Work, Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG)

The Work, Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG) aims to foster, promote and disseminate research in labour economics, pensions, and related research areas including poverty, housing and savings.

Photo of Tim Butcher, Chief Economist, UK Low Pay Commission
Tim Butcher - WPEG 2016

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The Work, Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG) disseminates research through its annual conference held at the University of Sheffield.

The WPEG Conference 2021 was held online on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 July 2021. Below is the programme for the 2021 Conference and for previous years. There was no WPEG Conference in 2020. 

Contact us

To get in touch with WPEG please email wpeg@shef.ac.uk

WPEG annual conference programme 2021

Monday 12 July 2021  
1:00 – 1:15pm

Event Introduction

Karl Taylor (University of Sheffield) and Richard Ward (DWP, WPEG Co-Ordiantor) Welcome and General Information

Paul Mooney (DWP Chief Economist) Opening remarks

1:15pm - 3:00pm

Session 1A: Covid-19/EU Exit

Alina Sandor (JRF), "What the First Covid Lockdown meant for people in insecure, poor quality work"

Jesse Matheson (University of Sheffield), "Home working during Covid"

Francesca Foliano and Rebecca Riley (UCL/ Kings College Centre for Macroeconomics), "Global Competition, UK Labour Market Adjustment and the Brexit Vote".

Richard Ward (DWP), "Estimating impacts of EU Exit on welfare expenditure in context of uncertain migration"

Discussion Chair: Tom Stewart, DWP

 

Session 1B: Support for unemployed

Bert Van Landeghem (University of Sheffield), "Statistical profiling of unemployed jobseekers"

Jeraldine Kay and Simon Marlow (DWP),  "Impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of the Work Programme"

Charlotte Edney (University of Lancaster), "Welfare conditionality and lone parents: quasi experimental evidence from the UK Lone Parent Obligation reform"

Edward Martyn (DWP), "Designing the Restart impact evaluation: Quasi experiments and natural control groups"

DWP (tbc) - Restart and Plan for Jobs evaluation strategy (tbc)

Discussion Chair: Tom Younger, Head of Labour Market Analysis, DWP

3:00 - 3:15pm Break
3:15 - 4:30pm Special session: Wage and Employment Dynamics Project

Arusha Mackenzie, Van Phan, Felix Ritchie, Damian Whittard (UWE Bristol), 

Alex Bryson (UCL),

John Forth (City),

Carl Singleton (Reading)

Lucy Stokes (NIESR)

Talk 1: The Wage and Employment Dynamics Project – Why Bother?

Talk 2: Can we use/trust the ASHE data as a longitudinal data source

Talk 3: Quality-assuring ASHE

Talk 4: ASHE/CENSUS wage regressions

Discussion Chair: Karl Taylor (University of Sheffield)

Tuesday 13 July 2021: Day 2  
12:00 - 12:30pm

Special Session:

Stephen Jenkins (LSE) and Fernando Rios-Avila (Levy Institute) " Employment Earnings and Measurement Errors Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data"

Discussion Chair: Richard Ward, DWP

12:30 - 2:00pm

Session 2A: Education

Mat Weldon (DfE), "GCSE Attainment and Lifetime Earnings"

Andrew McKendrick (University of Lancaster), "Paying Students to Stay in School: Short and Long-term Effects of a Conditional Cash Transfer in England"

Prof Yu Zhu et al (University of Dundee), "Does higher-education make you more entrepreneurial? Causal Evidence from China"

Discussion Chair: Steve McIntosh (University of Sheffield)

 

Session 2B: Pay and wages

Ray Bachan and Alex Bryson (Universities of Brighton and UCL), "Gender wage gap among University Vice Chancellors in the UK"

Panagiotis Nanos and Ian Gregory-Smith (University of Sheffield), "Executive Compensation in the UK a Structural Estimation Approach"

Karen Mumford (University of York), "NHS Pay Gap"

Discussion Chair: Andrew Ward, DWP 

2:00 - 2:15pm Break
2:15 - 3:15pm

Keynote session

Mike Brewer (Resolution Foundation), "After Covid-19: the lessons for the UK's labour market, inequality and the welfare system"

Chair: Karl Taylor (University of Sheffield)

Download the keynote presentation (PDF, 3.8MB)

