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Centre for Economics, Policy and Public Management

Unit(s) of assessment: Business and Management Studies

Research theme: Health and Wellbeing

School: Nottingham Business School


The Centre for Economics, Policy and Public Management (CEPPM) is the newest of the three Research Centres within NBS. It was established in its current structure in 2017 in order to bring together the research being undertaken on policy issues concerning public management across the whole public sector (at international, national, regional and local scales), public and emergency services, economics consultancy, and applied economics.

Collectively, the members of CEPPM contribute to the full range of research activities in NBS, including a significant number of research outputs of internationally-excellent and world-leading quality and several Impact Case Studies, reflecting members’ long-established interest in applied research.

CEPPM research is underpinned by continuing success in obtaining external research funding. Recent awards include €4mn for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network on Positive Energy Districts (Professor Rob Ackrill and Dr Eleni Stathopoulou, with Dr Kostas Galanakis (PI) and Dr Nestor Valero-Silva from NBS, leading an extensive network of academic partners and non-academic beneficiaries across Europe); and £350k from the DFID Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence programme, to study International anti-corruption laws and local social norms: Interactions and implications for policy (Professor Thorsten Chmura, with colleagues from the University of Nottingham, University of Sussex, and City University of London).

Members of CEPPM are also engaged in the supervision of doctoral students who are researching topics that reflect the full range of subgroups within the CEPPM. These students include both PhDs and DBAs (Doctor of Business Administration), the latter reflecting and further reinforcing the practitioner focus of and connection with the research undertaken within the Centre.

Members of CEPPM have extensive networks of associates, visiting scholars and collaborators across academic and practitioner communities. These associates contribute both to outputs and to influence in academia and the public sector. The Centre embodies the University's commitment to providing research and scholarship with positive impact aligned with the University's social purpose. The Centre is keen to include colleagues (distinguished and new) who are interested in the Centre's scholarly activity, either to enhance their teaching and learning or to promote and strengthen relations with practice as well as to participate in theoretical and applied research.

Centre Purpose

To support and promote impactful research into the theory and practice of public policy, public management and applied economics. The purpose of the Centre for Economics, Policy and Public Management (CEPPM) is to:

  • Provide a focus for the scholarly activities and a distinctive research identity for economics, public management, policy and governance research within Nottingham Business School.
  • Provide a catalyst for organisational, staff and curriculum development in economic, public policy management and service delivery.
  • Generate interest and financial support for research and other scholarly activity in economics, public policy and management.
  • Promote, disseminate and support the research of members, their collaborators and associates.
  • Facilitate the creation of public value and optimise the social impact and influence of the research and activities of its members.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, within Nottingham Business School, across Nottingham Trent University and in the wider academic community interested in the theory and practice of economics, public policy management.

Summary of the Centre

CEPPM brings together distinct, but mutually reinforcing, research interests in public policy, public management and applied economics research; economics consultancy, contract research and training; betting research; and political forecasting. Its objectives include:

  • To promote individual and collaborative research at all stages of individuals’ careers
  • To grow research capacity in these areas, by engaging more colleagues in research and through recruitment of researchers, including Research Assistants and Fellows.
  • To facilitate research activity through external grant capture, consultancy and contract research
  • To promote both the academic and societal impact of research

Applied Economics and Policy Analysis

Public Policy and Management

The Public Policy and Management group is interested in public management issues across the whole public sector at international, national, regional and local scales. It includes specialist research interests in central and local government, in health and social care sectors, and in the emergency services. It has a long-established interest in applied research and is known as a research exemplar for bridging the theory and practice divide.

The group, which is led by Professor Peter Murphy, embodies the University's commitment to providing research and scholarship with positive impact aligned with the University's social purpose. In addition to a significant number of individual publications, the group is responsible for developing multiple impact case studies for REF 2021.

The Central and Local Government team have inter-related work streams investigating the financial and organisational resilience of public sector services following austerity, both in the UK and internationally; and the performance management of public services – in particular strategic interventions by central government into locally delivered services.

The Health and Social Care team are researching the opportunities and barriers to the integration of health and social care; potential improvements to admissions and patient flow in Accident and Emergency departments and the potential for reductions in hospital discharge delays from Acute Hospitals to other health and social care settings.

The Emergency Services team are currently looking at the new governance and inspection arrangements for Police and Fire and Rescue services, and legislative demands for increased collaboration across all three blue light emergency services.

The teams work with an extensive network of associates, visiting scholars and collaborators, within NTU and in the wider academic and practitioner communities. These associates contribute hugely to its outputs and its influence in both academia and the public services.

Work by the team has appeared in all of the key public management academic and practice journals such as Public Administration, Public Policy and Administration, Local Government Studies, Public Management Review, Public Money and Management, the International Journal of Public Administration and the International Journal of Emergency Services.

