Tim Leunig is Chief Economist at CentreForum, the liberal think tank, and Reader in Economic History at the London School of Economics. He is the recipient of three international academic prizes, and three prizes for outstanding teaching. His academic research concentrates on the UK and US since 1600. Often with coauthors he has answered questions such as whether boys who went to see ended up taller than those who did not (they did - sailors were fed well), whether smallpox caused stunting (it did), and the value of the passenger railways to England in the nineteenth century (about 15% of GDP on a social savings basis). He is currently investigating why women were paid less than men in Swedish tobacco firms (fewer well-paid outside options), and whether firms that employed more of them did better (yes), why the UK textile industry collapsed after world war two, despite inventing polyester (invention =/= manufacturing) and whether an apprentice migrant to London in the seventeenth century led others to follow in his footsteps (not to any extent).
He has written widely for the press and for think tanks, as well as authored papers for the UK government, political parties, and international organisations. He was a member of the UK government's Barker Review of Land Use Planning Advisory Panel, the UK's "New Industries, New Jobs Agenda" Advisory Group, and with Prof Nick Crafts he authored a paper for the UK Eddington Review of Transport and the economy. He was the 2011 OECD International Transport Federation Academic Plenary speaker, speaking on transport and the economy. More generally he has expertise on housing, transport, the UK benefits system and pensions, regional regeneration, as well as the application of economics to policy more widely.