National Institute of Economic and Social Research

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National Institute of Economic and Social Research

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is Britain's longest established independent research institute and think-tank located in London, England. It was established in 1938 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and the Halley Stewart Trust.[1]

The most important output of NIESR has been a macroeconomic model of the UK economy called NiGEM which is used to produce quarterly forecasts of the UK and global economy, published quarterly in the National Institute Economic Review. Forecasts are also published for various other OECD countries.

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.

Dr. Martin Weale, CBE, was the Institute Director from 1995-2011. The current interim Director is Frances Cairncross. From 2011 to late 2015, the position was held by Jonathan Portes. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office, where he advised the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, and Number 10 Downing Street on economic and financial issues. Before that he held a number of other senior economic policy posts in the UK government, immigration labour markets and poverty.[2]

Lord Burns was President from 2003-2010, followed by Sir Nicholas Monck from 2011-2013. The current President is Sir Charles Bean.[3]

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.[4]


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