Professor of Economics
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Steve graduated from the University of Leicester in 1990, obtained an MSc from the University of Warwick in 1992, and completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 1997. He then worked as a researcher in the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics until 2005, when he moved to the University of Sheffield to take up the position of reader. Steve is a member of the European Association of Labour Economists, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Education and Work. Steve has undertaken research for a wide range of UK government departments, in particular the Department for Education, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Welsh Assembly Government, as well as for international bodies such as the European Union Commission and UNESCO. He was made a Professor of Economics in January 2016.
"I teach two modules in the department. The first, the Economics of Education, reflects my research interests of qualifications and skills, and their effect on labour market outcomes. My interest in this area stems from the fact that, since we spend most of lives in education and then in work, research in this area has the possibility of making a real difference to people's lives. My approach to teaching reflects this. When teaching these modules, I provide students with knowledge of the issues involved, and the analytical tools required to study them, and to come to conclusions about appropriate policies.
Empirical evidence is very important in this area, in terms of quantifying relationships (for example between education and wages), and for evaluating education policies in terms of their observed outcomes. This module therefore include references to lots of empirical evidence, and my teaching provides students with the skills to be able to read and interpret such evidence.
The other module I teach in the department is an Introduction to Econometrics, where I again aim to provide students with the skills to read and understand econometric literature, as well as to have the ability and confidence to undertake some econometric investigations of their own.
I was awarded the Departmental Teaching Award for lecturers in 2011. I was delighted to win this, as it is voted for by the students, which means they must have found my lectures interesting and useful."
- ECN215 The Economics of Education
- ECN219 Research Methods and Introductory Econometrics (Module leader)
Research Summary and PhD Student Supervision
Steve researches in the areas of Labour Economics and the Economics of Education. Much of his research examines the labour market outcomes of education, considering for example the wage returns to particular qualifications, and the incidence and implications of mismatch between the demand for and the supply of skills.
Steve leads a team of researchers in the department who, together with researchers from three other institutions, form the Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER), a major research centre looking at all aspects of vocational education, funded by BIS.
Outside CVER, Steve´s other current research projects involve an evaluation of the Employer Ownership Pilot of training funding, for BIS, and an evaluation of the Fulfilling Lives project for supporting people with multiple needs, for the Big Lottery Fund.
Steve is interested in supervising any applied microeconometric PhDs, particularly in the areas of labour or education.