Professor Geoff Pugh

Job Title and Responsibilities

Professor of Applied Economics

Main responsibilities:

  • Head of Research in the Business School

  • Director of the Centre for Applied Business Research (CABR)

  • Research and publication, including bidding for and leading contract research

  • Postgraduate economics teaching

  • PhD supervision

About Me

I have taught and examined at all levels in higher education, mainly in the areas of economics, applied economics and research methods (especially econometrics). I have supervised 30 PhD students to successful completion, published 47 papers in peer-reviewed journals in economics, public policy and business/management, and have more than 15 years' experience of leading external projects (including an EU Framework 7 project for DG Research).

I have adapted my research according to changing opportunities and corresponding strategic priorities. This enabled me to contribute to the Economics unit of assessment in the 1995 RAE, Business and Management in 2001, and Education in 2008, which was one of Staffordshire University’s most successful units of assessment. For the Research Excellence Framework – REF 2014 – I was responsible - as Head of Research in the Business School - for Staffordshire University’s submission in Business and Management Studies. My personal contribution consisted of outputs from those listed below (see Selected Publications) and one of the two Impact Studies (with John Wyld and David Tyrrall, currently a Visiting Professor). As Director of the Centre for Applied Business Research (CABR), I helped to lead and develop the capacity for a creditable REF 2014 submission in Business and Management. (The context of this achievement is that in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Staffordshire was unable to submit in Business and Management.) This contribution continues in preparation for REF2021.

Full academic CV (DOCX, file size: 114.25KB)

Inaugural Lecture

My Inaugural Lecture took place on 20th March 2012: Rebalancing Britain’s Economy: Promoting SME innovation in the West Midland’s traditional manufacturing industries (PDF, file size: 2.09MB) .



M.Sc. – Distinction  Economics,  Birkbeck College, University of London, 1989 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Distinction, Institute of Education, University of London, 1984

PhD Politics (Political Economy), University of Kent at Canterbury, 1983
Thesis:  Economic Theory & Political Thought in German Social Democracy

BA (Hons) – 2:1 Politics, University of Kent at Canterbury, 1976

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member of the Advisory Committee to the Council of the Central Bank of Montenegro (from December 2011)

Meta Analysis in Economic Research Network

Association of Christian Economists


I have some expertise in education policy, international economics and macroeconomics. My current research agenda is focused on small business development and innovation. My main contribution to research projects tends to be through the application of generic skills, in particular applied econometric analysis and meta-regression analysis.

In addition, I have some knowledge of the ceramics industry, having served for some years as a member of the Ceramic Industry Development Committee.

Recent evaluation experience

My experience of evaluation includes an EU Framework 7 project to evaluate business support measures for SMEs in traditional manufacturing sectors: GPrix - “Good Practices in Innovation Support Measures for SMEs” (2010-12) ( I led the UK team and the econometric analysis. For UK National Government, I had previously led a quantitative evaluation project for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DfCSF) (for the 2008 Report,; a subsequent paper was published in Europe’s leading education journal and was “commended” at the 2012 Conference of the British Educational Research Association). In 2012, I collaborated with colleagues at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to design the implementation of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) support programme Innovation Vouchers in the Agri-food, Built Environment and Aerospace sectors – in particular, the random assignment of vouchers - so that the effectiveness of the programme could be evaluated by a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) approach. Currently, I am leading a two-year evaluation of the London Borough of Newham’s Reading Guarantee Programme, which is notable for its longitudinal dimension and “difference-in-difference” approach.

Education policy research

My applied research in policy and programme evaluation overlaps with my research on education policy. My main areas of educational research have been: the dynamics of school performance; the effects of school spending on pupil attainment; and the effects of school links with faith communities on pupil attainment.

According to the comprehensive ERA rankings, all of my papers in the field of education policy have been published in A* or A ranked journals. (ERA: Australian Research Council (ARC): Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Outlet Ranking (2010); scholarly, peer reviewed journals are ranked A*; A; B; C, whereby: A* (top 5%) "Virtually all papers they publish will be of a very high quality"; A (next 15%) "The majority of papers in a Tier A journal will be of very high quality"; B (next 30%) "Generally, in a Tier B journal, one would expect only a few papers of very high quality"; and C (next 50%) Journals "that do not meet the criteria of higher tiers".)

A* ranked journals:

  • Pugh, G., Mangan J., Blackburne, V. and Radicic D. (Forthcoming) School Expenditure and School Performance: Evidence from New South Wales schools using a dynamic panel analysis, British Educational Research Journal (accepted 14-02-2014).

