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Centre awarded £4 million to address areas of economic and social concern

A Bristol University research centre, which addresses areas of national economic and social concern in the delivery of public services, has received continued funding of £4 million from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK's main funder of social science research.

The University’s Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) combines expertise in economics, geography and law to examine the overlap between public and private sectors of the economy with the aim of understanding how best to organise and deliver public services.

The funding will be used to support 33 CMPO research projects on topics of strategic importance for both UK social science and policy-making. These include studying the role of markets, incentives and accountability in the delivery of public services such as education and health care. The Centre is also beginning a significant programme of research on the third sector and its role in providing public services. This breaks new ground for the CMPO and should produce important new evidence in this area of increasing interest. The research programme also contains a set of projects comparing public service delivery in the UK with other comparable countries.

Simon Burgess, Director of CMPO and Professor of Economics, said: ‘Our goal is to continue to develop CMPO as an international centre of excellence. We want the new programme of research to continue to shape the scientific agenda in the area of public organisation.’

The CMPO, was established in 1998 with two large grants from The Leverhulme Trust. In 2004 it was awarded ESRC Research Centre status, and CMPO now combines funding from both the ESRC and the Trust.


Please contact Alison Taylor for further information.


Further information:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funding agency for research, data resources and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It supports independent, high quality research which impacts on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s planned total expenditure in 2008/09 is £203 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and research policy institutes.