Labour and education economics

A significant proportion of the department’s staff work in this field, therefore the range of topics we are researching is large. Much of this work is applied, and the group have an extensive knowledge of large-scale data sets, from both the UK and abroad. In addition, the most up-to-date econometric techniques appropriate for large cross-section and panel data sets are widely used.

Much of the work undertaken has direct policy relevance, and so the group have close links with government departments, in particular the Department for Education and Skills, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Work Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG)

The group co-ordinate the Work Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG), which helps to disseminate research in this area to a wide audience of national and international academics and policy-makers, through regular seminars and an annual conference.

Specific research areas:


  • The impact of displacement and mass layoff
  • Worker mobility in imperfect labour markets
  • The reservation wage curve
  • Employee trust and workplace performance
  • The executive labour market

Policy Evaluation:

  • The impact of the National Minimum Wage
  • Evaluation of active labour market policies, currently evaluating the Employer Ownership Pilot

Labour Market Outcomes:

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Occupational change
  • Wage distribution and inequality
  • Polarisation of the occupation distribution


  • Impact of persistent and multidimensional poverty on child development
  • Race, ethnicity, and child development
  • Bullying at school and early labour market outcomes
  • The match between the demand for and supply of skills
  • Subject of degree and the wage distribution
  • Behavioural economics of HE choices