The ESRC Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) examines the determinants of economic performance at the level of the company, the nation and the global economy by focusing on the major links between globalisation, technology and institutions (above all the educational system and the labour market) and their impact on productivity, inequality, employment, stability and wellbeing.

The ESRC Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS) investigates processes throughout the life course that relate the development of personal and professional skills to health and wellbeing and to patterns of employment and social participation. This research is possible due to the unique longitudinal birth cohort studies that have been carried out in the UK and the availability of comparative national and international data.

The ESRC Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) is an ESRC Resource Centre which houses three of Britain’s internationally-renowned birth cohort studies:

  • 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS)
  • 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
  • Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)

The studies involve multiple surveys of large numbers of individuals from birth and throughout their lives. They have collected information on education and employment, family and parenting, physical and mental health, and social attitudes.

The ESRC Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) is a leading research centre combining expertise in economics, geography and law. The centre aims to study the intersection between the public and private sectors of the economy, and in particular to understand the right way to organise and deliver public services.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) promotes effective economic and social policies by increasing understanding of their impact on individuals, families, businesses and the government’s finances. The IFS has hosted an ESRC research centre since 1991. The ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) aims to carry out core analytical research that will allow informed microeconomic analysis of major public policy issues, from productivity growth to poverty reduction, and from promoting employment to ensuring sound public finances.

The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) is jointly core-funded by the ESRC and the University of Essex. ISER hosts the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSOC) and the ESRC UK Longitudinal Studies Centre (ULSC). ISER is also home to Understanding Society. The central focus of MiSOC’s work is the individual life course and the changing nature of society and its team of world-class researchers and associates come from a range of social science disciplines including economics, sociology, psychology, demography, geography and statistics. The ULSC goal is to ensure the collection of longitudinal data of the highest quality to meet UK social research needs and to promote its widest and most effective use.

The ESRC Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) in the United Kingdom – the 2011 Survey project’s primary purpose is to advance state-of-the-art theory and practice of poverty and social exclusion measurement. To improve current measurement methodologies, the research will develop and repeat the 1999 Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey.

Understanding Society is the largest household panel survey in the world. It collects information annually from 100,000 people across 40,000 UK households and provides valuable new evidence about the people of the UK, their lives, experiences, behaviours and beliefs. The study allows for deeper analysis of a wide range of sections of the population as they respond to regional, national and international change. Understanding Society will greatly enhance our insight into the pathways that influence people’s longer term occupational trajectories, their health and wellbeing, their financial circumstances and personal relationships.

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