Economic and Social Research Institute

Message from the Director

Professor Alan Barrett

The ESRI produces independent, high-quality research with the objective of informing policies that support a healthy economy and promote social progress. Ireland is currently facing many challenges on both fronts. Progress requires policies that are grounded in evidence and therefore likely to act as effective solutions to complex policy challenges. At the Institute, we believe that knowledge and facts are the most powerful problem-solving tools for policymakers. Therefore our primary objective is to provide policymakers with robust, objective evidence that can translate into effective policy solutions. This, together with our independence and dedication to the highest academic standards, means that we are never distracted from our vision: informed policy for a better Ireland. 


The Institute was founded in 1960 by a group of senior civil servants, led by Dr T.K. Whitaker, who identified the need for independent and in-depth research to support the policymaking process in Ireland. Since then, the Institute has remained committed to independent research and its work is free of any expressed ideology or political position. The Institute publishes all research reaching the appropriate academic standard, irrespective of its findings or who funds the research.

Research Quality

The quality of the Institute’s research output is guaranteed by a rigorous peer review process, during which research outputs are examined and critiqued by both internal and external referees. Research is published only when it meets the required standards and practices. Research quality has also been assessed as part of two peer reviews of the Institute, in 2010 and 2016. The reports from the peer review panels are available to download here

Research priorities are determined during the strategic planning process, which takes place every 5 years. Under the current ESRI Research Strategy (2014-2018), research activities are structured around 12 key policy areas. Find out more about the Institute’s research areas here.

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Contact Information

Contact Email

+353 1 8632000

Contact Phone



Whitaker Square Sir John Rogerson’s Quay

Dublin, IE