Firm behaviour, productivity and innovation

At the heart of research in this area is the study of firms’ behaviour and the role of institutions and public policy.

Our research seeks to inform why trends in productivity and innovation differ across industries and countries, and the consequences of this. We analyse firms’ incentives and their resulting behaviour, studying the determinants and consequences of firms’ investment and location decisions, price setting and advertising choices. We also consider the impact of government policy on firm behaviour and how this interacts with consumer choices.

Research to date has addressed the role of product market competition, labour market regulations, agglomeration of activities (including interactions between firms and universities), firm structure and the allocation of resources, skills and wages, and government policies. Our work is mostly empirical, with a strong ground in economic theory and a focus on linking our empirical findings to practical policy issues

The changing educational attainment of graduate recruits to major public sector occupations

| External publications

Public sector pay has been squeezed since public spending cuts began to take effect from 2011, and it looks set to be squeezed even further up to 2020. However, this comes on the back of an increase in public sector wages relative to those in the private sector during the Great Recession. There is currently significant policy interest in the extent to which continued stagnation in public sector wages will affect the ability of the public sector to recruit and retain high-quality workers, although to date little is known about the potential effects.

Find out more

Tax, legal form and the gig economy

| Book Chapters

IFS Green Budget 2017: Tax, legal form and the gig economy

Find out more

Police officer retention in England and Wales

| Briefing Note

In this briefing note, we examine police officer retention in some detail.

Find out more