Center for Economic Performance

London, United Kingdom

Center for Economic Performance

London, United Kingdom
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De Neve J.-E.,University College London | De Neve J.-E.,Center for Economic Performance | Christakis N.A.,Harvard University | Fowler J.H.,University of California at San Diego | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics | Year: 2012

We explore the influence of genetic variation on subjective well-being by employing a twin design and genetic association study. In a nationally representative twin sample, we first show that ~33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic variation. Although previous studies have shown that baseline happiness is significantly heritable, little research has considered molecular genetic associations with subjective well-being. We study the relationship between a functional polymorphism on the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and life satisfaction. We initially find that individuals with the longer, transcriptionally more efficient variant of this genotype report greater life satisfaction (n = 2,545; p = .012). However, our replication attempts on independent samples produce mixed results, indicating that more work needs to be done to better understand the relationship between this genotype and subjective well-being. This work has implications for how economists think about the determinants of utility, and the extent to which exogenous shocks might affect individual well-being. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

Criscuolo C.,Center for Economic Performance | Haskel J.E.,Imperial College Business School
International Journal of Industrial Organization | Year: 2010

Globally engaged firms (multinational enterprises or exporters) tend to have higher productivity than their purely-domestic counterparts. We examine a UK firm data set where we have measures of global engagement linked to innovation/knowledge outputs, knowledge investments, and sources of existing knowledge. We find that globally engaged firms innovate more. But this is not just because globally engaged firms use more researchers. It is also because they learn more from their intra-firm worldwide pool of information (consistent with many recent theories of multi-nationals) and from suppliers, customers and universities. We also find that the relative importance of knowledge sources varies systematically with the type of innovation. © 2009.

Challen A.R.,Center for Economic Performance | Machin S.J.,University College London | Machin S.J.,University of Pennsylvania | Gillham J.E.,Swarthmore College | Gillham J.E.,McKinsey and Company
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology | Year: 2014

Objective: The study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an 18-hr cognitive behavioral group intervention in reducing depressive symptoms (and associated outcomes) in a universal sample of students in mainstream schools in England. The intervention, the UK Resilience Programme (UKRP), was based on the Penn Resiliency Program for Children and Adolescents. Method: Students (N = 2,844; 49% female; 67% White) were ages 11-12 at 16 schools. Classes of students were assigned arbitrarily into intervention (UKRP) or control (usual school provision) conditions based on class timetables. Outcome measures were the Children's Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992) (depressive symptoms, primary outcome); Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (C. R. Reynolds & Richmond, 1985) (anxiety); and child-reported Goodman (1997) Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (behavior). Students were surveyed at baseline, postintervention, 1-year follow-up, and 2-year follow-up. Results: At postintervention, UKRP students reported lower levels of depressive symptoms than control group students, but the effect was small (d = 0.093, 95% CI [-0.178, -0.007], p =.034) and did not persist to 1-year or 2-year follow-ups. There was no significant impact on symptoms of anxiety or behavior at any point. Conclusions: UKRP produced small, short-term impacts on depression symptoms and did not reduce anxiety or behavioral problems. These findings suggest that interventions may produce reduced impacts when rolled out and taught by regular school staff. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy and for future dissemination efforts. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Lehmann H.,University of Bologna | Lehmann H.,German Institute for Economic Research | Wadsworth J.,IZA | Wadsworth J.,University of London | Wadsworth J.,Center for Economic Performance
Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2011

Using longitudinal data from Ukraine we examine the extent of any long-lasting effects of exposure to the Chernobyl disaster on the health and labour market performance of the adult workforce. Variation in the local area level of radiation fallout from the Chernobyl accident is considered as a random exogenous shock with which to try to establish its causal impact on poor health, labour force participation, hours worked and wages. There appears to be a significant positive association between local area-level radiation dosage and perception of poor health, though much weaker associations between local area-level dosage and other specific self-reported health conditions. There is also some evidence to suggest that those who lived in areas more exposed to Chernobyl-induced radiation have significantly lower levels of labour market performance 20 years on. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Fazzio I.,Center for Economic Performance | Mann V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Boone P.,Center for Economic Performance
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: Guinea Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world, with one of the highest under-5 mortality rate. Despite its importance for policy planning, data on child mortality are often not available or of poor quality in low-income countries like Guinea Bissau. Our aim in this study was to use the baseline survey to estimate child mortality in rural villages in southern Guinea Bissau for a 30 years period prior to a planned cluster randomised intervention. We aimed to investigate temporal trends with emphasis on historical events and the effect of ethnicity, polygyny and distance to the health centre on child mortality. Methods. A baseline survey was conducted prior to a planned cluster randomised intervention to estimate child mortality in 241 rural villages in southern Guinea Bissau between 1977 and 2007. Crude child mortality rates were estimated by Kaplan-Meier method from birth history of 7854 women. Cox regression models were used to investigate the effects of birth periods with emphasis on historical events, ethnicity, polygyny and distance to the health centre on child mortality. Results: High levels of child mortality were found at all ages under five with a significant reduction in child mortality over the time periods of birth except for 1997-2001. That period comprises the 1998/99 civil war interval, when child mortality was 1.5% higher than in the previous period. Children of Balanta ethnic group had higher hazard of dying under five years of age than children from other groups until 2001. Between 2002 and 2007, Fula children showed the highest mortality. Increasing walking distance to the nearest health centre increased the hazard, though not substantially, and polygyny had a negligible and statistically not significant effect on the hazard. Conclusion: Child mortality is strongly associated with ethnicity and it should be considered in health policy planning. Child mortality, though considerably decreased during the past 30 years, remains high in rural Guinea Bissau. Temporal trends also suggest that civil wars have detrimental effects on child mortality. © 2011 Fazzio et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