3:15 - 3:30pm Break
3:30 - 5:00pm

Session 3A: Human capital/returns to education/work

Golo Henseke/Felstead/Gallie/Francis Green (UCL), "Unpicking rising degree requirements in the British labour market"

Yannis Galanakis (University of Kent), "Are you in the right job? Human Capital Mismatch in the UK"

Felix Fitzroy and Mike Nolan (St Andrews / Hull), "Tax, Welfare, and Work in Britain: Another Triumph of Injustice"

Discussion Chair: Steve McIntosh (Sheffield)

 

Session 3B: Wealth and pensions

Paul Gregg and Ricky Kanabar (University of Bath/CEPEO UCL WP), "Intergenerational wealth transmission in Great Britain"

Anastasiya Oleksiyenko (University of Bristol), "Who pays the cost of pension auto-enrolment in the UK"

Jesal Sheth (NEST), "The impact of Covid-19 on income and pension saving behaviours"

Discussion Chair: DWP tbc

5:00 - 5:10pm

Closing remarks 

Paul Mooney, DWP Chief Economist

WPEG Conference programme 2019

Tuesday 30 July 2019

 
08:00 to 10:15

Registration and Coffee

The Edge - Hub

10:15 to 10:30

Event Introduction

High Tor 2

Karl Taylor (Sheffield, WPEG Organiser) Welcome and General Information

Laura Webster (DWP Chief Economist)

10:30 to 12:00

Session A1: The Labour Market

High Tor 2

Melanie Jones (Cardiff) "The UK gender pay gap: Does firm size matter?"

Pedro Gomes (Birkbeck) "Public-sector employment over the life cycle"

Mike Simmons (Royal Holloway) "Job-to-job transitions, job finding and the ins of unemployment

Ezgi Kaya (Cardiff) "Gender wage gap across the quantiles: What is the role of firm segregation

Discussion Chair: Andrew Ward, DWP

 

Session A2: Welfare

High Tor 3

Cristina Sechel (Sheffield) "The effect of mental health on employment: Accounting for selection bias"

Jennifer Prattley (Manchester) "The influence of household pension wealth, partner’s health and spousal employment status on women’s early retirement transitions in England"

Andrew Bryce (Sheffield) "Weekend working in 21st century Britain: Does it matter for well-being?"

Conor O’Loan (DWP) "The impact of benefit sanctions on employment outcomes"

Discussion Chair: Tom Stewart, DWP

 

Session A3: Savings, Wealth and Retirement

High Tor 4

Paul Fisher (ISER, Essex) "Another look at whether the rich save more: evidence from a survey experiment"

Ricky Kanabar (Bath) "Let us share things fairly: wealth differences following a reform to divorce legislation in GB"

Anne Devlin (Queens) "Retirement: The new reality evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing 2002-2015"

Mark Baker (PPI) "The impact of Pension Credit reform for mixed age couples"

Discussion Chair: Chris Sutton, DWP

12:00 to 13:00

Lunch

The Edge - Bar Area

13:00 to 14:00

Plenary

Professor Andrew Clark (Paris School of Economics) "The Origins of Labour-Market Success: Evidence from a British Birth Cohort"

High Tor 2

14:00 to 14:30

Tea/Coffee

The Edge - Bar Area

14:30 to 16:00

Session B1: Education and the Labour Market

High Tor 2

Emma Gorman (Westminster) "Education pathways for young people who ‘stumble’ at KS4: causes and consequences for the other fifty per cent"

Yannis Galanakis (Kent) "Work in a man’s shoes: Determinants of female human capital mismatch in the UK"

Yu Zhu (Dundee) "The returns to education in China: Evidence from the higher education expansion"

Damian Whittard (UWE) "Not just arms and legs: The impact of student working on local labour markets"

Discussion Chair: Allan Little (DFE)

 

Session B2: Pensions

High Tor 3

Maciej Lis (OECD) "Drivers of the gender gap in pensions : Evidence from EU-SILC and the OECD pension model"

Hayley James (Manchester) "Engagement pathways in workplace pensions"

Tim Pike (PPI) "Understanding the gender pensions gap"

Discussion Chair: Laura Webster, DWP

 

Session B3: Housing and the Labour Market

High Tor 4

Ashwin Kumar (Manchester Metropolitan) "Interaction between pension and housing"