Economic Strategy Research Bureau

Located within the Department of Economics, The Economic Strategy Research Bureau (ESRB) offers a wide range of economic research, evaluation and strategic consultancy services to public, private and third sector clients.

The Bureau is uniquely placed to combine proven practitioner expertise with academic excellence - using the bureau model to make this capability accessible and affordable to a wide range of clients. The Bureau undertakes ad hoc research, evaluation and consultancy projects on an on-going basis. In addition, it offers a range of subscription-based economic briefing products and analytical support – allowing clients to draw flexibly on specialist economic expertise as and when the need arises.

The group's particular areas of expertise include:

  • Evidence-based strategy or policy development
  • Economic impact evaluation
  • Scenario impact modelling
  • Economic and labour market assessments
  • Performance metrics or monitoring.

Research activities led by ESRB staff played a vital role in the successful application made by NBS for Re-Accreditation of the Small Business Charter in 2019. Highlighted as an exemplar, ‘Economic Research With Impact on Regional Policy and the Growth Agenda’ represented the breadth of research activities undertaken, but also the positive impact it has had on regional policy making and local economic performance, both within the East Midlands region and beyond.

Betting Research Unit

Based in the Department of Economics, Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams is Director of two Research Units – the Betting Research Unit and the Political Forecasting Unit. These represent key policy-facing sources of economic analysis.

The Betting Research Unit (BRU) is involved in the investigation and analysis of betting and gaming markets and issues. Formed in 1995 the Unit undertakes privately commissioned contracts and reports as well as research at the forefront of the international academic and industry literature and is available for consultancy and media enquiries.

The Unit has acted widely in an advisory role to the betting and gaming industries, as well as more generally to the Government and commercial sectors, and has well-developed links with research institutions throughout the world.

The work of the BRU has attracted widespread attention from the media and has featured regularly on national and international television and radio, as well as in news outlets ranging from the Financial Times, Business Week and the Economist, to the Wall Street Journal, the Investors Chronicle and the Racing Post.

The Unit was central to the world's largest study of online gambling, involving nearly 11,000 players from 96 countries. More generally, research and consultancy reports produced by the Unit have played, and continue to play, a key role in influencing policymakers, regulators and operators worldwide, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the National Audit Office and the Gambling Commission.

Professor Vaughan Williams has acted widely in an expert witness role on gambling in national and international courts of law, as well as before the House of Commons/House of Lords and the Competition Commission/Competition and Markets Authority.

Political Forecasting Unit

The Political Forecasting Unit analyses all areas of election and political forecasting. It undertakes privately commissioned contracts and reports and is available for consultancy and media enquiries, as well as for commentary and opinion pieces. The unit employs state-of-the-art forecasting techniques including:

  • polling analysis
  • betting and prediction market analysis
  • expert judgements
  • econometric and statistical modelling.

Techniques employed by the Unit were utilised by the Director of the Unit, Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, to correctly call the winner of every state in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and (with one exception) the 2016 US Presidential elections, as well as the vast majority of congressional and primary elections. Some of these forecasts were featured in the Economist magazine and on MSNBC and ABC News prior to polling. Professor Vaughan Williams has also accurately predicted the winning majority in British General Elections in media outlets including the Economist magazine, as well as BBC Radio 4's Today programme and the BBC World Service. He has also acted as election analyst for Channel 4 News. He writes widely on election forecasting, including for ‘The Conversation’ and has provided expert witness evidence on election forecasting for the House of Lords.

To provide the best possible analysis of available polling data, as well as the most accurate forecasts of election outcomes, Professor Vaughan Williams has developed a range of new methodologies, including the Polling Tracker, the Market Tracker and the Adjusted National Swing (ANS). The ANS is employed to produce estimates of how vote shares are likely to translate into seats and electoral votes.

PhD Studentships

We’re offering fully-funded PhD studentships aligned with our research centres and groups for UK, EU or International students. Find out more about our PhD studentships.

Find out more about our PhD Research Degrees including current PhD Projects.


Full details of all CEPPM members' publications can be found on the Institutional Repository of Nottingham Trent University.


