Professor of Work and Education Economics, UCL Institute of Education

My work focuses on schools, skills and job quality, the graduate labour market, political economy and savings.

This website shows what I have written in these areas and provides links where available. This home page highlights and gives links to my latest papers, presentations and blogs.

Latest papers

Francis Green (2021).

Decent Work and The Quality of Work and Employment.

Handbook on Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Section: Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards. U. Jirjahn. Online, Springer Nature.

This review examines the concept of the quality of work and employment (QWE), including both ‘Decent Work’ and the narrower concept of ‘job quality’. The key axiom is that ‘quality’ relates to the extent and manner in which working conditions meet people’s needs from work. The review emphasises the multi-disciplinary nature of the topic. It discusses the concept’s objective character, its relationship with well-being,  and its link with productivity. Important measurement issues are considered, including cost, international comparability, the choice of how many indices, the treatment of inequality and the problem of discipline insularity. Some theories of the antecedents of QWE imply universal trends, while others predict differentiation across countries and regions, attributable to labour market institutions and policy. The effects on well-being and health are studied in several disciplines, including a substantial research programme in psychology. Summary trends in Europe and distributions of job quality are presented for context, including gender gaps. This description shows gradual improvement in the physical environment of work and in working time quality over the decade from 2005. Yet the distribution of job quality in several domains is not at all closely related to a country’s GDP. The review concludes with a discussion of job quality policy making, and frames the ongoing research agenda.

See here for an online seminar presentation of this and related papers at the Eurasia Business and Economics Society Conference, Istanbul, 2/7/2021.

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Francis Green, Golo Henseke and Ingrid Schoon.

The Darkest Hour? New Evidence of the Learning Experiences, Well-Being and Expectations of Youth During the Third National Lockdown in the UK.

UCL Institute of Education, LLAKES Centre. COVID-19 Youth Economic Activity and Health Monitor. Briefing No. 1. (March 2021).

This briefing presents new evidence surrounding young people’s employment, learning, well-being, and future expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these are connected. It does so through the reports of a representative sample of young people themselves at the beginning of February 2021 in the midst of a strict lockdown throughout the UK. The survey shows that the pandemic has had negative effects on the lives of young people in the sample in ways that affect how they see their future as well as their present state of well-being.

Among other findings, it is seen that young people’s life satisfaction was low, and that their dissatisfaction with life was associated with COVID-19 indirectly, through the perceived effect it had had on loss of learning. While the level of life dissatisfaction was 36% among those who perceived that their skills had worsened, it was only 20% among those whose learning was unaffected. However, there is no notable link between life satisfaction and having experienced direct health effects of the disease at first hand or among family and close friends. In contrast, COVID-19 had both direct consequences for mental distress and indirect consequences for mental distress via learning loss and loss of social connectedness.

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Henseke, G., Anders, J., Green, F., & Henderson, M. (2021). Income, housing wealth, and private school access in Britain. Education Economics (online).


“St James Independent School For Boys, Twickenham, London.” by Jim Linwood is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Access to Britain’s highly-resourced private schools matters because of concerns surrounding social mobility. Using the UK Family Resources Survey, we document a high and mostly stable income concentration of
private school access since 1997. Nevertheless, some low-income participation persists. Bursaries are income-progressive but cannot
account for this participation. Housing wealth is, however, found to be greater for private school participants.

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Green, Francis. 2021. “British Teachers’ Declining Job Quality: Evidence from the Skills and Employment Survey.” Oxford Review of Education online.

Poor job quality is potentially important for understanding the problem of declining teacher retention. I analyse long-term trends for teachers, showing stable hours but increasing work intensity, lower task discretion, decreased training and less flexible working time. The changes in job quality account in part for the changes in well-being.

To see my associated blog, and to access the pre-publication version of the paper, click here.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com


Green, F, A. Felstead, D. Gallie and G. Henseke (2021). Working Still Harder. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Online.

