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Nicholas Barr

Professor of Public Economics
London School of Economics and Political Science


Professor Nicholas Barr FRSA is Professor of Public Economics at LSE.



Areas of expertise

  • Welfare state
  • Social insurance
  • Pensions
  • Medical insurance
  • Social care
  • Higher education finance


Nicholas Barr is Professor of Public Economics at LSE and author of numerous articles and books, including The Economics of the Welfare State (6th edn 2020), Financing Higher Education: Answers from the UK (with Iain Crawford) (2005), and Pension Reform: A Short Guide (with Peter Diamond) (2010, also in Chinese and Spanish).

His policy work includes spells of leave at the World Bank and IMF. Since the mid 1980s he has been active in the debate on higher education finance. He and his colleague Iain Crawford have been described as the architects of the 2006 reforms in England, and he led the team that designed the student loan system in Hungary. He is also involved in pensions policy, including membership of a small group invited to advise the government of China, presenting their findings to the Premier in 2004. More recently, he was a member of a Presidential Commission on Reform of the Pension System in Chile.

He has spoken at 400 conferences and policy hearings, including evidence to Parliamentary Select Committees, has wide-ranging experience of television and radio and, in recent years, an increasing number of blogs and videos. A range of academic and policy writing can be found here.

Types of Engagement


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