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Position: Professor of Public Economics
Research Interests: Economic theory of the welfare state, social insurance, pensions, health finance, the finance of higher education.
Nicholas Barr has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a
Fulbright Scholar. He is Professor of Public Economics at the London School of Economics, the author of numerous books and articles, including
The Economics of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press, 5th edition, 2012), Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices
(with Peter Diamond) (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), and Financing Higher Education: Answers from the UK
(with Iain Crawford), (London and New York: Routledge, 2005). He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Social Security Review
and an Associate Editor of CESifo Economic Studies and the Australian Economic Review.
Alongside his academic career is wide-ranging involvement in policy. He worked at the World Bank from 1990-92 on the design of
income transfers and health finance in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, and from 1995-96 as a principal author of the World Bank's
World Development Report 1996: From Plan to Market. More recently, he edited Labor Markets and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe:
The accession and beyond, World Bank, 2005, which draws together the World Bank's experience from the beginning of post-communist transition
to the time that eight former-Communist countries joined the EU. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International
Monetary Fund and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils on Demographic Shifts and on Ageing Society.
Since the mid 1980s he has been active in the international debate about financing higher education, about which he has written extensively,
advocating a system of income-contingent student loans administered alongside income tax or social security contributions. In the UK, he argued for many
years for tuition fees fully covered by income-contingent loans - arguments that culminated in the 2006 reforms in England. He was an adviser to the
Australian West Committee, has contributed to policy in New Zealand, advised the Hungarian government on the design of their student loan system and
contributed to the debate about reform in Chile.
He is also involved in pensions policy, with continuing activity in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. He has advised governments
in the UK, and in Chile, China and South Africa (where he also contributed to the Lund Committee on Child and Family Support), and is a Trustee of
A range of academic and policy writing can be found on http://econ.lse.ac.uk/staff/nb/
EC100 Economics A
EC501 PhD Work-in-Progress Seminars
- Telephone: +44-20-7955-7482
- Email: email@example.com
- Room number: KSW 4.09
[Welfare State |
Higher Education Finance | Press Articles on Higher Education Finance |
Post-Communist Reform |
Other | Working Papers]
- The Economics of the Welfare State, 5th edition, Oxford and New York: Oxford
University Press, 2012
- A toolkit for assessing reform of public sector pensions
- The recommendations of the Hutton Report will protect workers and pensioners, but we must come to terms with retiring later
- Retirement age - a good news story
- Pension Reform in China: Issues, Options and Recommendations with Peter Diamond, Febuary 2010
- Pension Reform: A Short Guide with Peter Diamond, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010
- ‘Reforming pensions: Principles, analytical errors and policy directions’, with Peter Diamond, International Social Security Review, Vol. 62, No. 2, 2009, pp. 5-29 (also in French, German and Spanish).
- Reforming Pensions November 2008 with Peter Diamond
- Reforming pensions: Principles and Policy Choices, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-531130-3 (with Peter Diamond)
- The Economics of Welfare - Pensions, Health Care, Unemployment and Long-term Care Insurance in the Twenty First Century, (Tokyo: Kouseikan, 2007), ISBN 978-4-332-60083-1 (Japanese translation of The Welfare State as Piggy Bank, 2001)
- 'Reforming pensions: Tales from China, Chile and elsewhere' Barclay Memorial Lecture 1st February 2007
- 'Pensions: Overview of the Issues', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 22. No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 1-14
- 'The Economics of Pensions', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 22. No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 15-39
(with Peter Diamond)
- Social Security Reform in China: Issues and Options, Policy Study of the China Economic Research and Advisory Programme, January 2005
(with Mukul Asher, Peter Diamond, Edwin Lim, and James Mirrlees)
- The Economics of the Welfare State, 4th edition, Oxford University Press and Stanford University Press, 2004. (also in Hungarian and Korean)
- Pensions: Challenges and Choices: What next? (PDF)
Pensions: Challenges and Choices: The First Report of the Pensions Commission, London: TSO, 2004
- The Welfare State as Piggy Bank,
Oxford University Press, 2001
- (Editor) Economic Theory and the Welfare State, Edward Elgar Library in Critical
Writings in Economics, Edward Elgar, 2001
Truths, and Policy Choices',
Working Paper WP/00/139, Washington DC: International Monetary Fund, 2000.
