Commentary perspectives – Highlights from service re-design in healthcare

This blog includes highlights and key points from the article Service re-design in healthcare: the impact of innovative methods to compare costs and benefits (Anderson et.al, 2019).

The article was written by Robyn Millar, Gillian H. Anderson (corresponding author) Robert Van Der Meer and Alec Morton – all at the Department of Management Science, University of Strathclyde Business School

In the face of growing cost pressures, policy makers are looking for cost effective ways to meet the increasing healthcare needs of the population and improve the service to patients[1].

The collaborative study between the University of Strathclyde, The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland seeks to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of an innovative ‘virtual’ patient pathway – and, more generally, supported capacity building in service redesign and improvement across the Scottish health service.

To the authors knowledge, this is the first time that discrete event simulation has been used in an action research approach to develop bottom-up micro costing models to evaluate the kind of virtual clinic approach that is rapidly gaining acceptance in NHS Scotland and beyond[2].Continue reading

November 6, 2019

Commentary perspectives: updating the Scottish Humankind Index

Peter Thorpe, a 4th year economics student at The University of Strathclyde, carried out independent research on the Scottish Humankind Index over last summer. This blog summarises his research. 

The Humankind Index was developed in 2011 as a means of measuring wellbeing in Scotland beyond using standard economic measures like GDP. The Index consisted of 18 sub-domains encompassing a wide variety of factors such as health, access to good facilities, employment and job satisfaction etc.

This research constructs an updated index using modern data. Changes in data availability since 2011 have necessitated the selection of many new measures for the sub-domains.

Click here to read Peter’s full article on his research

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October 31, 2019

Well-being in Scotland: looking beyond GDP to wider measures of success

This blog was written by Catherine Findlay and Jodi McLean, 5th Year school Pupils from St Andrew’s RC Secondary School, who were at the Fraser of Allander Institute for a week’s work experience.

It is becoming more common to look beyond GDP and to understand a society’s well-being alongside  its economic activity. The OECD’s Regional Well-being and Better Life Index measures regional and national quality of life through eleven domains such as income, jobs and health.

To understand Scotland’s well-being in context its important to compare it to the rest of the UK but also to other small countries that are strong performers in the world’s economy.Continue reading

June 24, 2019

Scotland’s “Middling” Productivity – An International Perspective

Mark Mitchell and Robert Zymek

University of Edinburgh


It is now well understood that differences in labour productivity – the value of goods and services that can be produced in an average hour of work – explain many observable economic differences between countries. Evidence shows that that highly productive economies outperform their less productive counterparts in in terms of per-capita income, population health, subjective wellbeing, and state-capacity (Caselli, 2005; Jones, 2015; Sacks, et al., 2012). For this reason, it is a cause for concern that labour productivity in Scotland – just as in the UK as a whole – is fairly low compared with other advanced economies. It suggests that Scotland could do better, and improve the lives of its citizens by moving up the productivity tables.

In work published earlier this year by the David Hume Institute (Kelly, et al., 2018), we examined Scotland’s productivity performance in an international context. We found that relative to member countries of the OECD – a club of advanced economies – Scotland’s labour productivity is only middling: Scotland is more productivity than most poorer OECD countries; but it is less productivity than many of its EU neighbours, including countries such as Finland, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland.

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December 3, 2018

EY: Attractiveness Survey 2018: “Another strong year, but with precious little room for complacency”

Duncan Whitehead is the EY Lead for Economic Advisory in Scotland – DWhitehead2@uk.ey.com.

He is also a visiting researcher at the Fraser of Allander Institute.  

The views expressed in this blog are those of Duncan. The blog summarises the latest findings from the EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey 2018 report.


Scotland continues to build on its recent strong FDI performance…

The latest findings from EY’s FDI attractiveness programme shows that Scotland recorded a 7% increase in the number of FDI projects secured, rising from 108 in 2016 to a 10-year high of 116. This means the number of inward investment projects in Scotland has reached new records in each of past three years.

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June 11, 2018