Education & Labour

People's education investment and labour market participation create the human capital stock available to the economy - knowledge, skills and ideas, the basis of all economic activity. Employment is also a major source of individual wellbeing, generating income and recognition needed to form successful life trajectories and build strong communities. However, after a decade of stalled growth, stagnating wages and productivity and persistent income inequality, we need to re-evaluate the effectiveness of education and labour market policy, so that the full productive potential of the economy and highest possible quality of life can be achieved. Major issues are:

- Improving primary and secondary education attainment and the reduction of inequality in education investment, which disadvantages children from poor families;

- Increasing the availability of skilled labour by improving technical and vocational education and by offering further training where workers need to adjust to technological change;

- Making work more productive (a UK worker needs five days to produce the output a French worker produces in four days);

- Reducing income inequality by creating effective mechanisms of wage formation, including the statutory minimum wage regime.

At the National Institute, we seek better to understand - and ultimately to help improve - education and labour market policy by evaluating the impact of concrete policy options compared to counterfactual outcomes of alternative or no policy intervention. We do this by applying rigorous micro and macro-econometric research designs like Random Control Trials (RCTs), econometric impact assessments or structural modelling to large scale linked data from a variety of sources, especially individual education and labour market and firm-level data from Central Government registers.

Staff: Stefan Speckesser, with Matthew Bursnall, Peter Dolton, Hector EspinozaFrancesca Foliano, Jiaqii Li, and Lucy Stokes

Projects: "Using administrative and big data to improve labour market statistics" with our partner, ESCoE