The authors use data from four waves of the Skills and Employment Survey to document and to try to account for sustained long-term work intensification among Britain’s workers. Just over half of work intensification from 2001 to 2017 is explained with variables that measure effort-biased technological change, effort-biased organizational change, the growing requirement for learning new things, and the rise of self-employment. The authors interpret the work intensification within a power-resources framework.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

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Green, F. and Henseke, G (2021) Europe’s Evolving Graduate Labour Markets: Supply, Demand, Underemployment and Pay. Journal for Labour Market Research, online.

For most students the aspiration to gain employment in a graduate job is the main motivation for going to university. Whether they fulfil this aspiration depends considerably on national graduate labour markets. We analyse the comparative evolution of these markets across Europe over the decade leading up to 2015, focusing on supply, graduate/high-skilled jobs, underemployment, wages, the graduate wage premium and the penalty for underemployment. The supply of tertiary graduates increased everywhere and converged, and this upward convergence is forecast to persist. In contrast the growth of graduate jobs was slower, not ubiquitous and nonconvergent. Underemployment was spreading, though at a modest rate; this rise was convergent but not ubiquitous. The rise was most substantial in Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Greece. Graduates’ real wages trended predominantly downward, but varied a great deal between countries. The graduate wage premium declined by more than one percentage point in seven countries. Inferences are drawn for the formation of education policy, for the broader discourse on HE, and for research on graduate futures.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

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Green, F. Health effects of job insecurity. IZA World of Labor 2020: 212. An update of my 2015 paper.

The fear of unemployment has increased around the world in the wake of Covid-19. Research has shown that job insecurity affects both mental and physical health, though the effects are lower when employees are easily re-employable. The detrimental effects of job insecurity could be partly mitigated if employers improved other aspects of job quality that support better health. But as job insecurity is felt by many more people than just the unemployed, the negative health effects during recessions are multiplied and extend through the majority of the population. This reinforces the need for effective, stabilising macroeconomic policies, most especially at this time of pandemic.

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

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recent presentations

PODCASTS

  1. Research for the Real World. Employment prospects, job quality and the intensification of work.

TALKS

  1. Human Development and Capability Association: Work and Employment Thematic Group. Webinar 11/2/2021. Decent Work and the Quality of Work and Employment.
  2. UCL Lunchtime Lecture: “What Do Private Schools Do?” 8/12/2020
Who goes to private schools and what difference do they make? A look at the evidence

3. Private School Sector Claims: A Fact Check

recent working papers

  1. Green, F. (2021 online). Decent Work and The Quality of Work and Employment. Handbook on Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Section: Worker Representation, Labor-Management Relations and Labor Standards. U. Jirjahn. Online, Springer Nature.
  2. Green, F. (2020). Schoolwork in lockdown: new evidence on the epidemic of educational poverty. London: UCL Institute of Education, LLAKES Centre, Research Paper 67. This paper shows worrying evidence of children undertaking little schoolwork at home during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Wielgoszewska, B., Green, F. and Goodman, A. (2020) Finances and employment during lockdown – Initial findings from the COVID-19 Survey in Five National Longitudinal Studies. London: UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. This report presents evidence of how people in Britain were affected during May 2020, in the later stages of the first wave lockdown.
  4. Henseke, G. and F. Green (2020). The rising value of interpersonal job tasks for graduate pay in Europe. Oxford, Centre for Global Higher Education, Working Paper 53. Both in Britain and across Europe, interpersonal skills have become more highly rewarded for graduates.
  5. Wiggins, R.D., Parsons, S., Green, F., Ploubidis, G. and Sullivan, A. (2020) Does private schooling make you right-wing? An investigation using the 1970 British Cohort Study. CLS Working Paper 2020/8. London: UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. Even after allowing for a constellation of antecedents, this paper presents evidence for a direct relationship between attending private school and the expression of right wing attitudes for both men and women.
  6. Henseke, G. and Green, F. (2020) Singapore’s Graduate Labour Market, 2013/2017: A Task-based Analysis, Research Paper 68, Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies at: http:// http://www.llakes.ac.uk. We find that the expansion of higher attainment in the resident workforce is being met by a similarly-strong growth in graduate jobs.

recent PODCASTS

UCL Real Podcast series: Forthcoming 1/3/2021.

CEPEO Podcast series: forthcoming.