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Biography

Franz Buscha is a Professor of Economics in the School of Organisations, Economy and Society at the University of Westminster. Franz joined the university as a Research Fellow in 2006 after completing his PhD in Economics at Lancaster University. Since then Franz has been an important member of Westminster Business School (WBS) and the CER, actively contributing to income generation, research output and impact. In his current role Franz acts as mentor to junior researchers and as principal investigator advisor on CER projects. Franz has also taught Labour Economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and was a deputy course leader of the MSc/MA in International Economic Policy and Analysis.  Between 2013 and 2017 he was the Director of PhD Studies for WBS and in this role Franz was responsible for all processes that related to doctoral study, including research student enrolment, registration, transfers and annual appraisal.

Currently, Franz is the College Director of Research for the Westminster Business School. In this capacity Franz is responsible for the management of Westminster Business School's research portfolio, building and maintaining a prominent research culture and overseeing the research activities of circa 200 academics. In this role Franz also represents the college on various University committees, such as Research Committee. 

Franz's personal research interests are in education economics, labour economics, and applied econometrics. Franz has made scientific contributions to issues such as social mobility, measuring the returns to education, the effect of weather of happiness, political beliefs and identity formation. He has been involved in numerous funded research projects from research councils and government departments.

He has published in leading journals such as Economics of Education Review, the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the British Journal of Political Science and the British Journal of Sociology. Franz has also contributed to numerous policy reports and his research has been covered by media outlets such as BBC news, BBC Radio 4, The Economist, The Guardian, The Times, and Huffington Post. Franz also has a monthly radio program called Policy Matters on Share Radio.

Education

PhD Economics, Lancaster University 

MSc Economics, Lancaster University 

BSc (Hons) Economics, Lancaster University

Professional Memberships

European Association of Labour Economists

Royal Economics Society

Consultancy and professional practice

As part of the Centre's activities Franz has worked closely with various government departments (such as DFE, HMRC, HMT, BIS, MoD, ONS and ACAS) on a variety of policy evaluation projects in the last ten years. In addition to policy evaluation Franz supplies bespoke econometric advice and a range of Stata/Econometric courses to government practitioners. Some of his recent work includes work for the Ministry of Defence, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Currently Franz is working together with academics from the IFS, Cambridge, Lancaster, Bath and Durham to analyse Higher Education Longitudinal Outcomes (LEA) data to examine under- and post-graduate returns to higher education for the Department of Education.

 

 

Teaching

Taught modules

Franz was the module leader for Labour Market Economics (BEQM703) which was part of the MSc International Economic Policy and Analysis at the Westminster Business School. He was also the module leader for Labour Economics (BEQM610) which was part of the undergraduate programme. The emphasis of both these modules was on covering interesting and contextual issues in labour economics (such as education, pay inequality, unemployment, labour market discrimination) and framing this with exposure to high quality academic research.

Franz previously taught on the Quantitative Analysis for Decision Support and Research Methods modules which were part of the MBA programme. Prior to this Franz spent three years teaching undergraduate micro- and macro-economics at Lancaster University.

PhD supervision

Franz is interested in supervising any applied microeconometric PhDs, particularly in the areas of labour or education. Franz has supervised 6 doctoral students to completion, the most recent graduating in 2019.

External teaching

In addition to his internal teaching duties at the school Franz also regularly provides external statistical training aimed at PhD students, young career researchers and practitioners. Such short courses generally last 1 to 3 days and focus on applied data analysis or various micro-econometric topics. For example, Franz taught "Panel Data Analysis" as part of the training programme of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods and has previously taught "Introduction to Stata" for the National School of Government and "Introduction to Macro-Econometrics" at HM Treasury.

External Examiner

Franz is an external examiner for the South West Doctoral Training Partnership since 2018.

Research

Research

Franz has over 15 years experience in applied econometrics and evaluation methodology and approaches his research from a predominantly quantitative angle. His favourite research interests are in the fields of labour and education economics and much of his research focuses on topics such as the returns to learning and the determinants of educational outcomes. However, Franz has also researched in other fields such as sociology, management and political science.

Franz has published in leading journals in his field and has made contributions to issues such as social mobility, measuring the returns to education, the effect of weather of happiness and workplace mediation. He has been involved in numerous funded research projects from research councils and government departments totalling over £1,000,000. 

As part of his research activities Franz has completed an ESRC supported study that examined trends in intergenerational mobility in England and Wales. Over a period of 18 months Franz worked jointly with Prof. Patrick Sturgis (LSE) to analyse Census data in order to examine how social mobility has developed since the 1970s. Franz is currently a PI on a follow-up project that examines spatial social mobility in the UK. This project is expected to complete in 2021.

In addition, as part of the CER, Franz is frequently involved in various policy related research projects including: an examination of recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces for the Ministry of Defence; an evaluation of factors which could bias the measurement of qualifications for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; econometric advice for HM Revenue and Custom; and an investigation of the patterns of representation in Employment Tribunal applications for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Franz has also referees for several academic journals including: Education Economics, Labour Economics, the European Sociological Review, the Manchester School, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A, Contemporary Economic Policy, Economic Affairs, Canadian Public Policy and the Economic Bulletin. Franz was also an associate editor for Work, Employment and Society from 2013 to 2015. In addition, Franz acts as an ESRC reviewer.