Craig Holmes






About me

I'm a teaching fellow in Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford and a research associate of the ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). From 2009 until 2013 I was a research fellow at SKOPE.

I completed my doctorate in Economics at Oxford University in 2012. The thesis was entitled 'Myopia, retirement planning and commitment'. It was supervised by Dr. Terry O'Shaughnessy .

I blog about economics at

Research interests

Labour economics, behavioural economics, experimental economics, economics of education.


  • Microeconomics
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Public Economics

Refereed publications

Holmes, C, (2013), 'Has the expansion of higher education led to greater economic growth?', National Institute Economic Review, 224(1) pp. R29-47. Link.

Holmes, C, (2010), 'Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement: a comment', Journal of Public Economics 94, pp. 135-6. Link.

Other publications

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2014), 'The winners and losers in the hourglass labour market', in Archer, L, Mann, A, and Stanley, J (eds.), ‘Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence’, London: Routledge.

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2012), 'The changing shape of the UK job market and its implications for the bottom half of earners', Report for the Resolution Foundation, London: Resolution. Link Summary

Work in progress

'Have earnings distributions polarised in the UK?' (with Ken Mayhew ).

'Occupational mobility and career progression in the hourglass labour market'.

'Explaining country differences in the polarization hypothesis' (with Ken Mayhew and Linus Adelt).

'The expansion of higher education and the upskilling hypothesis' (with Daria Luchinskaya, Charoula Tzanakou and Ken Mayhew)

'Developing vocational excellence: learning environments within work environments' (with Susan James ).

Selected working papers

Holmes, C, Mayhew, K, and Keep, E, (2012), Ten questions for higher education, SKOPE Issues Paper No. 31. Link

Holmes, C, (2011), 'The route out of the routine: where do the displaced routine workers go?', SKOPE Research Paper No. 100.Link

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2010), 'UK higher education in recession', SKOPE Issues Paper No. 24.Link

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2010), 'Are UK labour markets polarising?', SKOPE Research Paper No. 97. Link


Holmes, C, (2014), 'Turning over the 'hourglass' labour market argument', Policy Network, November 27th, Link.

Holmes, C, (2012), 'Hourglass job markets and earnings inequality', OECD Insights, March 7th, Link.

Selected conference papers

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2011), 'Room at the top - and the bottom, too: the winners and losers in the "hourglass" labour market', presented at the Education and Employers Taskforce Research Conference, Warwick University, October 12th. Link (including video)

Holmes, C and Mayhew, K, (2011), 'Thinking outside the box? Assessing mobility through typologies of employment organisation', presented at Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Annual Meeting, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, June 24th. Slides