Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Tim Besley

Like many of my generation, I was brought up on Tony Atkinson’s work.  His Economics of Inequality was among the first economics books that I bought as an undergraduate and helped to inspire me to carry on studying economics.  He showed that economics could be rigorous and yet focused on major societal policy issues.  As a graduate student, I recall working through every line of his Lectures in Public Economics (with Joe Stiglitz).  It defined the subject for a generation or more.  More generally, his commitment to measurement, bringing insightful theory and policy together made him an inspirational figure.  His enduring commitment to the study of inequality and the importance of policy rooted in normative concerns made sure that these remained central to public economics.  Tony was brought to LSE in to STICERD at an early point in its history and his approach to economics lives on in the work that STICERD does.  We owe it to Tony to strive even harder to emulate the standards of human decency and scientific integrity that he set.

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