Themes

My research is concerned with economic policy, growth and innovation.  The key themes of my work are outlined below. My recent work has been concerned with new developments in innovation policy (you can find a review co-authored by myself and colleagues at the UK-Innovation Research Centre here) and analysing the knowledge exchange activities between the academics and external organisations (for a review, see here).

Economic Policy and Performance: Contemporary Perspectives

Analysis of the economics of austerity and the limitations of free market economics. Publications

Economic Policy and Performance:  Historical Analysis

Policy makers consistently ignore the lessons of history: the importance of managing the economy particularly in periods of crises and slow growth. Publications

Competition, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Performance

Competition, innovation and entrepreneurship are all considered essential for firm performance and economic growth.  But there are frequent misunderstandings on what these concepts mean and how they work.  Take innovation: there is focus on R&D – but most innovating firms do not do R&D; there is focus on private finance and venture capital – but many innovations are funded by the state; Universities are tasked with technology transfer – but this misrepresents how most ideas are developed and commercialised.   For example, click here to see the extent of academic engagement in the UK.  Publications

Globalisation

Analysis of the costs, benefits and complexities of complexities.  This is my favourite quote on globalisation:

‘All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands. We have universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production.’ Who said that?  Click here to find out. Publications

Regional Competitiveness and Regional Policy

There is an increasing focus on regional competitiveness: but this is an elusive, and sometimes an illusive, concept.  Despite the rush to measure, compare and promote ‘regional competitiveness’, the very notion is contentious and far from well understood.  This research sheds light on regional competitiveness and innovation – and how it varies across time and space. Publications

Labour Markets and Employment Policy

Despite being in a period of austerity; we still hear the usual refrains about jobs: we need flexible labour markets; we need to pay the rich more to give them incentives; and pay the poor less to encourage businesses to employ them.  This research highlights the fallacies of such myths. Publications