King R.,Center for Economic Performance | King R.,University of Leeds | Mann V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Boone P.D.,Center for Economic Performance
BMC Public Health | Year: 2010

Background. Participatory health education interventions and/or community-based primary health care in remote regions can improve child survival. The most recent data from Guinea Bissau shows that the country ranks 5th from bottom globally with an under-five mortality rate of 198 per 1000 live births in 2007. EPICS (Enabling Parents to Increase Child Survival) is a cluster randomised trial, which is currently running in rural areas of southern Guinea Bissau. It aims to evaluate whether an intervention package can generate a rapid and cost-effective reduction in under-five child mortality. The purpose of the study described here was to understand levels of knowledge on child health and treatment-seeking and preventative behaviours in southern Guinea Bissau in order to develop an effective health education component for the EPICS trial. The study also aimed to assess the effect of gender and ethnicity on knowledge and behaviour. Methods. Women and men were interviewed in their households using a structured questionnaire. Characteristics of the households and of the interviewed women and men were tabulated. The number of correct answers given to the health knowledge and practice questions and their percentage distribution were tabulated by items and by gender. An overall health knowledge score was derived. Results. There are low levels of appropriate knowledge on child health, some inappropriate practices and generally low vaccination coverage. Health knowledge scores improve significantly amongst those who have accessed higher education. Differences in health knowledge between women and men become insignificant once age and education are accounted for. Conclusions. Health education activities should be an integral part of a package to improve child survival in rural Guinea Bissau. These activities should focus on diarrhoea, malaria, pneumonia, pregnancy, delivery, neonatal care and vaccination coverage, as these are areas where knowledge and practices were found to be inadequate in this study. Men as well as women should be involved in these activities. Prior to developing health education interventions in similar settings, studies to assess areas to be targeted should be conducted. © 2010 King et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gyani A.,University of Reading | Shafran R.,University of Reading | Layard R.,Center for Economic Performance | Clark D.M.,University of Oxford
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2013

Background: The English Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative aims to make evidence-based psychological therapies for depression and anxiety disorder more widely available in the National Health Service (NHS). 32 IAPT services based on a stepped care model were established in the first year of the programme. We report on the reliable recovery rates achieved by patients treated in the services and identify predictors of recovery at patient level, service level, and as a function of compliance with National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Treatment Guidelines. Method: Data from 19,395 patients who were clinical cases at intake, attended at least two sessions, had at least two outcomes scores and had completed their treatment during the period were analysed. Outcome was assessed with the patient health questionnaire depression scale (PHQ-9) and the anxiety scale (GAD-7). Results: Data completeness was high for a routine cohort study. Over 91% of treated patients had paired (pre-post) outcome scores. Overall, 40.3% of patients were reliably recovered at post-treatment, 63.7% showed reliable improvement and 6.6% showed reliable deterioration. Most patients received treatments that were recommended by NICE. When a treatment not recommended by NICE was provided, recovery rates were reduced. Service characteristics that predicted higher reliable recovery rates were: high average number of therapy sessions; higher step-up rates among individuals who started with low intensity treatment; larger services; and a larger proportion of experienced staff. Conclusions: Compliance with the IAPT clinical model is associated with enhanced rates of reliable recovery. © 2013 The Authors.

Claussen J.,Copenhagen Business School | Kretschmer T.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Kretschmer T.,Ifo Institute | Kretschmer T.,Center for Economic Performance | Mayrhofer P.,Center for Digital Technology and Management
Information Systems Research | Year: 2013

We study the market for apps on Facebook, the dominant social networking platform, and make use of a rule change by Facebook by which highly engaging apps were rewarded with further opportunities to engage users. The rule change led to new applications with significantly higher user ratings being developed. Moreover, user ratings became more important drivers of app success. Other drivers of app success are also affected by the rule change; sheer network size became a less important driver for app success, update frequency benefitted apps more in staying successful, and active users of Facebook apps declined less rapidly with age. Our results show that social media channels do not necessarily have to be managed through hard exclusion of participants but can also be steered through "softer" changes in reward and incentive systems. © 2013 INFORMS.

Van Reenen J.,Center for Economic Performance
Oxford Review of Economic Policy | Year: 2013

What was the productivity record under the Labour government of 1997-2010? I show that productivity growth (and economic performance in general) was good when the UK is compared with its main international peers. Only the US had stronger productivity growth and the UK did better than the US in terms of the jobs market. Much of this improved performance was a continuation of the pattern since 1979 which broke a century of relative decline. Some part of the improvement is directly linked to policies, especially over human capital, innovation, and competition. We discuss the recent 'productivity puzzle'-the disappointing productivity figures since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008-and argue that our conclusions are unchanged as most other OECD countries have also experienced poor measured productivity. © The Authors 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.

Van Reenen J.,Center for Economic Performance
International Journal of Industrial Organization | Year: 2011

A classic question in industrial organization is whether competition raises productivity and if so, through what mechanism? I discuss recent empirical evidence from both large-scale databases and specific industries which suggests that tougher competition does indeed raise productivity and one of the main mechanisms is through improving management practices. To establish this, I report on new research seeking to quantify management. I relate this to theoretical perspectives on the economics of competition and management, arguing that management should be seen at least in part as a transferable technology. A range of recent econometric studies suggests that (i) competition increases management quality and (ii) improved management quality boosts productivity. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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