  • Pugh, G., Mangan J. and Gray, J. (2011) Do increased resources increase educational attainment during a period of rising expenditure? Evidence from English secondary schools using a dynamic panel analysis, British Educational Research Journal, Volume 37, Issue 1, (2011).

  • Pugh, G. and, Telhaj, S. (2008) Faith schools, social capital and academic attainment: evidence from TIMSS-R mathematics scores in Flemish secondary schools, British Educational Research Journal, Vol.34, No.2 (April), pp.235-67.

  • Pugh, G., Davies, P. and Adnett, N. (2006) Should we have faith in not-for-profit providers of schooling?, Journal of Education Policy, Vol.21, No.1 (Jan.), pp.19-33.

  • Pugh, G. and Mangan, J. (2003) What’s in a trend? A comment on Gray, Goldstein and Thomas (2001), British Educational Research Journal, Vol.29, No.1, pp.77-82.

  • Lange, T. and Pugh, G. (1997) High-tech investment and learning-by-doing: an alternative training strategy, Education and Training, Vol.39, Nos.8-9 (November) pp.316-21.

A ranked journals:

  • Mangan J. and Pugh, G. (2005) Changes in Examination Performance in English Secondary Schools over the Course of a Decade, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Vol.16, No.1 (March) pp.29-50.

  • Pugh, G., Adnett, N. and Coates, G. (2005). Performance Indicators and Widening Participation in UK Higher Education, Higher Education Quarterly, Vol.59, No.1 (2005) pp.19-39.

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

In the past 12 years

Private sector clients include: the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers; the Ceramic Industry Forum; North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce; Social Work Choices; UNISON; and Midland Expressway (the owner and operator of the M6 Toll Road).

Public sector clients include: Her majesty’s Treasury (HMT); the UK Countryside Agency; the Department for Children Schools and Families (DfCSF); the New Zealand Ministry of Education; the Central Bank of Montenegro; the UNDP office in Bosnia; and the European Commission - DG Research.

Smallest project: INDEX Voucher for Social Work Choices (2009) - £3,000

Largest project: European Commission - DG Research: Good Practices in Innovation Support Measures for SMEs: facilitating transition from the traditional to the knowledge economy (2009-11) - c.£110,000.

Commended Paper

British Educational Research Association (BERA) 2012 Annual Best Paper Award - BERA Commended Paper 2012 (PDF, file size: 263.33KB) .

Research Interests

Applied, policy-oriented research in four areas. 

  1. International/European economics

  2. The economic analysis of SME development, in particular innovation and diversification

  3. The economics of education and training

  4. Policy and programme evaluation

Most of my publications involve applied econometric analysis and/or statistical analysis. Those on SME promotion, education policy and economic regeneration are linked by a common focus on policy/programme evaluation.

As of 10/03/2010, 51 SSCI citations from publications in the period from 1993 to 2007 (excluding conference papers).

Selected Publications

Current UK research assessment period (REF2021 - from January 1st 2014)

'Firm Level Determinants of Tax Evasion in Transition Economies', Economic Systems (Forthcoming). (With Lumir Abdixhiku, Besnik Krasniqi and Iraj Hashi)

'Kosovo – EU trade relations: a dynamic panel poisson approach', Applied Economics (with Petrit Gashi and Mehtap Hisarciklilar). Online publication 03-11-2016. DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1245836 To link to this article:

'R&D programmes, policy mix, and the “European Paradox”: evidence from European SMEs', Science and Public Policy. (With Dragana Radicic).  doi: 10.1093/scipol/scw077  
First published online: October 2, 2016.

'The link between trade openness, export diversification, institutions and output volatility in transition countries', Economic Systems. Forthcoming – June 2016 special issue on: Openness, institutions, and long-run socio-economic development (with Merima Balavac).

'Performance effects of external search strategies in European small and medium-sized enterprises, Journal of Small Business Management. Forthcoming (with Dragana Radicic).

'The effectiveness of R&D subsidies: a meta-regression analysis of the evaluation literature', Research Policy, 45 (2016) 797–815. First published online, 02-02-2016 (with Chris Dimos). DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.01.002.

'The impact of innovation support programs on small and medium enterprises innovation in traditional manufacturing industries: An evaluation for seven European Union regions',
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, first published on December 18, 2015 (with Dragana Radicic, Hugo Hollanders, René Wintjes and Jon Fairburn) DOI: 10.1177/0263774X15621759.

