NIESR and The Productivity Institute launch Productivity Commission

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and The Productivity Institute are delighted to announce a joint initiative, the establishment of a Productivity Commission (PC) for the UK.

The three main objectives of the Commission are:

  • To help understand and communicate the policy implications of new academic research related to productivity in the UK
  • Collect evidence from key stakeholders and provide summaries of research and evidence with an emphasis on regions and the devolved nations
  • Examine the implication of planned policies, respond to policy initiatives in Whitehall, elsewhere and overseas, provide policy advice and develop policy proposals

The Commission, set up with the help of UKRI and ESRC, will examine the UK’s productivity record and provide policy solutions to address the productivity shortfall, which has emerged in recent decades and undermines our national prosperity. The Commission, which will operate independently from the government or other policy institutions, will hold quarterly evidence sessions with experts in the area of productivity. Following each evidence session, the PC will publish a short report to highlight key issues and provide policy recommendations.

Professor Jagjit Chadha, Director of NIESR and Chair of the Productivity Commission, said: “The long relative decline of UK productivity performance has been well signposted. There is a growing sense in some circles that we are missing global opportunities and perhaps lack the ability to harness best practice and are dawdling or, worse still, not especially bothered. That is not the case. The Commission with its world class set of Commissioners is determined to help improve management of the UK economy.”

Professor Bart van Ark, Managing Director at The Productivity Institute and Professor of Productivity Studies at the University of Manchester, said: “The Productivity Commission will serve as the policy pillar of The Productivity Institute. It will obtain evidence from the Institute, but also from other entities and individuals from the UK and abroad, to bring the best insights on how to strengthen productivity in the UK to the table. We hope the Commission will become a go-to place for policy makers across the country on productivity-related issues.”

Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair of ESRC, said: “Raising productivity is one of the UK’s most important national objectives, and in recent years ESRC has funded major initiatives such as The Productivity Institute to transform research in this area. The Productivity Commission will take this cutting-edge research to the heart of decision making, speaking directly to government, business and policymakers, and acting as the key source of high-quality advice on productivity issues.”

  • The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is Britain’s longest established independent research institute, founded in 1938 by a group of major social and economic reformers including John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge. As a charity, it is independent of all party-political interests and receives no core funding from government or other sources. Its aim is to improve the public’s understanding of the way that economic and social forces impact on their lives, and the ways in which policy can bring about change. As an organisation it works in collaboration with leading academic institutions, as well as government departments, charitable foundations, international organisations, and the private sector.
  • The Productivity Institute is a UK-wide research organisation established in September 2020 and funded by a £26 million grant from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK – the largest single grant in its history – and supported by £6 million from its ten partner institutions. It aims to pinpoint the causes of the stagnation in UK productivity and focus energies to laying the foundations for a new era of sustained and inclusive productivity growth, which will improve our material standard of living. Our interdisciplinary world-class research draws on expertise from social sciences, engineering, physics, political science, business management, innovation research and data science. This research is developed in collaboration with business, through our eight Regional Productivity Forums, and policy users, through The Productivity Commission, which is led by partner NIESR.