AIRE has been established as an umbrella centre for economics research and for economists at the University of Leeds. A dual rationale lies behind it: first, the Economics Division at Leeds University Business School is relatively modest in size, so concentrating research resources through one vehicle is appropriate; second, only a third of over 60 PhD economists at the University of Leeds are members of the Economics Division. The others are spread across five other academic units:
- Institute for Transport Studies
- School of Medicine
- School of Geography
- School of Earth and Environment
- Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law
AIRE's objectives follow from this dual rationale. AIRE aims to:
- Encourage collaborative research amongst members of the Economics Division at Leeds University Business School, and to share the results of the research undertaken within the Division with fellow academics, policy stakeholders and the general public.
- Provide a means of communication and collaboration amongst the economists and political economists across the length and breadth of the University of Leeds' campus. Given that members of the economists community within the Division and across the University are engaged in a wide range of research projects, AIRE also seeks to connect these to the Division's research projects.
As a research unit representing the Economics Division as a whole, AIRE is co-directed by:
- Professor David Spencer, Head of Division
- Professor Andrew Brown, Divisional Director of Research
- Professor Gary Dymski, Co-Leader of the University of Leeds Cities research theme
AIRE supports working groups who are self-organised by members of the Division, reflecting their diverse specialisations.