National Productivity Week 27th January 2025 | Visit Website

A diverse community of
leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


UK regional productivity level and growth: from the micro to the macro

The goal of this project is to construct a large firm-level dataset, by building on both comprehensive administrative data and FAME, allowing for the analysis of spatial distribution of productivity at a granular level.

The use of firm-level data allows for the unpacking of different elements of productivity (firm size, markups, etc.) and analysis of the extent to which regional disparities are driven by these different aspects of firm performance, and their interaction with spatial features such as density.

Previous surveys have not been designed to be representative of the productivity of the population of UK firms at any granular regional level. This research makes use of wider datasets, some of which have only been recently made available to researchers, and which can actually be linked together. More specifically, through previous research, the team gained access to HMRC datasets and in particular the VAT panel dataset. This data provides very precise and reliable information on firm revenue and the cost of materials & services for all VAT paying firms in the UK (roughly 2 million firms). This data can now be matched to the BSD/IDBR dataset that contains firm industry affiliation, location and employment of UK active firms.

Both datasets can be matched to the FAME/ORBIS database (with access to both current and historical releases) that provides a precious additional piece of information allowing further measuring of multi-factor Total Factor Productivity (TFP): the capital stock (tangible and intangibles assets).

Project lead Giordano Mion (University of Sussex)