National Institute of Economic and Social Research

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Not to be confused with Economic and Social Research Council.
National Institute of Economic and Social Research

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), established in 1938, is Britain's oldest independent economic research institute and think-tank. The institute is located in London.[1][2] It provides research to the UK Treasury, national and international organistions.


The NIESR was established in 1938 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and the Halley Stewart Trust.[1][2]

In April 2017, it was announced Angus Armstrong of the institute would lead a network called Rebuilding Macroeconomics commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council for an initial £4.6 million. The network will be interdisciplinarity and aims for innovation in macroeconomic methodology.[3][4]


Martin Weale was the Institute Director from 1995-2011. From 2011 to late 2015, the position was held by Jonathan Portes, previously, Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office. The current Director is Jagjit Chadha, who took up the position in May 2016.

Lord Burns was President from 2003-2010, followed by Sir Nicholas Monck from 2011-2013. The current President is Sir Charles Bean.[1]


Institute staff are organised into three groups: macroeconomics and finance; employment; and productivity, innovation and skills. Research themes covered by the National Institute include health and well-being, policy evaluation, welfare, migration, Britain in the EU, inequality poverty and disadvantage, families early years and early intervention, education training and skills and employment policy and practice.

The National Institute is independent of all party political interests, and receives no core funding from government or other sources. They are not affiliated to any single university, although staff regularly undertake projects in collaboration with leading academic institutions. Funding is received through commissioned research projects from a variety of sources: government departments and agencies, the research councils, particularly the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission, charitable foundations, and the private sector.[1]


An important output of NIESR has been a macroeconomic model called NiGEM (National Institute's Global Econometric Model)[5] which is used to produce quarterly forecasts for the UK and global economy (published in the National Institute Economic Review). Forecasts are also published for various other OECD countries. The model are used by the UK Treasury, IMF, Bank of England, the OECD and European Central Bank.[5][6][7] A Societe Generale researcher used the model to analyse the effect of falling oil prices on the world economy.[8]


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