Professor Keith Bender
Professor Keith Bender

Professor Keith Bender

SIRE Chair in Economics



I specialise in applied microeconomics, particularly interested in labour economics.  Early in my career I focused on the role of institutions and labour market outcomes, looking at differences between union and nonunion workers, public and private sector workers, and the subjective wellbeing of retirees and retirement behaviour.  More recently I have been looking at the interactions of health and labour economics, particularly the effect of different kinds of labour contracts on stress and the health of workers.  In addition, I have been interested in the educational and skills mismatch in the labour market, examining its incidence, causes and effects.

I am an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations and a Research Fellow of the IZA.

In addition to working at the Unversity of Aberdeen, I have held previous positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the US Social Security Administration, as well as visiting positions at Louisiana State University, University of Potsdam, Giessen University and the National Institute for Labour Studies at Flinders University in Australia.


  • PhD Economics 
    1994 - Duke University 
  • MA Economics 
    1992 - Duke University 
  • BA Economics 
    1990 - Furman University 

Internal Memberships

Director of Research - Business School

Member of the Centre for European Labour Market Research (CELMR) and the Scottish Experimental Economics Laboratory (SEEL).


Research Overview

Labour Economics, Economics of Ageing, Subjective Well-being, Health Economics

Member of the Centre for European Labour Market Research (CELMR) and the Scottish Experimental Economics Laboratory (SEEL).

Research Areas

Research Specialisms

  • Applied Economics

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

My current research projects investigate:

  • Employment contracts and wellbeing
  • Educational mismatch
  • Labour supply elasticities near retirement
  • Union and nonunion forms of worker voice
  • Skills shortages from the firm's point of view
  • Labour market (earnings) discrimination

Past Research

Determinants of trade unionism

Public-private wage determination and differentials


I generally supervise PhD topics in various aspects of applied labour economics.


Funding and Grants

  • 'Performance-Related Pay and Health: An Interdisciplinary Study', ESRC (please see the following website for more information:
  • 'Performance Pay and Stress: A Pilot Study', Scottish Economic Society

Teaching Responsibilities

For the 2021-22 first teaching session, I will be coordinating EC1006 (Economics of Business and Society) and BU501S: Employment Relations (part of the new MSc in International Human Resource Management). In the second teaching session, I will be coordinating the Economics Dissertation (EC4526) and teaching Employment Relations to the Qatar version of the MSc in International Human Resource Management as well as coordinating the Economics of Labour Markets module as part of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics.


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals

Contributions to Specialist Publications

Non-textual Forms

Working Papers and Discussion Papers