NIESR at a Glance
-Founded on 2nd June 1938, with funding from charitable foundations including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust
-President – Professor Sir Charles Bean, former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England
-Director - Professor Jagjit S. Chadha, appointed May 2016
-Governed by a Council of Management (who function as a Board of Trustees)
-Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester, is Chair of the Council of Management
-Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary - Chivonne Preston, appointed May 2017
28 research staff, 20 visiting fellows, 9 Honorary fellows, 8 support staff. Annual turnover approximately 3 million.
The Governors of the Institute are a distinguished and influential group upon who support NIESR draws to extend their outreach and impact. A list of NIESR Governors can be found here.
History and Structure
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research is Britain's longest established independent research institute, founded in 1938. The vision of their founders was to carry out research to improve understanding of the economic and social forces that affect people’s lives, and the ways in which policy can bring about change. Nearly eighty years later, this remains central to NIESR’s ethos. They continue to apply their expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods and their understanding of economic and social issues to current debates and to influence policy.
The Institute is independent of all party political interests. They receive no core funding from government and are not affiliated to any single university, although their staff regularly undertake projects in collaboration with leading academic institutions.
Although they are a charity and their ultimate purpose is to inform the public debate, they receive little or no core funding from government or other sources. Instead, they carry out research commissioned 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. They are partners in two ESRC research centres (LLAKES and the Institute for Macroeconomics). They frequently work in partnership with experts in universities and other research institutes on larger projects.
Macroeconomic modeling and forecasting
NIESR’s well-known quarterly economic forecasts are produced using our global econometric model, NiGEM, which is also used by many European Central Banks and international organisations such as the OECD. The model’s use within these organisations helps to widen the influence of NIESR’s research and allows our expertise to influence policy decisions not only in the UK but worldwide. The model, including the database and simulation software underlying the forecasts, is sold to subscribers to help finance the costs of maintaining and developing NiGEM.
The Institute is also part of the EUROFRAME network, an initiative for improved forecasting and macroeconomic analysis in the European Union. The EUROFRAME network was founded at the end of 1998 by nine independent European research institutes that combine their knowledge in providing quantitative analysis, forecasts and policy recommendations for the European Union and for national decision makers.
In keeping with their role as an educational charity, they aim to disseminate research to as wide an audience as possible. They hold frequent seminars at which to present their findings, and those of their research collaborators and other respected researchers. Their research has strong academic credibility and is published in top journals. Their quarterly Economic Review and discussion papers are indexed on RePec. They provide free copies of all their published research reports and discussion papers via their website. They also provide indicators on the state of the economy which are free to download. The website also contains videos of seminars and press conferences and staff blogs covering current research and opinion.
Serious commentators on economics and social policy look to the Institute for an informed and measured approach to news items and political debates, based on sound research and analysis. Their findings and commentary on the economy are frequently covered by press and broadcast media. They also actively participate in social media, including through their @NIESRorg and individual Twitter accounts, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and through their staff blog.
Their research frequently influences policy across economic and social policy areas. They were awarded Think Tank of the Year in 2011 for their influence on debates on the economy. More recently, their research on caste discrimination in the UK directly led to the enactment of a clause relating to this form of discrimination in the Equality Act (2010).