Iain Hardie (Glasgow) "The impact of Universal Credit rollout on housing security: An analysis of landlord repossession rates in English local authorities"

Richard Ward (DWP) "Impact evaluation of lower benefit cap policy"

Discussion Chair: Joy Thompson (DWP)

16:00 to 16:20pm
 

Closing remarks

High Tor 2

Laura Webster (DWP Chief Economist)

WPEG Conference programme 2018

Monday 30 July 2018  
10:00am to 12:00 noon

Registration and check-in

The Edge - Hub

12:00 to 1:00pm

Lunch

The Edge - Bar Arena

1:00 to 1:40pm

Event Introduction

Karl Taylor (Sheffield, WPEG Organiser) Welcome and General Information

Helen Oginsky (DWP, WPEG Organiser) "DWP and the external research community, key developments in the last year and main priorities going forward"

Natalie Day (Sheffield, Social Sciences Partnerships, Impact and Knowledge Exchange (SSPIKE))

1:40 to 3:10pm

Session A1: Labour Markets: Sub-national

High Tor 2

Josh Snelders (DWP) "Assessing local labour market flexibility and resilience"

David Morris (Nottingham) "Do regional skills shortages impact firm productivity? Evidence from the UK"

Stuart Mackay and Ryan Dunn (DWP) "Development of interactive analytical tools to support decision-making"

Panos Nanos (Sheffield) "Search across local labour markets"

Discussion Chair: Jake McDonald (DWP)

 

Session A3: Wellbeing

High Tor 4

Gillian Wylie (SDS) "Wider impacts of apprenticeships on well-being"

Mark Langdon, Caroline Floyd, Rachel Shanahan, Adam Coutts and Zara Harrison (DWP) "Social isolation and health"

Michael Nolan (Hull) "Education, income and happiness: Panel evidence for the UK"

Tanya Wilson (Stirling) "Long-run health and mortality effects of exposure to universal health care at birth"

Discussion Chair: Chris Anderson (DWP)

3:10 to 3:40pm

Tea & Coffee

The Edge - Bar Area

4:30 to 6:00pm

Session B1: Fuller Working Lives

High Tor 2

Helen Gray (IES) "Do older workers affect economic performance"

David Wilkinson (UCL, IOE) "Skill mismatch among older workers and workplace performance in Britain"

Damon Morris (Sheffield) "The labour market outcomes of older versus younger apprentices: A comparison of earnings differentials"

Karen Hancock (Loughborough University) "Healthier ageing: Increasing physical activity among older people – a behavioural economics perspective"

Discussion Chair: Tom Younger (DWP)

 

Session B2: Labour Market Gender Gaps

High Tor 3

Carl Singleton (Edinburgh) "Who works for whom and the UK gender pay gap"

Heather Joshi (UCL, IOE) "The gender gap in wages over the life course: evidence from a cohort born in 1958"

Andrea Lee (DWP) "Implications for DWP progression, adequacy and pensions policy"

Discussion Chair: Sofia Poni (DWP)

 

Session B3: Disability and Employment

High Tor 4

Duncan McVicar (Queens University Belfast) "Reducing the generosity and increasing the conditionality of welfare benefits for people with disability: Turning the super-tanker or squeezing the balloon?"

Gordan Pal and Imogen Butcher (DWP) "Evaluating voluntary programmes for disabled people"

Anne Devlin (Queens University Belfast) "Why is work-limiting disability in Northern Ireland so high?"

Discussion Chair: Paul Mooney (DWP)

6:45 to 9:30pm

Conference meal 

Tuesday 31 July 2018  
7:30 to 9:00am

Breakfast

The Edge - Dining Room

9:00 to 10:30am

Session C1: Pensions I

High Tor 2

Jonathan Cribb (IFS) "The effects of automatic enrolment on employees working for small employers"

Sonia Buchholtz (Warsaw School of Economics) "Pension strategies of adult workers in the country with population growing old before getting rich"

James Rees (DWP) "Role of analysis in the automatic enrolment policy cycle"

Discussion Chair: Laura Webster (DWP)

 

Session C2: Employee Motivation and Reward

High Tor 3

Robert Simmons (Lancaster) "Are workers rewarded for inconsistent performance?"

