The UK’s productivity performance is currently seen as ‘poor’ and ‘puzzling’, and in urgent need of treatment. This demand creates difficulties for policymakers concerned with the design of business support and its evaluation. One of these is that the data typically deployed in research studies of productivity, which provides the current evidence base, is unlikely to be (even potentially) collectable from scheme participants, let alone from a control group.

Moreover almost all available productivity research has virtually nothing to say about microbusinesses, historically the bulk of participants in many support schemes. This project will help bridge these gaps by extending and deepening our recent investigation of the performance of a rather simpler productivity measure — turnover per job. This measure is both readily computed for data which is typically collected from scheme participants and their performance can then be straightforwardly compared to that of other firms by drawing on the large-scale population data available from our Longitudinal Business Structure Database.