Skills, innovation and economic growth

This project is investigating the extent to which relative productivity performance in different countries and within the UK reflects differences in the availability of the skills required to accumulate ‘intangible’ assets, such as innovation capacity, designs, software and ‘organisational capital’ (e.g., business practices and processes).


Key aims of the project are to improve understanding of

  • which types of national education and training systems seem best suited to the development of productivity-enhancing intangible assets.
  • the role of intangible capital in generating innovation and raising the economic performance of businesses.
  • the economic effects of the unequal distribution of intangible assets  across city regions


The research is being carried out with econometric panel methods using both firm-level and cross-country sector-level datasets.


This work is supported by the ESRC-funded Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES) in which NIESR is a partner together with the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of Southampton.