Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Professor Colin Wren

Professor of Applied Microeconomics


Research Interests

My research is in the area of microeconomics with applications to regional and industrial economics. It is concerned with examining the impacts and effects of Government interventions on private-sector behaviour, mainly through firm-based initiatives, with implications for regional and national economic development. Issues have a strong policy dimension and are analysed from both applied and theoretical perspectives. Results are disseminated to academics and practitioners, with impacts on the policy process. Recent work has focused on the regional impacts of foreign direct investment at both the UK and European levels.  I have also undertaken work on the effectiveness of Internet markets / price comparison sites.


BA (Hons), Pure Mathematics and Economics, University of Sheffield.

MSc (Econ) with distinction, University of York.

PhD, Department of Economics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bibliographic Details

Google Scholar:

Research Gate:



Current Papers under submission / preparation

Recent and current research on FDI Location and Competition Issues in Internet Markets.

Recent PhD Supervision

Stephen McDonald: Price Dispersion and Search Costs: The Internet Car Insurance Market (complete).

Addulaziz Almahmood: Inward FDI and Saudi Arabia (complete).

Ilona Serwicka: European Economic Integration and FDI Location: The Fifth Enlargement (complete).

Qianyi Zhou: The Location of BRICS Foreign Direct Investment in the European Union, 1997-2010 (complete).

Putu Sudiani: FDI Location in Indonesia and the Role of Tax Incentives (current).

Neha Tengur: Electoral Cycles and Fiscal Instruments in EU Countries (current).

Esteem Indicators

Contributed to about £2.5 million in research income at Newcastle.  In recent years presentations at numerous international conferences. Invited presentations to HM Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry and World Bank. Evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. Policy-related work, including papers to the Alliance for Regional Aid and consultant to the National Audit Office on regional grants and Government Office for Science Foresight project on the Future of Manufacturing.

Recent responsibilities

Project leader on FDI, ESRC Spatial Economics Research Centre,
Member, Editorial Board, Regional Studies.
Director, PhD Programme, Economics.

Chairman, Board of Examiners, Economics.

Drafting Committee, Handbook on Prior Assessment, OECD, Paris.
Steering Committee, UK Evaluation of Regional Grants, DTI, London.
Steering Committee, Evaluation of Global Entrepreneur Programme, UKTI, London.
Economic Analysis Training, ONE North East.
External examiner: University of Strathclyde, 2000-03; Lancaster University, 2004-07; University of Cambridge, 2008-2010; Reading University, 2015-date.


Current Teaching:

Microeconomic Analysis (ECO2004)

Economic Modelling (ECO2003)

Public Economics (ECO3014).

Feedback, Guidance and Consultation Hours (i.e., when I am in my office to see students):

Monday 3-5pm.