Welcome to the Fraser of Allander (FAI) website.
The FAI was founded in 1975 with the aim of establishing a dedicated economics research institute focussed on the Scottish economy.
Since then, hundreds of students and researchers have helped the institute make an outstanding contribution to public life in Scotland and further afield.
In collaboration with
About the Fraser of Allander Institute
The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is an economics research institute based at the Strathclyde Business School. It is part of the Department of Economics.
- We undertake high quality applied economic research that has real-world impact.
- We help to inform decision making within policy circles at both a national and local level.
- We work closely with Scotland’s business community to help improve productivity and performance.
- We help stimulate and inform public debate through the provision of facts and impartial insight.
- We are impartial. Our outputs are regularly cited by all sides of the political spectrum in Scotland and the UK.
- Our team hold a number of advisory roles to both policymakers and business.
We are committed to bringing on the next generation of applied economists – both through our own undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and as the host institution for the Scottish Funding Council’s Economic Futures initiative.
We are currently involved in a number of key projects and initiatives. For example –
- We are the host institution for a £2 million ESRC project to create a Hub for ‘Employee Engagement and Management Practice’ research to boost productivity in the UK.
- We run the £225,000 Economic Futures initiative on behalf of all Universities in Scotland.
- We are one of 6 institutions leading on the multi-million investment by the Office for National Statistics in its Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence.
- From 2020, we are the partners – with the University of Edinburgh – in running the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics.
- We are co-directors of the European Trade Study Group one of the largest conferences for international trade economists in the world.
Monitoring the Scottish economy
For nearly 45 years, the Fraser of Allander (FAI) has been monitoring and commentating on the Scottish economy.
In the current political climate, the need for impartial insight is all the more important.
- Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary: First published in 1975, our quarterly Economic Commentary provides the authoritative assessment of economic conditions in Scotland. The Commentary also publishes articles on a wide range of economic and policy issues. A full back catalogue is available. It is produced in association with Deloitte.
- Scottish Business Monitor: Since 1998, the Scottish Business Monitor has been a key leading indicator of the Scottish economy. The survey of business sentiment provides vital insights well in advance of official statistics. It is published in association with Addleshaw Goddard.
- Labour Market Trends: Labour Market Trends is a joint publication with the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) – a partner research unit within the Strathclyde Business School.
- Our blog: Launched in 2016, and viewed over 200,000 times, our blog is a keenly watched discussion platform on the Scottish economy. It also provides an outlet to showcase some of the work of our students.
- External engagement: The media, and other organisations, regularly call upon our team to help inform public understanding of the Scottish economy. The Institute’s commitment to impartiality – whilst never being afraid to offer a challenge – remains a hallmark of our approach.
Improving regional economic statistics
We have expertise in economic statistics.
We are working on a number of projects to develop new regional economic statistics in the UK.
A significant amount of this work is funded by the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence Programme (ESCoE) – a multi-year investment by the Office for National Statistics.
ESCoE comprises a consortium of researchers led by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Kings College London, Nesta, and the Universities of Cambridge, Warwick and Strathclyde.
- Regional Nowcasting: To provide high-frequency updates on the performance of the UK economy, we are producing quarterly model-based estimates of growth in the regions and nations of the UK to the same approximate timescale as official GDP data for the UK.
- Improving regional economic trade and price estimates: We are developing new information and statistics on regional trade and prices in the UK. Both are crucial to understanding how a regional economy operates.
- Developing Social Accounting Matrixes: We regularly produce multi-sectoral regional economic accounts, which we make available to researchers. This includes a bi-regional Scotland-rUK SAM (developed through the ESRC Future of the UK Initiative), a Scottish Social Accounting Matrix and a Social Accounting Matrix for Northern Ireland (co-produced with the Northern Ireland Assembly Government).
For over two decades, the FAI has been at the forefront of developments – not just in Scotland but across Europe – to develop multi-sector economic models.
The Department and Institute’s econometric team has also been at the forefront of developing new statistical methods.
This work has been funded by the ESRC, the UK Energy Research Centre, the EPSRC and the European Commission.
The FAI’s models have become embedded in the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.
In 2017, the FAI struck up a partnership with the Scottish Policy Foundation to provide think-tanks with access to the FAI’s suite of modelling capabilities.
- Computable General Equilibrium modelling: CGE models lie at the heart of policy development. The FAI has been building such models for decades and have used them to analyse key policy questions, including in relation to Brexit, fiscal policy, innovation, tourism and human capital formation.
- Macroeconometric modelling: Using a range of methods, researchers at the FAI work to provide new insights into the macroeconomy, whether that be the role of economic uncertainty, inflation, economic shocks, financial conditions or stock market volatility. An example of this work has been the research to develop a new measure of financial conditions, which helps inform the Bank of England’s Inflation Report.
- Energy and the environment: In recent years the FAI team have extended its modelling capabilities to capture the links between the economy, energy use and the environment. This enables the team to examine issues around climate change and the development of a ‘circular economy’.
- Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring Network: The FAI team are an integral part of the global GEMM network, a collaboration of academics from a range of disciplines examining the potential impact of climate change on regional economies. The network is a co-initiative between Strathclyde and the University of Stanford.
Devolved Economic Policy Analysis
The Institute specialises in analysing devolved economic policies, often using Scotland as a case study.
The team at the FAI are also involved in activities to help improve the quality of the economic policy debate in Scotland and across the UK.
- Policy evaluation: A key area of expertise in the FAI is econometric evaluation methods. Current examples of our work include a project for Scottish Enterprise testing the impact of business support grants on jobs and investment and a project for the Scottish Government evaluating the impact of the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
- Regional economic analysis: Much of the work of the FAI over the years has been to provide impartial analysis of the economic performance of Scotland and the regions of the UK. The FAI built the first ever input-output table of the Scottish economy in the mid-1970s. Since then, the institute has gone on to use its analytical capabilities to examine issues such as devolved economic policy, constitutional change and Brexit.
- Devolved Fiscal Policy: In 2016, following a major investment by the University and Asianomics – a Hong Kong based economics research firm led by ex-FAI economist Dr Jim Walker – the Institute has developed an expertise in devolved fiscal issues. A key element of our work is our annual Scotland’s Budget report.
- Learning & Development: The Institute runs a series of training courses for public and private sector audiences. This can range for 1 or 2-day introductory courses through to 10-week postgraduate level modules. For further details see our ‘Learn with us’ page.
- Commissioned research: The FAI is a leading providing of be-spoke research services in Scotland. Our clients include a wide range of government bodies – both national and local – and private sector businesses.