Browse our research

Luck, politics, and the economic downturn

The question of how many of the good and bad things in our lives are attributable to the workings of luck and how many to our own efforts and skills seems a long way from everyday political and business reality. But the financial crisis and the ensuing economic downturn have forced government ministers and business people alike to get their story straight on just this issue. After all, if they want to say that the good times were down to them, don’t they have to accept that the bad times are down to them also? And if they want to say that the bad times are despite them, don’t they have to accept that the good times were despite them also? Our article examines how those under fire have tried to navigate their way around these pitfalls - and whether their answers stand up to scrutiny.

The role of the chief economist

Drawing on interviews with more than twenty senior economists across private, public, and not-for-profit sectors this report is about the role of chief economists. As well as looking at how the financial crisis and its aftermath have affected their standing, the report examines the contribution senior economists make to organisational life, the duties they are under and the dilemmas they face, and how they view the relationship between the worlds of practice and theory. As such, the report stands as an anatomy of a professional discipline at a time of scrutiny and change.

Succession planning in the university sector

The report is based on interviews with the senior officers of twenty one universities. Taken together, the universities represent a mix of higher education institutions in the UK. The report aims to stay close to the issues as they play out in practice. But it presents these issues – and the views of the study participants – in a way that is structured and systematic and seeks to recognise their broader context.