Economics Research

Real world, interdisciplinary research

Leeds at night skyline

The Economics Division represents a realistic and policy-relevant economics. We address real-world challenges through our research and promote a wide-range of perspectives. The Economics Division has an interdisciplinary approach, with strong local, national and international partnerships. We work with other disciplines – business, social sciences, and STEM – to solve complex, practical problems and lead several interdisciplinary research projects.  Members of the Economics Division also lead and contribute to the Cities research theme of the University of Leeds.

The Division's research centre, the Applied Institute for Research in Economics (AIRE), supports and disseminates research in economics and political economy at the University of Leeds.





Economics Division Research Themes

The macro economy and macroeconomic policy

Macroeconomics, monetary economics, financial economics, international economics; productivity, performance and growth.

Work, labour and organisation

Labour economics, labour-management relations, the nature and future of work and work organisation; productivity, performance and growth.

Financialisation and globalisation

Financial economics, monetary economics, international economics, macroeconomics; productivity, performance and growth.

Development and wellbeing

Development economics, welfare economics, happiness economics; productivity, performance and growth.

Environment, infrastructure, innovation and the circular economy

Ecological and environmental economics, regional and urban economics, innovation economics, industrial economics, welfare economics, agricultural economics; productivity, performance and growth. 

Our research in any one theme is diverse:

  • Taking multiple perspectives in economics: distinctive pluralistic breadth of the Division
  • Operating at multiple scales e.g. cities, regions, nations, international
  • Using multiple methods: qualitative, (e.g. semi-structured interviews;  ethnographic methods), quantitative (applied econometrics; survey methods) and mixed (e.g. realist)
  • Engaging multiple disciplines e.g. economics, environment and engineering approaches (e.g. to innovation, industrial strategy); sociology; geography; international business; history etc.
  • Recognising importance of institutions, history, and political economy as well as individuals
  • Addressing pedagogical aspects and research-led teaching


We have a portfolio of more around £20M in recent and current grants for which our members are PI or Co-I, from diverse funders including ESRC, EU, EPSRC, NERC, ISCF, GCRF, BBSRC, national and local Government, and stakeholders of many kinds. These generate approximately £10M for the University and £3M for the Faculty of Business. For more information see the Division's research centre, the Applied Institute for Research in Economics.



We have several impact cases in preparation for REF 2021. More broadly our excellence and real-world ethos commit us to seek impact of all kinds, across all levels and scales.

For more information see the Division's research centre, the Applied Institute for Research in Economics.