Who we are and what we do
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research is Britain's longest established independent research institute, founded in 1938. Our mission is to carry out research into the economic and social forces that affect people’s lives and to improve the understanding of those forces and the ways in which policy can bring about change.
The Institute is independent of all party political interests and is not affiliated to any single university, although our staff regularly undertake projects in collaboration with leading academic institutions.
We are a charity supplying research output competitively and transparently, with the purpose to inform the public debate and decision making. We receive no core funding from government or other sources. Instead, the bulk of our funding comes from research projects awarded or commissioned by a variety of sources, all acknowledged in full in our published materials. The terms of our grants prohibit any involvement from funding bodies in determining or influencing content. Our funders include government departments and agencies, the research councils, particularly the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), charitable foundations, the European Commission, and the private sector. We are partners in three ESRC research centres (LLAKES, the Institute for Macroeconomics, and Rebuilding Macroeconomics), along with ESCoE, which is funded by the Office for National Statistics.
The Institute is also grateful for the support of its corporate members. Please note that none of our publications necessarily reflect their views.
Macroeconomic modelling and forecasting
NIESR’s well-known quarterly economic forecasts are produced using our global econometric model, NiGEM, which is also used by many European Central Banks and international organisations such as the OECD. The model’s use within these organisations helps to widen the influence of NIESR’s research and allows our expertise to influence policy decisions not only in the UK but worldwide. The model, including the database and simulation software underlying the forecasts, is sold to subscribers to help finance the costs of maintaining and developing NiGEM.
The Institute is also part of the EUROFRAME network, an initiative for improved forecasting and macroeconomic analysis in the European Union. The EUROFRAME network was founded at the end of 1998 by nine independent European research institutes that combine their knowledge in providing quantitative analysis, forecasts and policy recommendations for the European Union and for national decision makers.
We aim to disseminate research to as wide an audience as possible and we hold frequent seminars at which to present our findings, and those of our research collaborators. Our research has strong academic credibility and is published in top journals, and our quarterly Economic Review and discussion papers are indexed on RePec. We provide free copies of all our published research reports and discussion papers via our website. We also provide indicators on the state of the economy which are free to download. The website also contains videos of seminars and press conferences and staff blogs covering current research and opinion.
Serious commentators on economics and social policy look to the Institute for an informed and measured approach to news items and political debates, based on sound research and analysis. Our findings and commentary on the economy are frequently covered by press and broadcast media. We also actively participate in social media, including through our @NIESRorg and individual Twitter accounts, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and through our staff blog.
Our research frequently influences policy across economic and social policy areas.
NIESR at a Glance
- Founded on 2nd June 1938, with funding from charitable foundations including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust
- President – Sir Paul Tucker, chair of the Systematic Risk Council and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, appointed 22nd November 2018
- Director - Professor Jagjit S. Chadha, appointed May 2016
- Governed by a Council of Management (who function as a Board of Trustees)
- Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge, is Chair of the Council of Management
- Head of External Affairs - John Kirkland appointed July 2018
- Chief Financial Office - Helen Finely
32 research staff, 47 visiting fellows, 15 Honorary fellows, 12 support staff. Annual turnover approximately 3 million.
The Governors of the Institute are a distinguished and influential group upon whose support NIESR draws to extend their outreach and impact. A list of NIESR Governors can be found here.
Gender Pay differentials at NIESR
We undertook an analysis of gender pay differentials at NIESR in January 2018. This used Full Time Equivalents, based on a permanent staff of 40 who work for NIESR at least 50% of their time (22 male staff, 18 female). The median salary for female staff was found to be £39,982, 6% higher than the male staff median. When pensions are included, the female staff median is £45,668, 3% higher than the male staff median. In terms of mean salaries, female staff overall earn 6% less than males, or 8% less if pensions are included. Excluding Grade A, which only includes one person (the Director), the average female staff salary is £48,216 (£54,738 including pensions), compared to the average male staff salary of £46,464 (£53,786 including pensions). This equates to female staff earning on average 4% more than male staff, or 2% more if pensions are included.