Craig Holmes







About me

I'm a teaching fellow in Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford, senior research fellow on the Employment, Equity and Growth programme with INET@Oxford and research associate of the Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). From 2009 until 2013 I was a research fellow at SKOPE.

I blog about economics at

Research interests

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


  • Microeconomics
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Behavioural 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, (forthcoming), ‘The individual return to acquiring skills’, in Warhurst, C, Buchanan, J, Mayhew, K, and Finegold, D, (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, Oxford: OUP.

Grugulis, I, Mayhew, K, and Holmes, C, (forthcoming), ‘The economic and social benefits of skills’, in Warhurst, C, Buchanan, J, Mayhew, K, and Finegold, D, (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, Oxford: OUP.

Holmes, C, and Mayhew, K, (2015), Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market, London: CIPD

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

Doctoral research

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.


'Manufacturing skills', letter published in The Economist, May 9th 2015, Link.

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

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

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).