Business economics, international business
This research theme provides a unique platform for theoretical, evidence based and experimental research.
Collaboration between colleagues results in impactful research publications, success in grant applications and outreach activities. Researchers are active in various research centres across the Business School as well as the wider university and our international research on development and economic policies in the developing world has influenced policy and practice.
The research under this theme covers topics such as:
- productivity in the UK
- corporate governance and productivity
- regulation and public policy
- economic policy for emerging economies including China, Indian, Indonesia and low-income Sub-Saharan Africa
- electric vehicle infrastructure in Indonesia
Transforming Productivity - Management Practices and Employee Engagement: Coordination and Evidence Hub
Dr Cher Li is a co-investigator on a £2m project called PrOPEL Productivity Hub, which is funded by the ESRC. This was awarded as part of UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund to address the UK’s productivity challenge by improving management practices, employee engagement and technology adoption.
The PrOPEL Hub is a collaborative consortium involving academics in the School of Economics at the University of Nottingham, together with six other UK universities – Strathclyde, Cardiff, East Anglia, Aston, Ulster and Sheffield universities – and partner organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and British Standards Institution (BSI).
Cher leads projects that translate academic insights on productivity into “what works” and runs a series of knowledge exchange projects to disseminate practically based insights among businesses, policymakers and support organisations. These projects will also see the implementation of interventions targeting hundreds of companies using randomised control trials (RCTs) to study the business adoption of digital technologies for better performance and advance academic research in relevant domains.
Research outputs by our international development team are policy-relevant with rigorous methodology and their research articles are published in top journals in the area. Examples of our research are outlined below.
Local Government, Economic Growth and Human Development
This is an ESRC funded project with a total grant of over £600,000. The project is led by Professor Lina Song and includes collaboration with members of the School of Economics at University of Nottingham, as well as international collaboration with Peking University (China), Nairobi University (Kenya) and Makerere University (Uganda). The project covers field experimental data collection in China, Uganda and Kenya. It has produced RCT data set on governance. The project has published and is in the process of producing several papers, while the policy impacts include:
- the revision of the official poverty line for Uganda
- working closely with policy makers in Uganda to adjust its policy of poverty alleviation
- the dissemination of research findings among scholars and policymakers worldwide, in particular among those from low income African countries
Income Distribution, Public Finance and Global Governance
Experimental and behavioural economic research conducted by department researchers is also on the way to a global success. Professor Lina Song has set up the Field Experimental Research Centre (FERC) at China’s Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. FERC has recently received a five-year research grant from the Ministry of Education of PR China with a total grant of 8.5 million RMB Yuan plus the Chinese counterpart’s matching fund of similar size.
Song has organised the bid by involving an international team of prestigious researchers - from the University of Nottingham School of Economics: David Greenaway, Chris Starmer and Simon Appleton and from the University of Nottingham China Campus: Tom Lane, Jan Jozwik and Jing Zhang. The research team also includes globally renowned professors - Stefan Dercon (University of Oxford), John Hoddinott (Cornell University), Albert Park and James Kong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Li Shi (Zhejiang University), Yaohui Zhao (Peking University) and Zhao Zhong (Renmin University).
The project is currently conducting a lab-based experiment on individuals’ behaviour of tax avoidance and donation. A large scale randomised control trial on income distribution, public policy on finance and governance is planned and will be conducted when international travel is allowed.
Roadmap for Indonesia’s sustainable transport system
Professor Kulwant S Pawar (Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, Nottingham University Business School) along with Dr Kevin Amess, are the key collaborators on this highly interdisciplinary project which combines University of Nottingham’s expertise in power electronics, modelling, renewable energy, business models and logistics and supply chains.
The project is an award by the competitive Global Challenge Research Fund with a grant size around £200,000 for the period of 2020-2021. The project provides a roadmap for the electric vehicle (EV) industry as the sustainable transport system for Indonesia. This includes the quantification of emission reduction targets through the development of EV infrastructure and ancillary services, characterisation of cities, development of scalable business models and recommendations for evidence-based public policies.
By promoting the adoption of EV and contributing to the development of domestic industries and associated infrastructures, this project stimulates the multiplier effects that will improve the welfare of Indonesia’s population and boost the country’s economy. A sustainable transportation system that is tailored to Indonesia’s needs will help to reduce the burden of poor health, increase societal resilience, increase mobility - in particular for the most disadvantaged in society - and reduce pollution.