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CEP report

Boosting growth and productivity in the United Kingdom through investments in the sustainable economy


It is now widely accepted that the UK has a major productivity growth problem, with chronic underinvestment across both the public and private sectors being a key cause. Continued low public investment, as laid out in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement of 2023, and ongoing barriers to business investment in productive and sustainable assets, are inconsistent with success in international markets and will likely lead to more stagnation. Investing in the opportunities afforded by the global transition to an efficient, resilient and inclusive economy needs to be a bigger part of restoring productivity and output growth for the UK to gain a competitive lead in the innovative markets of the 21st century.

This report sets out the need for long-lasting institutional and policy frameworks that can induce investment in a broad range of assets. These assets drive technological, institutional and behavioural innovation. The report is intended to guide policymakers to manage a structural transition, by taking advantage of the opportunity associated with the sustainable, intelligent and resilient economy while minimising the disruption and risks associated with assets being left redundant and devalued in the economy of the 21st century.


Esin Serin, Nicholas Stern, Anna Valero, John Van Reenen, Bob Ward and Dimitri Zenghelis

22 January 2024     Paper Number CEPSP43

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This work is published under POID and the CEP's Growth programme.

This publication comes under the following CEP theme: UK productivity and policy