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Strathclyde Business School

The Fraser - 40 years and counting

By Peter McGregor - Posted on 4 February 2016

The Fraser of Allander Institute has been a widely-respected contributor to Scottish economic analysis and debate ever since it was founded in 1975. Here, Professor Peter McGregor shares insight into the Institute's many activities - and how the Fraser is set for the next 40 years.

The Fraser of Allander Institute has built its reputation as Scotland’s most respected independent economic research institute by producing high quality and impartial research since 1975 when it first came into being thanks to a philanthropic donation from the Fraser Foundation.

‘The Fraser’ has been helping the private sector understand the economic impact of their business and projects, and offering insights into the economy and analysis of key policy areas for the last 40 years.

Now, to mark its 40th anniversary the Fraser is benefiting from a major investment by Strathclyde University which will see us expand the scale of the Institute’s knowledge exchange activities as well as its research, and to help inform the debate about the type of economy and society that the Scottish people wish to see established.

The Fraser has a long history of carrying out vibrant research published in leading journals and which has secured external funding from the likes of the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and other sources including the EU and Scottish Government. We have carried out research into the economic and environmental impacts of renewable energy; regional impacts of higher education institutions; and the effects of a Scottish carbon tax; and analysis has been undertaken into the economic impact on Scotland of major industrial sectors and important Scottish companies. We’ve assessed the economic importance of the financial sector, the defence industry, the cultural and creative industries, and the whisky industry as well as carried out impact assessments for key Scottish companies. We’ve produced a range of business surveys, including the RBS Scottish Business Monitor, Oil and Gas Survey, the Scottish Chambers Business Survey – and, of course, our Fraser Economic Commentary, sponsored by PwC,  provides an important platform for forecasts and analysis of the Scottish economy, widely covered by the media and policy outlets.

We are now strengthening this capability with a team of new research and postgraduate fellows joining our already established and highly regarded team of academics and researchers in the Fraser.

A new Director Designate - Professor Graeme Roy, a past Senior Economic Adviser in the Scottish Government - will join the Institute in April 2016.

The investment will also see the creation of a new Board of Advisers, comprising leading economists with experience in business, academia and public policy. The Board will be chaired by Professor Andrew Goudie and include the Chief Economists from both the Scottish and UK governments.

With this strengthening of the Fraser of Allander Institute, we will continue to build on our analysis and engagement with our private and public sector partners and enhance the way in which we engage with them. The Scottish Parliament is gaining significant new powers and responsibilities regarding tax and welfare to complement existing areas such as health, education, and justice, which means there is more need than ever for the Fraser to provide impartial fiscal policy and budgetary analysis. We’ll be examining the Scottish budget; assessing the options for using Scotland’s new tax and welfare powers and the impact of UK tax and spending policies on Scotland; and examining key international fiscal and economic issues affecting Scotland’s public finances.

Much has changed in the society and economy of Scotland over the last 40 years. Who knows what the next 40 will bring, but with the investment announced this week we know the Fraser is well equipped to provide high-quality, high impact, impartial analysis of, and commentary on, Scottish economic issues.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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