John Van Reenen is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Director of the Centre of Economic Performance. He is the winner of the 2009 Yrjö Jahnsson Award (European equivalent to the Bates Clark Medal)

He has been a senior policy advisor to 10 Downing Street, the UK Secretary of State for Health and European Commission. He is a Research Fellow at the CEPR and NBER.
He received his BA from the University of Cambridge, his MSc from the London School of Economics and his PhD from University College London. Since 2003 he has been a member of the economics faculty of LSE, where he has taught industrial economics, labour economics and econometrics. He has been a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, at Princeton and Denning Visiting Professor of Global Business and Economics at Stanford.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in July 2010.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10756

The fall of labor's share of GDP in the United States and many other countries in recent decades is well documented but its causes remain uncertain. Existing empirical assessments of trends in labor's share typically have relied on industry or macro data, obscuring heterogeneity among firms. In this paper, we...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10724

Partnering with the Census we implement a new survey of "structured" management practices in 32,000 US manufacturing plants. We find an enormous dispersion of management practices across plants, with 40% of this variation across plants within the same firm. This management variation accounts for about a fifth of the spread...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10706

What is the optimal form of firm organization during "bad times"? Using two large micro datasets on firm decentralization from US administrative data and 10 OECD countries, we find that firms that delegated more power from the Central Headquarters to local plant managers prior to the Great Recession out-performed their...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10539
published in: American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, 2017, 107(5), 180-185

The recent fall of labor's share of GDP in numerous countries is well-documented, but its causes are poorly understood. We sketch a "superstar firm" model where industries are increasingly characterized by "winner take most" competition, leading a small number of highly profitable (and low labor share) firms to command growing...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9987

Are some management practices akin to a technology that can explain company and national productivity, or do they simply reflect contingent management styles? We collect data on core management practices from over 11,000 firms in 34 countries. We find large cross-country differences in the adoption of basic management practices, with...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9089

Disability rolls have escalated in developed nations over the last 40 years. The UK, however, stands out because the numbers on these benefits stopped rising when a welfare reform was introduced that integrated disability benefits with unemployment insurance (UI). This policy reform improved job information and sharpened bureaucratic incentives to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8620

We collect data on operations, targets and human resources management practices in over 1,800 schools educating 15-year-olds in eight countries. Overall, we show that higher management quality is strongly associated with better educational outcomes. The UK, Sweden, Canada and the US obtain the highest management scores closely followed by Germany,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7241

We show how size-contingent laws can be used to identify the equilibrium and welfare effects of labor regulation. Our framework incorporates such regulations into the Lucas (1978) model and applies this to France where many labor laws start to bind on firms with exactly 50 or more employees. Using data...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6323

Business support policies designed to raise productivity and employment are common worldwide, but rigorous micro-econometric evaluation of their causal effects is rare. We exploit multiple changes in the area-specific eligibility criteria for a major program to support manufacturing jobs ("Regional Selective Assistance"). Area eligibility is governed by pan-European state aid...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1913
published in: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2011, 3 (1), 121-159

Although there is a large literature on the economic effects of minimum wages on labour market outcomes (especially employment), there is hardly any evidence on their impact on firm performance. This is surprising: minimum wages appear to have a significant impact on wages, but only a limited impact on jobs,...

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