  • Bakas, D. and Makhlouf, Y. 2019. Can the Insider-Outsider Theory Explain Unemployment Hysteresis in OECD Countries? Oxford Economic Papers, forthcoming.
  • Chmura, T., Bai, Y. and Bauder, D. 2019. The impact of an insider and short-selling on bubble formation in experimental financial market. Journal of International Financial Markets, institutions and Money, 60, pp. 211-230.
  • Collins, A. McKenzie, J. and Vaughan Williams, L. 2019. When is a talent contest not a talent contest? Sequential performance bias in expert evaluation. Economics Letters, 177, pp. 94-98.
  • Eckersley, P. and Tobin, P. 2019. The impact of austerity on policy capacity in local government. Policy & Politics, 47(3), forthcoming.
  • Murphy, P., Ferry, L., Glennon. R, and Greenhalgh, K. 2019. Public service accountability: rekindling a debate. Cham Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wheatley, D. and Bickerton, C. 2019. Measuring changes in subjective well-being from engagement in the arts, culture and sport. Journal of Cultural Economics, forthcoming.


  • Eckersley, P. 2018. Power and capacity in urban climate governance: Germany and England compared. Oxford: Peter Lang.
  • Jiang, B., Philp, B. and Wu, Z. 2018. Macro stress testing in the banking system of China. Journal of Banking Regulation, 19(4), pp. 287-298.
  • Morris, D.M. 2018. Innovation and productivity among heterogeneous firms. Research Policy, 47(10), pp. 1918-1932.
  • Murphy, P., Lakoma, K. and Glennon, R. 2018. Response to Fire and Rescue National Framework for England: Government consultation. Research report for external body.
  • Stack, M., Ackrill, R. and Bliss, M. 2018. Sugar trade and the role of historical colonial linkages. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 46(1), pp. 79-108.
  • Thompson, P. and Zang, W. 2018. The Foreign Business and Domestic Enterprise Relationships: Its Implications for Local Entrepreneurial Resilience. Local Economy, 33(1), pp. 10-39.
  • Murphy, P. and Greenhalgh, K. 2018. Fire and rescue services: leadership and management perspectives. Leadership and management in emergency services. London: Springer.


  • Huggins, R. and Thompson, P. 2017. The behavioural foundations of urban and regional development: culture, psychology and agency. Journal of Economic Geography, 19(1), pp. 121-146.
  • Makhlouf, Y. Kellard, N.M. and Vinogradov, D. 2017. Child mortality, commodity price volatility and the resource curse. Social Science and Medicine, 178, pp.144-156.
  • Rossiter, W. and Smith, D.J. 2017. Institutions, place leadership and public entrepreneurship: reinterpreting the economic development of Nottingham. Local Economy, 32(4), pp. 374-392.
  • Steccolini, I., Jones, M. and Saliterer, I. 2017. Governmental financial resilience: international perspectives on how local governments face austerity. Bingley: Emerald.
  • Whysall, Z., Bowden, J. and Hewitt, M. 2017. Sickness Presenteeism: measurement and management challenges. Ergonomics, 61(3), pp. 341-354.


  • Rossiter, W. 2016. A tale of two cities: Rescaling economic strategy in the North Midlands. Local Economy, 31(8), pp. 836-856.
  • Steward, C., Matousek, R. and Nguyen, T.N. 2016. Efficiency in the Vietnamese banking system: a DEA double bootstrap approach. Research in International Business and Finance, 36, pp. 96-111.
  • Vaughan Williams, L., Sung, M.-C., Fraser-Mackenzie, P.A.F., Pierson, J. and Johnson, J.E.V. 2016. Towards an understanding of the origins of the favourite-longshot bias: evidence from online poker markets, a real-money natural laboratory. Economica, 85, pp. 360-382.
  • Wheatley, D. and Bickerton, C. 2016. Time-use and well-being impacts of travel-to-work and travel-for-work. New Technology, Work and Employment, 31(3), pp. 238-254.


  • Jones, M. and Murphy, P. 2015. External validation of the Nottinghamshire County Council workforce mobilisation project. Research report for external body. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University.
  • Murphy, P. 2015. Financial sustainability of fire and rescue services - value for money report. Briefing Note. London: National Audit Office.
  • Thompson, P. and Zang, W. 2015. Foreign Direct Investment and the SME Sector, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research 21, pp. 50-75.
  • Turkson, F., Gyeke-Dako, A. and Amissah, E. 2015. Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers and the Ghanaian Local Financial Environment. Modern Economy, 6, pp. 1078-1089.
  • Jackson, K. and Zang, W. 2015. Evaluating methodological issues in the tourism literature: UK outgoing tourism and trade links, Economic Issues, 20, pp. 1-41.


  • Ackrill, R. and Kay, A. 2014. The Growth of Biofuels in the 21st Century: Policy Drivers and Market Challenges. London: Palgrave.
  • Barbera, C., Jones, M., and Steccolini, I. 2014. Governmental financial resilience under austerity: the case of English local authorities. London: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
  • Murphy, P. 2014. The development of the strategic state and the performance management of local authorities in England. In: P. Joyce and A. Drumaux, eds., Strategic management in public organizations: European practices and perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 243-255.