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John Van Reenen

Professor, London School of Economics
    Topics & Types
    Economic Outlook

    John Michael Van Reenen is a professor in the Department of Economics and director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He is the son of Lionel Van Reenen, formerly a sociologist at Goldsmith's College in the University of London and an immigrant from South Africa. His mother is Anne Van Reenen, a retired banker. He is married to Sarah Chambers, an interior designer in London's Carden Cunietti.

    In 2009, Van Reenen was awarded (jointly with Fabrizio Zilibotti) the Yrjö Jahnsson Award. This is the European equivalent of the John Clark Bates Medal. It is awarded by the European Economic Association to the best economist in Europe under the age of 45. In 2011, he was awarded the Arrow Prize for the best paper in the field of health economics.

    His research focuses on the causes and consequences of innovation. His early work focused on the impact of technology on wages, inequality, jobs, and firm profits. A characteristic of his approach is a focus on empirical evidence of large-scale datasets and an emphasis on public policy. More recently, he has worked on the measurement of management practices and their impact on productivity across firms and countries with his former PhD students, Nicholas Bloom and Raffaella Sadun. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in labour economics, industrial economics, and econometrics. He is frequently reported in the media in the UK and overseas.

    Van Reenen attended Cambridge University where he gained a First and won the Joshua King Prize, Subject and College Prizes. He took a Master's at London School of Economics with Distinction winning the Automation Prize. He completed his PhD at University College London and began his career in 1992 in the Institute for Fiscal Studies where he founded the Productivity and Innovation programme. He has been a full professor in University College London and a visiting professor in University of California, Berkeley, Stanford Business School, Harvard University, and Princeton University.

    In 2000–2001, he was a senior advisor to the Secretary of State for Health Alan Milburn and helped write the NHS Plan. He has also been a senior advisor to 10 Downing Street and other policy makers. In 2001–2002, he was a partner of an economic consultancy firm, Lexecon, now part of Charles River Associates, and a partner in a software start-up Polygnostics.

    In 2013, he published a report and book Investing for Prosperity, with Tim Besley, which summarised the work of the LSE Growth Commission. This recommended policies for long-run sustainable growth in the UK economy.

    He is currently on the editorial board of Quantitative Economics and Management Science. Previously, he has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Economic Literature, and Review of Economic Studies. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society and British Academy as well as a Research Fellow at the NBER, CEPR, and IZA.

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