Re-igniting Growth

Re-igniting Growth coverThe Re-igniting Growth report examines some of the challenges the UK faces after the economic downturn and explores a range of initiatives or changes to policy that could help kickstart growth.

The report includes a series of interviews with key academics funded by the ESRC. As well as giving the recession historical context, many of the interviews take unconventional approaches to a range of issues and provide objective – and sometimes controversial – responses to the economic problems the UK is experiencing.

Hard copies of Re-igniting Growth are also available, by emailing Debbie Stalker at debbie.stalker@esrc.ac.uk

Among the interviews:

  • Professor Nick Bloom shows that the dramatic failures of banks, the European debt crisis and geopolitical concerns have left people more uncertain about what the future holds. Uncertainty about policy is a major factor in the current stagnation of growth in the UK.
  • Professor Paul Gregg looks at unemployment. The UK recession has seen unemployment to be far more focused on young people than in previous downturns, imposing large costs on individuals and society. He examines strategies for getting the unemployed back into work and ensuring that those leaving school do not join the jobless.
  • Bad management practices hurt the economy and delivering major improvements would be a key ingredient to restarting growth. Professor John Van Reenen looks at why UK managers lag behind the US, Japan and Germany.
  • Professor Mariana Mazzucato explains how the state has traditionally funded the creation of key technologies but failed to reap the economic rewards. How can the financial ecosystem be reformed so that the collective system of innovation fits with a more collective distribution of the rewards to those that have contributed?
  • Globalisation has seen traditional manufacturing decline as a share of the UK economy in the face of low-cost competition from the Far East. Professor Andy Neely says that future UK economic growth lies in a radical change in the way firms offer their products – 'servitisation'.
  • Professor David Newbery believes that in the current economic environment the public sector should ensure it maintains or increases investment in projects that have a high benefit-cost ratio. But he thinks HS2 and a third London airport are unlikely to deliver economic benefits until 2030 and therefore a third runway at Heathrow should be a priority.

Many of the themes in Re-igniting Growth are being taken forward by the LSE Growth Commission, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and the ESRC, and co-chaired by Professor Tim Besley and Professor John Van Reenen, Director of the ESRC's Centre for Economic Performance. The Commission's report, Investing for Prosperity, is launched on 31 January.