Website of G.M.P. (Peter) Swann

Emeritus Professor of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School

I retired some years ago, and although I have written two books and several articles in retirement, I have now 'put down my pen', and am no longer writing about economics, innovation, or economic policy. The information on this site is for anyone who may still be interested in my work.


My main research has studied the economics of innovation, related areas of industrial economics, and innovation policy. Topics of particular interest to me were: innovations in electronics, computing software, and telecommunications; industrial clusters; standards and metrology; emerging demand for new innovative products; innovation and sustainability; and species of innovation that are found outside business. A secondary, but important area of research argued that empirical economics is too reliant on econometrics, when econometric results are often much less robust than most econometricians realise. I believe that economists will do much better empirical research when they use a wide range of methods.


I don't think that anyone reading this page will want to see a full list of all my publications, but I shall list what I consider are twelve of my best publications -- based on the significance of the work, and not necessarily the prestige of the publisher, or publication. In date order, these are:

Quality Innovation: An Economic Analysis of Rapid Improvements in Microelectronic Components (Frances Pinter Publishers, 1986)

(with P. Temple and M. Shurmer) "Standards and Trade Performance: The British Experience" , Economic Journal, 106, 1297-1313 (1996)

(with R. Baptista) "Do Firms in Clusters Innovate More ?", Research Policy, 27 (5), 527-542 (1998)

The Economics of Measurement, Report for Department of Trade and Industry, London (1999); also updated version: The Economics of Metrology and Measurement, Report for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, London (2009)

The Economics of Standardization, Report for Department of Trade and Industry, London (2000); also updated version: The Economics of Standardization: An Update, Report for Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, London (2010)

(with R. Cowan and W. Cowan) "Waves in Consumption with Interdependence Between Consumers", Canadian Journal of Economics, 37 (1), 149-177 (2004)

Putting Econometrics in Its Place (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006)

(with C. Beaudry) “Firm growth in industrial clusters of the United Kingdom”, Small Business Economics, 32 (4), 409-424 (2009)

The Economics of Innovation: An Introduction (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009)

(with D. Birke) “Network Effects, Network Structure and Consumer Interaction in Mobile Telecommunications in Europe and Asia”, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, 76 (2), 153-167 (2010)

Common Innovation: How we create the wealth of nations (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014)

Economics as Anatomy: Radical Innovation in empirical economics (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019)


If you are interested in my other publications and working papers, I suggest you search Google Scholar using "GMP Swann" and "Peter Swann".


I have especially enjoyed pieces of advisory work with various policy-makers including: Department of Trade and Industry; Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; Cabinet Office; House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology; Confederation of British Industry (CBI); Office of Communications (OFCOM); International Standards Organisation (ISO); Bureau International de Poids et Measures (BIPM); Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN); British Standards Institution (BSI); Deutches Institut für Normung (DIN); Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW); Design Council.


First A.T. Kearney Award for Teaching Excellence, Manchester Business School (2001)

Shared Rybczynski Memorial Prize (for Economics Writing), Society of Business Economists (2001)

Awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours (2005)