How English care homes have coped with the National Living Wage

Giulia Giupponi 150Giulia Giupponi is an ESRC-funded PhD student at the London School of Economics and a research assistant at the Centre for Economic Performance.

Steve Machin 150Stephen Machin is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance.

They have been advising the Low Pay Commission on the impact of the National Living Wage on English care homes.

On 1 April, all five UK minimum wage rates were increased (PDF), a year on from introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and over with a rate of £7.20 an hour. Rates for younger workers remained at the level of the existing National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NLW is set to achieve the 2020 target of 60 per cent of median earnings. Given the scale of the change – a 7.5 per cent increase at the time of the NLW introduction (PDF) – and the ambitious target set for 2020, a natural question is the impact on employment and other margins of adjustment by firms. Continue reading

The ‘photo-finish effect’: when third place winners are happier than second

Laura Kudrna, a London School of Economics scholarship PhD candidate, researches the effects of achievement on happiness, particularly focusing on examples of when greater success – be it financial, academic, romantic, or athletic – do not translate into greater wellbeing for individuals or societies.

The study, carried out at the ESRC-funded Centre for Economic Performance, recently attracted national headlines. Here Laura gives us a more detailed overview.

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Many of us have goals to be ‘better’ in some way. But does being better mean that we will be happier?

One of the most prominent examples of when greater success does not necessarily bring greater happiness is in the Olympics. Continue reading

Making the world a happier place

Professor Lord Richard Layard directs the Wellbeing Programme at the ESRC Centre for Economic Performance, and has made major contributions on unemployment, inflation, inequality and post-Communist reform. Author of the influential book Happiness, he currently works on how to produce a happier society and advises the UK government on mental health policy.

Professor Lord Richard Layard

Why did you pursue an academic career?

I never meant to. I was teaching in a comprehensive school and going to evening classes at the London School of Economics (LSE). Through the LSE connection I was asked to be the research officer for the Robbins Committee (Committee on Higher Education, 1961), and after that I was offered a research job at LSE. Continue reading