Winter 2014 - Issue 17


2014 sees CMPO celebrate 10 years as an ESRC Centre. 

To mark this milestone, Centre Director Simon Burgess shares his views on CMPO’s achievements in advancing academic research on public service reform, and on how the Centre’s research has influenced policy and public debate.

Simon’s article illustrates how understanding the roles of markets and incentives, and information and choice have been consistent themes of CMPO research across a range of public services. New research at the Centre will extend this to higher education, where the 2012 increase in tuition fees at English universities, combined with opening up the market for students with high A-level grades is likely to have significant effects, both in terms of student choices across providers and courses, and how universities themselves respond to the ‘marketization’ of the sector. We consider the role of managerial practice within universities and its relationship with performance rankings. If good management can influence performance, then this has implications for how universities might be able to engineer organisational responses to the new environment.

Also in this edition we report on research presented at a recent conference on intergenerational mobility and children’s life chances. New findings on lifetime measures of intergenerational economic mobility raises the prospect that social mobility in the UK is worse than we think and another study explores the benefits that attending private school brings in terms of accessing top occupations, alongside the role of professional and educational networks.

Helen Simpson and Sarah Smith

Download the complete publication 'Research in Public Policy - Issue 17' (PDF, 2,671kB)