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 previously done research on issues around in the educational and skills mismatch in the labour market, examining its incidence, causes and effects, particularly among the very highly educated.
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.
Performance Related Pay and Health
Research in economics have established a link between performance-related pay (PRP) – where workers’ pay is contingent upon their performance at work – and poor health. However, the causal direction of this relationship is not known. The aim of the project is to explore this relationship using an experimental work task and by measuring stress through cortisol. This paradigm will then be altered to measure other effects that may influence the relationship between PRP and stress.
- PhD Economics1994 - Duke University
- MA Economics1992 - Duke University
- BA Economics1990 - Furman University
Memberships and Affiliations
My current research projects investigate:
- Employment contracts and wellbeing
- Labour market effects of energy transition
- 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
Determinants of trade unionism
Public-private wage determination and differentials
Podcast: Performance-related Pay: The Good, The Bad, The Stressful found here: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/engage/podcasts/explorathon-lunch-bytes-episode-2.php
School teaching resource on performance-related pay and stress: How does the type of payment you receive impact your health?
I generally supervise PhD topics in various aspects of applied labour economics.
Funding and Grants
- 'A Just Transition for Workers and Communities in the North-East of Scotland', Uplift Foundation (please see the following website for more information: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/geosciences/research/research-projects-2144.php#panel2149)
- 'Performance-Related Pay and Health: An Interdisciplinary Study', ESRC (please see the following website for more information: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/business/research/PRPH.php)
- 'Performance Pay and Stress: A Pilot Study', Scottish Economic Society
For the 2023-24 first teaching session, I will be coordinating EC1006 (Economics of Business and Society) and the QB5027: Employment Relations in Qatar as well as helping with the teaching of BU501S: Employment Relations. In the second teaching session, I will be supervising undergraduate Economics Dissertations (EC4526) .