Fully-funded ESRC PhD Studentship: Economics


Swansea University, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) are offering a fully-funded PhD studentship: An Examination of the Public/Private Sector Pay Differential in the UK.

About the project:

The recent recession and accompanying public sector deficit again brought to the forefront issues surrounding the size of public sector and the pay of public sector workers (not just in the UK but across the globe, resulting in public sector pay freezes or pay cuts).  In 2009 just over 6 million individuals were employed in the public sector, representing 21% of total employment (Matthews 2010).  The public sector pay bill amounted to £182 billion, 30% of all government expenditure and 13.1% of national income (IFS 2011). The desire to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy away from the public sector and towards the private sector as it comes out of recession is seen as a high priority by the Government, as outlined in its Plan for Growth (2011). This is also seen as a particularly important issue for many UK regions which have relatively high proportions employed in the public sector. Also within these areas a number of the most deprived areas are particularly dependant on public sector employment. For many regions to avoid falling further behind in terms of GDP relative to the rest of the UK it will be important that movement occurs between public and private sector jobs during the recovery. Given employment and wage rates vary across the country and public sector wages are generally negotiated nationally this can lead to labour market rigidities leading to unemployment.

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1.  Examine the size of the public/private sector pay differential over time at a UK and a regional/local level.

2.  Understand the implications for region/areas of a decline in the size of the public sector.

3.  Analyse the role of the public sector in contributing to labour market rigidities and inflexibility in the economy generally. 

Candidate eligibility:

Due to funding restrictions the studentship is only available to candidates from the UK/EU.

You should have a master’s degree in Economics, with a strong quantitative background.

Studentship value:

The studentship provides funding (fees and maintenance) for up to 3 years and offers:

  • Full UK/EU tuition fees.
  • A maintenance stipend of £16,590 per year.
  • £250 per year for other expenses (e.g. conferences, fieldwork).

Further information: 

Please contact Mary Perman (Departmental Administrator) m.perman@swansea.ac.uk for further information.

Application closing date:  

The application closing date is 21st June 2013.

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