Bicheng Yang (University of British Columbia) "Incentives from compensation and career movements on work performance: Evidence from a reform of personnel policies"

Discussion Chair: Sarah Kissack (DWP)

 

Session C3: Labour Market Progression

High Tor 4

Getinet Haile (Nottingham) "Organisational accreditation and worker upskilling in Britain"

Amanda Langdon and Philip Thomas (DWP) "Building the evidence on in-work progression"

Marco Ercolani (Birmingham) "Education surplus, skills mismatch and technology"

Discussion Chair: Adrian Richards (DWP)

10:30 to 11:00am

Tea & Coffee

The Edge - Bar Area

11:00am to 12:30pm

Session D1: Understanding Unemployment

High Tor 2

Bert Van Landegham (Sheffield) "Numeracy and unemployment duration"

Chris Tucker, Alex Snowsill and Szymon Debski (DWP) "Impact of introducing digital interventions for jobseekers"

Amanda Gosling (Kent) "The measurement of unemployment"

Discussion Chair: Ellen Flint (DWP)

 

Session D2: Universal Credit

High Tor 3

Karl Handscomb (DWP) "Universal Credit longer-term labour market effects"

Tom Waters (IFS) "The distributional impact of Universal Credit: a long-run perspective"

Ramesh Deonarine and James Hurkett (DWP) "Universal Credit business case"

Discussion Chair: Joy Thompson (DWP)

 

Session D3: Retirement Needs

High Tor 4

Luke Barclay (DWP) "Investigating factors that affect financial wellbeing in retirement"

David Sturrock (IFS) "Survival pessimism and the demand for annuities"

Tom Stewart and Will Shaw (DWP) "Analysis of cold weather payments"

Rowena Crawford (IFS) "Should generations differ in their pension accumulation?"

Discussion Chair: Tom Younger (DWP)

12:30 to 1:30pm

Lunch

The Edge - Bar Area

1:30 to 2:30pm

Plenary

High Tor 2

Professor Alex Bryson (UCL, IOE) "Public sector HRM: Does it work?"

2:30 to 3:00pm

Tea & Coffee

The Edge, Bar Area

3:00 to 4:30pm

Session E1: Pensions II

High Tor 2

Ricky Kanabar (Bath) "Mind the gap! The effect of an increased UK state pension age on expected working life of employees"

Anna Ruzik-Sierdzińska (Warsaw School of Economics) "Migration with pension reform expectations"

Neil Amin-Smith (IFS) "Individuals' pension intentions in the new era of pensions freedom"

Discussion Chair: Laura Webster (DWP)

 

Session E2: Housing and Mobility

High Tor 3

Ed Ferrari (CRESR) “Connecting housing and labour markets: the role of transport for low income households”

Richard Mosley and Sarah Kissack (DWP) "Assessing recent changes in the housing market for low-income families: Affordability and mobility challenges?"

Yu Zhu (Dundee) "Elite school designation and house prices: Quasi-experimental evidence from Beijing, China"

Discussion Chair: Andrew Parfitt (DWP)

 

Session E3: Education

High Tor 4

Rhys Davies (Cardiff) "Addressing inequality: The provision of careers guidance in Welsh schools"

Stanley Siebert (Birmingham) "Student feedback, parent-teacher communication, and academic performance: Experimental evidence from rural China"

Patricio Valdivieso (Aberdeen) "Intergenerational mobility of white working class boys in Britain: A quantitative analysis using UK data"

Reshmi Sengupta (FLAME) "The commuting trade-off: How does mother’s commuting time affect children's educational outcomes?"

Discussion Chair: Mike Daly (DWP)

Steering committee

Convenor: Pamela Lenton (University of Sheffield)
DWP Co-ordinators: Richard Ward and Tom Stewart.

  • Martyn Andrews (University of Manchester)
  • Wiji Arulampalam (University of Warwick)
  • David Blackaby (University of Wales, Swansea)
  • Sarah Brown (University of Sheffield)
  • Bob Butcher (DWP)
  • Tim Butcher (Low Pay Commission)
  • Monojit Chatterji (University of Dundee)
  • Andy Dickerson (University of Sheffield)
  • Francis Green (University of Kent)
  • Karen Mumford (University of York)
  • Karl Taylor (University of Sheffield)
  • Jonathan Wadsworth (Royal Holloway)
  • Bill Wells (DWP)
  • Asghar Zaidi (DWP)

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