About us

Supporting economists in the Civil Service.


The Government Economic Service (GES) is one of the Civil Service Professions and is the professional body for economists in the UK Civil Service.

The GES champions economics in government: supporting our economists and promoting the use of high-quality economic analysis in policymaking. We have a large cross-government presence, with more than 3,500 members.

The GES is the largest recruiter of economists in the UK, with 5 recruitment schemes.

What we do

GES Economists can be found working across all areas of the Civil Service, providing economic analysis and insight in support of the entire range of UK Government and public service activities. Supporting policy development, public service delivery, ministerial objectives, or meeting at pace the issues of the day.

GES economists are employed by departments. The GES runs centralised recruitment for economists and acts collaboratively as a profession to support its members, their employers, and the GES’ leadership. This work includes:

  • promoting good analysis and evidence in government, by maintaining professional standards and a technical framework
  • championing the use of economics in policy making
  • leading the recruitment of new economists into government
  • providing training opportunities for our economists, including a large annual conference, seminar series throughout the year and centralized training courses
  • supporting professional development of economists at each stage of their careers

The Government Economic and Social Research Team

The Government Economic and Social Research (GESR) Team is based at HM Treasury and is the central administration, professional support and recruitment team for all GES and Government Social Research (GSR) members. The GESR team also provides a secretariat for the GES and GSR boards.

You can contact the GESR team by email at GESR.Enquiries@hmtreasury.gov.uk

Our Vision

The GES champions economics in government. We support our economists and promote the use of high-quality economic analysis in policymaking. The GES is committed to becoming a community of greater diversity and inclusion, and to the core values of the Civil Service: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.

Find out more about our longer term strategy for 2021-2024.

Our History

The GES was created in 1964 although economists had been working in government long before. Government economists have left a long and illustrious record including three Nobel Prize winners: James Meade, Richard Stone and Ronald Coase. Many permanent secretaries started their career in the GES, as have several former Cabinet Secretaries.

More recently, GES economists were integral to the rapid policy response to the financial crisis and to coronavirus (COVID-19). Their analysis also shapes the government’s response to long-term challenges such as climate change, biodiversity, and inequality. GES economists have been at the forefront of the practical application of the new tools of economics such the use of randomized control trials in international development, linking and analysing giant data sets to study the returns to education, and pioneering the use of behavioural economics in tax and pensions.

Our Alumni

The Government Economics Service Alumni was established in 2016. Its aim is to strengthen links between the GES and its alumni, many of whom have moved on to influential positions within and beyond Government.

We are keen to engage with former GES members who have now left formal government economist roles through the Alumni network. The network supports professional development for those working on the economics of public policy.

Alumni members are kept up to date with the current work of GES and provide a platform for public-private collaboration. Members receive a twice-yearly newsletter, annual event invite and opportunities for GES collaboration, networking and mentoring.

To join the alumni please email GESR.Enquiries@hmtreasury.gov.uk with details of your most recent roles in or with the GES (usually at least 2 years or other substantive engagement), copying in a GES or alumni colleague that can confirm (please provide a gov.uk email where possible).

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