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Department of Psychology

Dr Simone Schnall photo


The Productivity Institute is a £32 million investment, made possible by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), focusing on improving productivity and living standards across the whole of the UK economy. It is the largest single economic and social research investment ever made in the UK, and was announced today by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

The Productivity Institute will combine research, practice and stakeholder engagement to deliver sustained and inclusive growth. It will focus on enabling policy and business leaders across the UK to improve productivity. Its research programme will be broad-based and interdisciplinary aimed at identifying the causes of the UK productivity puzzle and effective ways to raise productivity. 

Dr Simone Schnall will lead research on how Social Capital, that is, social relationships, skills and abilities, contributes to wellbeing and productivity. The aim of the project is to more fully capture various social and psychological resources, and go beyond traditional economic concepts such as GDP. Understanding these processes will be especially critical for the UK’s recovery process in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Read full details of the Productivity Institute



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