- 'Genetic Screening and Insurance', in Third Report: Human Genetics: The Science and
Consequences, Volume II Minutes of Evidence, House of Commons Science and Technology
Session 1994-95, HC 41-IV, HMSO, 1995, pp. 242-247.
- 'Economic Theory and the Welfare State: A Survey and Interpretation', Journal of
Economic Literature, Vol. 30, No. 2, June 1992, pp. 741-803.
Higher Education Finance
- Assessing the White Paper on Higher Education: Supplementary evidence to BIS Select Committee
- Breaking the logjam: Evidence to BIS Select Committee
- Saving Student Loans, with Alison Johnston
- Towards setting student numbers free
- Designing Student Loans To Protect Low Earners
- Comment on the Browne Review
- Student loans to protect low earners
- Paying for higher education: What policies, in what order?
- Interest subsidies on student loans: A better class of drain, with Alison Johnston
- 'Financing higher education: tax, graduate tax or loans?', in Hills, John, Le Grand, Julian, and Piachaud, David (eds) (2007), Making Social Policy Work: Essays in honour of Howard Glennerster, Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 109-130.
- ‘Financing Higher Education’, Finance and Development, Vol. 42, No. 2, June 2005
- 'Financing Higher Education: Answers from the UK', with Iain Crawford, London and New York: Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0-415-34857-9.
- ‘Higher education funding’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2004, pp. 264-283
- 'Financing Higher Education: Comparing the Options', June 2003
- 'Financing Higher Education in the UK: The 2003 White Paper', House of Commons Education and Skills Committee, Post-16 student support, Session 2002-03, March 2003
- 'Funding Higher Education: Policies for Access and Quality', House of Commons Education and Skills Committee, Post-16 student support, Session 2001-02, 24 April 2002
- 'Higher Education in Australia and Britain: What Lessons?', Australian
Economic Review, Vol. 31, No. 2, June 1998, pp. 179-88.
- 'Education Funding, Equity and the Life Cycle' in Falkingham,
Jane and Hills, John (eds), The Dynamic of Welfare: The Welfare State
and the Life Cycle, Prentice-Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1995,
pp. 137-149 (with Jane Falkingham and Howard Glennerster).
- 'Paying for Learning', STICERD Discussion Paper WSP/94, September 1993 (with Jane Falkingham)
- 'Alternative Funding Resources for Higher Education', Economic Journal,
Vol 103, No 418, May 1993, pp. 718-28.
Press Articles on Higher Education Finance
- Government student loan explanations 'woeful'
- Why a graduate tax is a bad idea
- Fees harm access -- a case of pub economics
- 'Interest subsidies on student loans are the root of all evil', The Independent, 25 March 2010
- 'A graduate tax is for life, not just for a few years’, Guardian Education, 24 March 2009
- 'The NUS has got it wrong. Fees help the poorest', Guardian Education, 31 October 2006, p. 10,
- 'Making universities universal', LSE Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 2, Winter 2004, pp. 20-21
- 'Variable Fees are the Fairer Route to Quality'
March 30 2004
- 'Why Nobody Need Lose in this System'
January 24 2004
- 'A Good Deal for All the Family'
Times Educational Supplement
January 23 2004
- 'Myth or Magic?'
December 2 2003
- 'Can't Pay, Won't Pay'
June 12 2003
- 'University Funding: Discuss'
Times Higher Education Supplement,
January 17 2003
- 'End the Turf War'
The Independent, January 16 2003
- 'A Way to Make Universities Universal'
Financial Times, November 21 2002
- (Editor) Labor Markets and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: The Accession and Beyond, Washington DC: The World Bank, 2005, ISBN 0-8213-6119-8
- 'Reforming welfare states in post-communist countries', in Orlowski, Lucjan T. (ed.), Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries: The Ten-Year Experience,
Edward Elgar, 2001, pp. 169-218.
- 'Investing People and Growth' in World Development Report 1996: From Plan to
Market, New York: Oxford University Press for the World Bank, 1996, pp. 123-31.
- 'People and Transition' in World Development Report 1996: From Plan to Market,
New York: Oxford University Press for the World Bank, 1996, pp. 66-84.
- Labor Markets and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe: The Transition and
Beyond, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994 (also in Hungarian, Romanian
- 'The History of the Phillips Machine' in Leeson, Robert (ed.),
A. W. H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary Perspective, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 89-114.