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, 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 are not affiliated to any single university, although our staff regularly undertake projects in collaboration with leading academic institutions.
Although we are a charity and our ultimate purpose is to inform the public debate, we receive no core funding from government or other sources. Instead, we undertake research commissioned from a variety of sources: government departments and agencies, the research councils, particularly the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Commission, charitable foundations, 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.
Macroeconomic modeling 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 – Professor Sir Charles Bean, former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England
- Director - Professor Jagjit S. Chadha, appointed May 2016
- Governed by a Council of Management (who function as a Board of Trustees)
- Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester, is Chair of the Council of Management
- Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary - Jeremy Holmes appointed January 2018 (interim)
37 research staff, 30 visiting fellows, 10 Honorary fellows, 11 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.
ISO compliance & Cyber Essentials
NIESR is proud to have achieved certification to the internationally recognised ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 27001 Information Security Management standards, meeting world-class specifications for products, services and systems which ensure quality, safety and efficiency. Independently assessed by the British Assessment Bureau, a leading Certification Body, NIESR has successfully demonstrated commitment to the delivery of high-quality products and services, managing our environmental impact and to keeping our data, information, staff and premises secure.
NIESR has also been re-certified for Cyber Essentials, the cyber security Government scheme, assuring that it has suitable controls in place to mitigate common internet based threats.