The Productivity Institute (TPI)

The Productivity Institute, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), brings together world-leading experts from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, working directly with policymakers and businesses to better understand, measure, and enable improvements in productivity across the whole of the UK, with the aim to improve living standard and well-being.

The Institute aims to pinpoint the causes of the stagnation in UK productivity lay the foundations for a new era of sustained and inclusive productivity growth. This is done through a strong focus on regional engagement with stakeholders across the whole country, something which is required to address the systemic nature of UK’s productivity challenges. It will support a step-change in the quality and quantity of research available in the UK that will directly inform government policies and business strategies to improve productivity.

NIESR’s Role

NIESR senior staff are also responsible for three of the major research themes:

Macroeconomic trends & policy

Professor Jagjit S Chadha, Director of NIESR, leads on this research theme, looking at why many of the UK productivity issues reflect economy-wide failures. From a private finance viewpoint, large financing gap for business seems to have emerged as banking restrictions on lending lead to shortfalls in productive investment. From a fiscal viewpoint, public investment in productivity-enhancing infrastructure may be limited by the fiscal regime and accounting frameworks used by the Treasury.

Institutions & governance

Professor Adrian Pabst, Deputy Director at NIESR, is a co-investigator of this research theme, examining why UK productivity suffers from overcentralised decision making, topdownism, short-termism, silos, and the absence of effective joined-up government, and how the geographical concentration of power may stifle local initiative and innovation. A common research theme is the need to better recognise the interactions between those taking the decisions and those affected by them.

Knowledge Capital

NIESR Honorary Fellow and former Chair of Council Professor Diane Coyle will be leading this research theme, looking at the institutional structure of research in the UK seems not to provide the coordination necessary for success, particularly in high technology and high value-added areas. There is a need to better understand and measure the impact knowledge capital and other types of intangible capital created by the public and private sectors on productivity.

Details of other research themes and further information can be found on the Productivity Institute website.