'An investigation into the credibility of currency board arrangements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria', Journal of Comparative Economics, online pre-publication 29-07-2015 (with Selena Begovic and Nick Adnett). DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.07.003.

'Institutional Effects on Economic Performance in Transition: a Dynamic Panel Analysis', Acta Oeconomica, Vol. 65 (4), pp. 503–523 (December 2015) (with Adnan Efendic). DOI: 10.1556/032.65.2015.4.1.

'Issues in the Estimation of Dynamic Happiness Models: A Comment on "Does Childhood Predict Adult Life Satisfaction?"'. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 10 (2016-5): 1-6 (with Alan Piper).

'The Effectiveness of Non-Surgical Weight Management Interventions for Obesity in the UK: A Review and Meta-Regression Analysis', Open Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2014, pp. 235-249 (with J. Randall, M. Slater, A. Stewart, K. Lewis, C. Levy and P. Alessandri-Gray). DOI: 0.4236/ojmp.2014.33025.

‘School Expenditure and School Performance: Evidence from New South Wales schools using a dynamic panel analysis’, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2 (April 2014), pp. 244-264 (with Jean Mangan, Dragana Radicic and Vincent Blackburne). DOI: 10.1002/berj.3146.

‘Export Behaviour of SMEs in Transition Countries’, Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol.42 (2): 407–435 (February 2014) (with Iraj Hashi and Petrit Gashi): DOI 10.1007/s11187-013-9487-7.

Previous UK research assessment period (2008-2013)

‘Meta-Analysis of Economics Research Reporting Guidelines’, Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol.27(2), pp. 390–394, April 2013 (with Tom Stanley et al.). Invited submission: protocols for the practice of meta-regression in economics (member of an authorial collective of leading practitioners).

‘Foreign Direct Investment and Output Growth Volatility: A Worldwide Analysis’, International Review of Economics and Finance. Vol.25 (2013) pp.260-271 (with Bruno Ćorić). DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2012.07.011.

‘Does Exchange Rate Volatility Discourage International Trade? A Meta-Regression Analysis’, Journal of International Trade & Economic Development (with Mekbib Haile). Available online since 04-10-2011: DOI:10.1080/09638199.2011.565421.

‘Can Powerful Buyers “Exploit” SME Suppliers?’ Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. Vol.19, Issue 2 (May 2012) pp.322-334 (with David Tyrrall and John Wyld).

‘Meta-Regression Analysis Of The Impact Of Institutions On Macroeconomic Performance’, the European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 27, No.3 (September 2011) pp.586-599 (with Adnan Effendic and Nick Adnett).

‘Confidence in Formal Institutions and Reliance on Informal Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina: an Empirical Investigation Using Survey Data’, The Economics of Transition, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 521-540, 2011 (with Adnan Efendic and Nick Adnett).

‘Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Transition and Developed Economies: a Meta-Regression Analysis with Monetary Policy Implications’, Applied Economics, Vol.43 (27) (2011) pp.4111-4125 (with Igor Velickovsky).

‘Do increased resources increase educational attainment during a period of rising expenditure? Evidence from English secondary schools using a dynamic panel analysis’, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 37 (1), (2011), pp.163-189 (with Jean Mangan and John Gray).

‘Evaluating the impact of progressive beer duty on small breweries:  a case study of tax breaks to promote SMEs’, Environment & Planning C: Government & Policy, Vol. 28 (2), (2010), pp.225-40 (with John Wyld and David Tyrrall).

‘Technological change and employer-provided training: evidence from UK workplaces’,
International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 31 (4), (July 2010), pp.426-448 (with Ardiana Gashi and Nick Adnett).

‘The effects of exchange rate variability on international trade: a Meta-Regression Analysis’, Applied Economics, Vol. 42 (20), (2010), pp.263-264 (with Bruno Ćorić).

‘Evaluating the effects of the M6 Toll Road on industrial land development and employment’, Regional Studies, Vol. 42 (7), (August 2008), pp.977-90 (with John Fairburn).

‘Faith schools, social capital and academic attainment: evidence from TIMSS-R mathematics scores in Flemish secondary schools’, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 34 (2), (April 2008), pp.235-67 (with Shqiponje Telhaj).

Current Teaching

MSc Economics:

  • Applied Econometrics

  • International macroeconomics and globalisation

  • Dissertation supervision (my students have twice won international prizes for their MSc dissertations)

Research supervision: 14 PhD projects


Professor Geoff Pugh
Faculty of Business, Education and Law (Business School - Research & Enterprise)
Faculty of Business, Education and Law
Staffordshire University
Brindley Building
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294092