The technology revolution

by Scott Corfe

The First Industrial Revolution saw water and steam used to power and mechanise production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. These technologies include artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and “the internet of things” which is seeing an increasing proportion of household and business appliances connected to the internet. Continue reading

Untapped potential: The challenge and opportunity of migrant entrepreneurship

by Monder Ram

Migrant entrepreneurship is a notable feature of economies across Europe. Self-employment often provides migrants – and established ethnic minority communities – with a job, a mechanism for survival in a context of racial inequality, and for some, a path to social mobility. There are some spectacular successes: a recent study by the Centre of Entrepreneurs (PDF) looked at immigrant entrepreneurs in the ‘heartland SME segment of the economy’ (companies with a turnover between £1 million and £200 million) and found that foreign-born owners were: responsible for one in seven businesses in the UK; almost twice as entrepreneurial as UK-born individuals; and on average, eight years younger than the typical UK-born entrepreneur.

But my colleagues and I at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) usually focus on the smaller, more mundane – and perhaps more representative – entrepreneurial activities of migrants.

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How social scientists can get involved in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

by Charlie Dormer

A new set of research and innovation challenges has recently been announced through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), providing major opportunities for the social sciences to collaborate with other academic disciplines and businesses to solve specific economic and societal challenges.

ISCF is made up of major industrial and societal challenges in different areas of research, where academics work with businesses and other partners to find innovative solutions.

The challenges are being announced in batches each year known as ‘waves’. The latest batch – wave 2 – was announced in November 2017, and the first competitions for each challenge are now being launched. Continue reading

Celebrating IFS’s new ESRC Research Institute status

by Richard Blundell

For the last 25 years the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) has provided core long term research funding for IFS. With centre funding IFS has brought rigorous evidence-based research to the analysis of public policy, allowing us to respond swiftly, authoritatively and independently to the changing public policy debate. It has created a unique environment for building new generations of economists who have gone on to take leading roles in academia, in public policy, and in the media. The new Research Institute status will enable us to grow our global leadership in research and enhance our public policy influence. Continue reading

Becoming a Research Institute: the Centre for Economic Performance

by Stephen Machin

As Director of the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at LSE, I am delighted that the Centre has been named as one of the two inaugural ESRC Research Institutes. This is testament to the achievements of the Centre, and its significant impact on a wide range of policy over the years.

Whilst the Centre’s mission has always been to study economic performance and its determinants, it has never been a ‘single issue’ centre. CEP has continually evolved to ensure that research attention is placed on key contemporary economic questions. Continue reading