, they have been focused on the educational experiences of young people (as it is primarily funded by DfE and these will be the experiences most prominent to young people of their age) but other issues have also been covered including their views on local areas, community cohesion, participation in social activities, risky-behaviours, crime/anti-social behaviours, health and their aspirations for the future.


Workshop: Pseudo Panel Analysis (a method to model repeated cross section data as if they were longitudinal)

The joint workshop with Yang Meng from ScAHRR and Bert Van Landeghem from Economics on Pseudo Panel Analysis took place on Wednesday 23 April 2014.

You want to carry out panel analysis, but all you have is repeated cross section data.

Here is a method that may help you: pseudo panel analysis is a method of enabling panel analysis of repeated cross section data.

The workshop focused on the rationale and pros/cons of pseudo panel analysis, and present how they used the approach to analyse data on alcohol demand and on life satisfaction.


Workshop: The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and its successor, the Understanding Society (US)

The joint workshop with Tess Peasgood from ScAHRR and Karl Taylor from Economics on The British Household Panel Survey took place on Tuesday 25 March 2014.

The British Household Panel Survey began in 1991.
– it follows the same representative sample of individuals over a period
of years;
– it is household-based, interviewing every adult member of sampled
– it contains sufficient cases for meaningful analysis of certain groups
such as the elderly or lone parent families.

Presentation slides are available at:

For further details see: BHPS or US


Workshop: The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)

The joint workshop with Steve McIntosh from Economics and Dan Gladwell from ScHARR on The Longitudinal Study of Young People In England took place on Friday 21 March 2014.

The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), also known as Next Steps, is a major innovative panel study of young people which brings together data from several sources, including annual interviews with young people and their parents, and administrative sources.

For further inormation please visit the following website:


Workshop: Socioeconomic Inequalities and Child Development

The workshop on Socioeconomic Inequalities and Child Development took place on Tuesday 4 March 2014.

The workshop looked at the well established link between existing socioeconomic inequalities and child development.  Socioeconomic inequalities are often defined and measured along various dimensions (gender, ethnicity, income, and health among then), with children often facing multiple disadvantages.

The disadvantage faced at the beginning of life often means that by the time children enter school there already exists a gap in their development, both cognitive and non-cognitive (behavioural; social and emotional well-being).  These early gaps in achievements of children often have implications for adult outcomes, social mobility, and intergenerational mobility.


Workshop: The Millennium Cohort Study

with Gurleen Popli from Economics and John Holmes from ScHARR

The Millennium Cohort Study workshop took place on Tuesday 28 January 2014.

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a cohort study hosted by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies.

MCS is a multi-disciplinary project following the lives of around 19,000 children born in the UK in 2000-01 since their early childhood, and plans to follow them into adulthood.

It collects information on the children’s siblings and parents, including: parenting; childcare; school choice; child behaviour and cognitive development; child and parental health; parents’ employment and education; income and poverty; housing, neighbourhood and residential mobility; and social capital and ethnicity.

The event is hosted by CWIPP (Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Public Policy), InstEAD (Institute for Economic Analysis of Decision Making) and CSCY (Centre for Study of Childhood and Youth)

For further information on the Millennium Cohort Study please click here


Our launch event: Education, Health and Human Capital

InstEAD’s official launch took place on Thursday 10 October 2013. We hosted a talk, Education, Health and Human Capital, from two leading economists – Professor Maarten Lindeboom of VU University Amsterdam, and Professor Stephen Machin of the University College London.

Our two speakers discussed the role of health and education in human capital, drawing on their own research.

The InstEAD team would like to thank everybody who attended the launch event. It was a great success and we look forward to seeing you all at our next event.