How to contact us

LSE Growth Commission,
London School of Economics,
Houghton Street,
London WC2A 2AE

Tel: +44 20 7955 7285

Email: lsegrowth@lse.ac.uk


LSE Growth Commission Report 2017

UK Growth: A new chapter

LSE Growth Commission sets out a new blueprint for growth in the UK. Growth that is inclusive and sustainable – and that deals with the challenges facing the UK, old and new. 

Drawing on the latest research, analysis and evidence from leading experts, the Commission – drawn from leading business, policymaking and academic figures - outlines the top priorities in four key areas:

  • Jobs & Skills
  • Industrial Strategy
  • Openness
  • Finance & Growth


"The London School of Economics’ Growth Commission, whose first report four years ago was very good, published a second last week. I have barely scratched the surface of the [second] LSE report but it offers plenty of ideas for turning over a new leaf. And it is more coherent and comprehensive than anything the government has yet come up with." David Smith, The Sunday Times, 26 February 2017

LSE Growth Commission Book

Investing for Prosperity: A manifesto for growth

Edited by Tim Besley and John Van Reenen 

ISBN 978-1-909890-02-2
£19.99 - Buy online

Why is economic growth such a rare and elusive butterfly in the UK garden? What institutions and policies are needed to sustain UK economic growth in the dynamic global economy of the twenty-first century?

After years of inadequate investment in skills, infrastructure and innovation, there are longstanding structural weaknesses in the economy, all rooted in a failure to achieve stable planning, strategic vision and a political consensus on the right policy framework to support growth. This must change if we are to meet our current challenges and others that may arise in the future.

Despite the current recession gloom, the UK has many assets that can be mobilised to its advantage. It has strong rule of law, generally competitive product markets, flexible labour markets and a world-class university system. It has strengths in many key sectors, with cutting-edge firms in both manufacturing and services. These and other assets helped to reverse the UK’s relative economic decline over the century before 1980.

This book, based on the work of the LSE Growth Commission and greatly expanding upon its first published report, argues that the UK should build on these strengths and proposes how we can address the inadequate institutional structures that have deterred long-term investment to support our future prosperity.

The book is edited by Professors Tim Besley and John Van Reenen at the London School of Economics and Political Science. It develops on the themes outlined in the Commission’s first brief report published in January 2013.

The Commissioners and contributors also include: Philippe Aghion, Lord John Browne, Francesco Caselli, Sir Richard Lambert, Rachel Lomax, Christopher Pissarides, Lord Nicholas Stern, Nitika Bagaria, Novella Bottini, Miguel Coelho, Joao Paulo Pessoa, Isabelle Roland and Jennifer Kao.

LSE Growth Commission Report

In preparing its Report, the Commission and its research team draw on the output of its own analysis as well on relevant preceding work in the design of adequate responses to the growth challenges faced by the UK.

The stock of potentially relevant preceding work is vast, comprising numerous areas allegedly in need of improvements: e.g. regulatory barriers to competition such as planning and immigration controls; mid-level skill shortages; weak numeracy and literacy in the bottom and middle range of the skills spectrum; management capability deficits; lagging the US record in turning scientists into entrepreneurs; weaknesses in getting the output of R&D to the market; high energy prices; strained infrastructure; problems in access to credit; rebalancing the industrial composition of the economy; UK's role and relationship with international institutions; industrial policy; and the regulation of banks.

Download summarised report (PDF)

Download the Full Report:
Investing for Prosperity: Skills, Infrastructure and Innovation

Philippe Aghion, Tim Besley, John Browne, Francesco Caselli, Richard Lambert, Rachel Lomax, Chris Pissarides, Nick Stern, John Van Reenen

Executive Summary

1.  Introduction

2.  The economic story of the UK

  • The growth process
  • UK decline and rebound
  • Decline again after the crisis?
  • Investment failure: the UK's fundamental problem
  • The right policy-making environment
  • The structure of our report

3.  Human capital

  • Why human capital matters
  • Diagnosis: the problems of education in the UK
  • Core recommendations on education
  • Other policies to support human capital
  • Why have problems with human capital persisted?

4.  Investment in infrastructure

  • Why Infrastructure matters
  • Diagnosis: the problems of infrastructure in the UK
  • Core recommendations on infrastructure
  • Other policies to support infrastructure
  • Why have problems with infrastructure persisted?

5.  Private investment and innovation

  • Why private investment matters
  • Diagnosis: the problems of private investment and innovation in the UK
  • Core recommendations on private investment
  • Other policies to support private investment and innovation
  • Why have problems with private investment persisted?

6.  GDP and beyond

7.  How to get to where we want to go

If you have any comments on the report, please email them to us at lsegrowth@lse.ac.uk

Background Research Papers

Beyond GDP
Joao Paulo Pessoa

Human Capital and Growth - A focus on Primary & Secondary Education in the UK
Nitika Bagaria, Novella Bottini & Miguel Coelho

Infrastructure Bank - A blueprint for an Infrastructure Bank
Novella Bottini, Miguel Coelho & Jennifer Kao

Infrastructure and Growth
Novella Bottini, Miguel Coelho & Jennifer Kao

Private Investment and Innovation
Miguel Coelho, Jennifer Kao & Isabelle Roland

External Contributions

The Commission and its research team welcome comments and suggestions from external thinkers in academia, business and policy. To see a list of submissions so far, please visit our Contributors Page. To submit your comments, please email us at lsegrowth@lse.ac.uk.