Selected Works in Progress

Intention to Teach: Incentive Impacts of Bursaries

I assess the impact of financial incentives on the selection, recruitment and retention of trainee teachers. Using a panel of the UK school workforce, I exploit variation in the bursary levels offered across years, subjects, and the trainee’s undergraduate classification. Results suggest that a £1k uplift in training bursary leads to a 2.9% increase in trainee recruitment, and a 1.5% increase in the 3-year retention rate. This is largely driven by selection in observable characteristics; recruits are 0.7% less likely to appear as a teacher after training when controlling for observable characteristics. A £1k bursary uplift also reduces the share of non-white stem trainees by 0.67%. Bursaries attract trainees with high educational attainment into stem courses, but those with lower attainment into non-stem courses. I develop a model of occupational choice and motivation to explain these trends. Raising training bursaries offers a short-term solution to teacher shortages but raises concerns about teacher motivation and diversity within the classroom

Ethnicity and Career Progression Gaps

with Tessa Hall and Alan Manning

Career progression is central to our understanding of labour market wage inequality. However, the exploration of career dynamics for ethnic minority and migrant groups has to date been hindered by data limitations. To overcome this, we use new data which combines a long panel from 1999 to 2018 from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) with individual characteristics from the 2011 Census in England and Wales. This enables us to break down observed wage gaps at each age into differences in entry-level pay and pay growth. We find that, controlling for individual characteristics, ethnic minorities experience large pay gaps at labour market entry which are more important for explaining the ethnic pay penalty across an individual’s lifetime. There is some career growth penalty, which persists even within the same occupation and firm.

Welfare and Distributional Consequences of Constrained University Admissions Under Uncertainty

with Sidharth Moktan

We study the impact of uncertainty and information constraints on undergraduate admissions in the UK on students’ application decisions and the quality of student-course matches. We exploit the fact that the admissions procedure has both a centralised application mechanism that limits the number of applications, and decentralised decision making with heterogeneous and holistic selection criteria which increases uncertainty. By designing a structural choice model that allows heterogeneity in both preferences and risk aversion, we will disentangle the impacts of preferences versus risk aversion and information constraints in the admission outcomes of students – paying particular attention to how social mobility for different socioeconomic groups are impacted.

Local Labor Markets: The Impact of Ethnic Community Ties

with Shadi Farahzadi

Monte et al. (2018) shows that the impact of a labor demand shock on local employment varies according to the level of commuting/moving openness in the local labor market. Various ethnic groups exhibit different levels of willingness to relocate, influenced by their cultural values and community ties. The gender and ethnic variations in willingness to relocate can significantly influence how labor market shocks impact individuals. By examining the regional variations in labor demand market shocks, we can determine how these shocks affect ethnic minorities differently due to their limited inclination to relocate. The dataset used for this study is the ASHE - Census 2011 linked dataset from the UK, offering comprehensive work job and individual characteristics.

Blog Posts

Ethnic Minorities and the UK labour market: Are things getting better?

7 April 2021

Economics Observatory, with Alan Manning

Comparison of disparities in pay, employment and unemployment among different ethnic groups in the UK shows that there has been little change over the past 25 years. Indeed, for black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women, pay gaps with white men and women have widened. Read More

Are employment opportunities for ethnic minorities in the UK really improving? Fact checking the Sewell Report

9 November 2021

LSE Research for the World, with Alan Manning

Does the UK have a problem with structural racism? The Sewell Report may have concluded that it doesn’t, but its findings are contentious, and many disagree with its outlook. Alan Manning and Rebecca Rose conducted research into the report’s conclusions on ethnic minorities and unemployment. Read More