The Institute was established to provide independent research to inform public policy. This public good role is supported by an annual grant-in-aid from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The grant has accounted for approximately 25 percent of the Institute’s income over the lifetime of the last Research Strategy [2014 - 2018]. Most of the rest of the funds needed to sustain the research of the ESRI come from research programmes in partnership with government agencies and departments, research projects commissioned mostly by public bodies and competitive research grants. Membership subscriptions also contribute to the Institute's income
The Institute’s public interest activities include:
- Publication of the Quarterly Economic Commentary and the report Ireland’s Economic Outlook;
- Maintenance and development of a macro-economic models;
- Bringing commissioned work to the scientific and academic standard required for publication in peer-reviewed journals;
- Methodological research;
- Dissemination of the majority of the ESRI publications free of charge via the ESRI website.
- Publicising the ESRI’s work at conferences, seminars etc.;
- Interacting with public and professional bodies, national committees, visiting delegations (IMF, OECD etc.);
- Participation in major EU supported projects and networks by providing national co-funding.
The Economic and Social Research Institute was established on the 24th June 1960 as a Company Limited by Guarantee and was known then as the Economic Research Institute. The title of the Institute was later changed to the Economic and Social Research Institute.
The registered office is at Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2.
The Institute is a not for profit organisation and registered as a charity under registration number CHY5335.
The Economic and Social Research Trust was incorporated in 1993 with the aim of promoting, through its funding, knowledge of economics and other social sciences and advancing research into the facts and problems of contemporary human society.
Fund raising campaigns in 1990-1995 and 1995-2000 generated a total of €5.05 million in contributions and interest of which €3.25 million has been allocated for research and €1.8m to assist the Institute in funding the purchase of its premises.
As the Trust has fulfilled its objectives and no longer has any assets it is planned to close the Trust in 2019.
The Trust is a registered charity.