Trade, Investment & Productivity

Why is the UK less productive than similarly advanced nations and what can be done about it? How are the gains from economic growth distributed and why does this matter? What drives firms’ investment patterns and what is the role of institutions, firms and financial intermediation in explaining trends and cycles in productivity? These questions have gained far greater significance since the global financial crisis as productivity growth has disappeared and income gains stagnated for many.

More recently, the process of negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU is throwing our trade with the rest of Europe and the world into sharp relief. What are the consequences of globalization for the UK economy? What is the impact of the rise of trade within the global value chains for British firms and workers? How do we assess UK comparative advantage in the interconnected global economy?  Understanding these challenges are key to policy making and our future prosperity.

NIESR has a long record of leading trade, productivity and labour markets research. Our research focuses on improving the measurement of productivity, understanding the influence of education, training & skills on economic performance, the drivers of firm behaviour and innovative capacity, the impact of import competition on local labour markets and the improvement in trade in value added measurement.


For a more detailed look at our work on Productivity, visit our dedicated page here


Staff: Andrew Aitken, Larissa MarioniDavid Nguyen, Ana Rincon-AznarLucy StokesCraig ThamotheramManuel Tong

Other NIESR programmes working in this area: Partners working in this area: