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Piers Thompson

Piers Thompson


Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Economics


Piers' teaching is focused on microeconomics topics. He is the leader for the level six microeconomics module:

  • Choice and Welfare

The Choice and Welfare module includes topics on behavioural economics to allow students to consider how psychological influences can be incorporated into the decisions studied in economics courses.

On the MSc Economics course he leads:

  • Behavioural Applications in Economics and Finance.

This module looks at how behavioural economics may be used to explain a number of phenomena in real life.

He currently supervises PhD and DBA students covering topics from entrepreneurship in deprived areas, culture and entrepreneurship through to the relationship between health and economic growth.

His other roles in Nottingham Business School include being the Economics Department Research Coordinator and is Deputy REF Coordinator for the C17 Unit of Assessment.

Career overview

Before joining Nottingham Trent University Piers was employed as a lecturer in economics at Cardiff Metropolitan University. His teaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University included microeconomics courses covering topics such as public sector economics, health economics and game theory. During this time he was also a member of a number of PhD supervisory teams, with students’ topics ranging from Regional Economic Convergence to Currency Crises. Prior to this he worked as a research assistant at the University of Glamorgan, employed as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) team in Wales.

Research areas

Piers has published over 50 peer reviewed journal articles including papers in highly regarded journals including: Journal of Economic Geography; Economic Geography; and Environment and Planning A.  His work falls into three main areas.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management His work on entrepreneurship has stemmed from his previous employment on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project. The GEM study is an international study of entrepreneurial activities and attitudes. Piers worked as part of the team based in Wales contributing to the reports covering entrepreneurial activity and changes in attitudes. He has published papers on the topics of ethnic entrepreneurship, financing of small firms and third sector organisations, female entrepreneurship, and the relationship between FDI and domestic enterprise. Other work on small businesses and entrepreneurship includes participation in the team that undertook and analysed the 2008 Lifting the Barriers to Growth Survey for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Regional and Local Competitiveness Recent research projects have been focused around benchmarking regional competitiveness including co-authoring the 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 UK Competitiveness Index (UKCI) and contributing to the assessment of the knowledge economy of Cardiff as part of the Knowcities project. He has written reports based on the UKCI for D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Nottingham Post.  He is also co-author of The Global Competitiveness of Regions which covers the World Competitiveness Index of Regions a benchmarking exercise of over 500 regions around the world. He also co-edited the Handbook of Regions and Competitiveness, which includes

Community Culture and Regional Economic Development Piers has written a number of papers that have sought to examine the role played by softer factors such as community culture on the extent and nature of regional economic development. The initial work on this area was funded by the Welsh Government through its New Ideas Fund. This work overlaps and bridges between the two areas above to consider how entrepreneurial activity might be influenced by community culture and promote the competitiveness of local areas.

External activity

Piers is the chairperson of the Economic Issues Trustees Board. This is the charity that looks after the journal Economic Issues based in Nottingham Trent University. Economic Issues is a peer reviewed journal that publishes articles in all fields of economics, but particularly promotes those that have implications for the teaching of economics.

Sponsors and collaborators

Professor Robert Huggins (Cardiff University)
Dr Caleb Kwong (University of Essex)

Press expertise

Piers has written and contributed to pieces that have been include in the Nottingham Post.