Empirical Essays on the Economics of Education and Pay

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Economics


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
Description The research funded by this grant has reached conclusions on a number of topics, providing evidence to answer the questions posed at the outset. Specifically, one strand has shown that the introduction of free early-education places for all 3-year olds in England led to small gains in performance on the Key Stage 1 tests taken at age 7. The largest gains were associated with early years provision in state-run nursery settings, which is useful information for the Government (and parents) in planning future provision of early years education. Another strand of research has shown that the effect on hourly wages associated with remaining in secondary school for an additional year, is to raise them by approximately 10%. Again, this is useful information that has helped to inform Government policy, relating directly to the policy of raising the education participation age. Finally, the research in this project has shown that there are differences between the public and private sectors not only in terms of average pay, but also the variability of pay, the growth rate of pay and the degree of job security. It is important to factor all of these things into the calculation when considering whether 'pay' is better in the public or the private sector.
Exploitation Route The research in this project could be built on (and indeed has been built on!) by myself and others interested in labour economics - specifically the returns to education and public-private pay inequalities. The work in this project helped me to develop an application for further funding, and this application was successful in securing me a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship to work at the UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin. The output from the work on returns to education has since led to further work - one published paper and another that is currently being prepared for submission. The methodology used in the work on public-private pay differences could also be used by others and indeed is going to be used by myself to address related questions on pay inequalities between groups of workers.
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice

Description My research in this project has been used in the policy making process in education - for example, in the recent policy decision to raise the education participation age from 16 to 17 and now up to 18. My work on the impact of the previous raising of the school leaving age contributed to the literature under-pinning this decision. My work on public and private sector pay differences led me to give advice to the UK Treasury on two occasions during my post-doc. Moreover, the work in this project has led to my becoming an advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on social mobility.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Education
Impact Types Economic

Description Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship
Amount € 195,887 (EUR)
Funding ID PIEF-GA-2010-275964 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2011 
End 09/2012
Description Boys who stay on at school 'will earn more' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article appearing in The Observer, reporting work from post-doc which was presented to the Royal Economics Society Annual Conference 2009

The Observer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/19/leaving-age-education-wages
Description Podcast interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Podcast interview as part of the CMPO podcast series - podcast downloaded many times and remains available.

Discussions feed into policy debate on raising the participation age.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/audio/econreturn.html
Description Researcher in Residence - linked with a school in Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact My engagement with the pupils sparked questions and discussion of economics and career pathways.

Following this activity I have repeated the presentation at a number of other schools in the local area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011