Franz Buscha is a Professor in the Economics and Quantitative Methods (EQM) department and a member of the Centre for Employment Research (CER). 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 the centre, actively contributing to income generation and research output. His tasks in the centre are diverse, although in his current role Franz acts as mentor to junior researchers and as principal methods advisor on various CER projects. Within the EQM department Franz is responsible for delivery of Labour Economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He was previously a deputy course leader of the MSc/MA in International Economic Policy and Analysis and held the post of Director of PhD Studies from 2013 to 2016. In this role Franz was responsible for all processes that relate to doctoral study, including research student enrollment, registration, transfers and annual appraisal.
Franz's research interests are in education economics, labour economics and applied econometrics. 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 is the current Director of Research for the Westminster Business School. In this capacity Franz is responsible for the management of Westminster Business School's research portfolio and oversees the research activities of 200 members of staff.
PhD Economics, Lancaster University
MSc Economics, Lancaster University
BSc (Hons) Economics, Lancaster University
European Association of Labour Economists
American Economic Association
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. Policy reports are expected late 2017.
Franz is the module leader for Labour Market Economics (BEQM703) which is part of the MSc International Economic Policy and Analysis at the Westminster Business School. He is also the module leader for Labour Economics (BEQM610) which is part of the undergraduate programme. The emphasis of both these modules is 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 are part of the MBA programme. Prior to this Franz spent three years teaching undergraduate micro- and macro-economics at Lancaster University.
Franz is currently supervising two PhD students (Gissa Izadi and Hiba Hussein). Much of Franz’s research focuses on the topics of Labour Economics and Education Economics such as the returns to education or social mobility. Franz is interested in supervising any applied microeconometric PhDs, particularly in the areas of labour or education.
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 teaches "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.
Franz has over 10 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.
Franz has published in leading journal 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 totaling over £400,000.
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 (Southampton) to analyse Census data in order to examine how social mobility has developed since the 1970s.
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; 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 has acted as ESRC Rapporteur.