Professor James Banks gave the 2018 InstEAD Annual Lecture on ‘Extending working lives: a solution to the challenges of an ageing population?’

He gave an insightful perspective on the issue of an ageing population and argued that working longer was necessary to overcome some of the challenges of increased life expectancy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he said that in the near future our pensions are likely to be less generous, the state pension age will increase and we’re going to need to work for longer into our old age. However, this should not necessarily be seen negatively as it provides opportunities to consider older people’s working capacity and skills and identify the kinds of work available to them.

Part of James’ research with the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) estimates what percentage of older people are healthy enough to work and explores the incentives that could encourage people to work more as they get older.

James presented six different cohorts of people who were born this century and showed what percentage of their lives they would have typically spent working. People born between 1900 – 1904 would have spent about 66% of their lives in work, whereas those born between 1970 – 1974 are likely to only spend 52% of their lives working.

He went onto say that this reduction in our working lives is a challenge for individual households and for governments. James also touched on some of the intergenerational issues such as older people not working because there are looking after their grandchildren, enabling their own children to work. Also grandparents may be helping their children or grandchildren to pay off debts such as tuition fees.

Also government policy in health, social care, disability, work and tax will all have to be more joined up in the future to cope with our aging population.

Download the slides from the 2018 InstEAD Annual Lecture (PDF 1MB).


Research by InstEAD Co-Director Jennifer Roberts and Research Fellow Philip Powell, along with Research Affiliates Karl Taylor and Emily McDool is making an impact.

The research has been cited as evidence in a 2017 report ‘Growing up with the internet’ from a House of Lords inquiry on Children and the Internet and in a 2018 report ‘Safety Net: Cyberbullying’s impact on young people’s mental health’ from a Young Minds and Children’s Society inquiry into Cyberbullying on Social Media.

The team have been asked to submit evidence to a new 2018 House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into the Impact of Social Media and Screen-use on Young People’s Health.

Philip Powell has been invited and appeared on local and national media promoting and talking about the work, including the podcast Naked Scientists (Radio 5 live Science), Fixers (broadcast on ITV local news), and BBC Radio Sheffield.  


InstEAD Affiliate Dan Gray presented the paper ‘Self-employment and health: Evidence from UK panel data’ at the University of Manchester Centre for Health Economics, as part of the Health Economics seminar series on 19th February 2018.

InstEAD PhD student Andrew Bryce presented his paper ‘Finding meaning through work: eudiamonic wellbeing and job type in the US and UK’ in the external seminar series of the Economics Department at UWE Bristol on 15th March 2018.  


InstEAD affiliates Steve McIntosh and Andy Dickerson have successfully secured funding from the Department for Education to continue the work of the Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER), looking at topics such as vocational education and social mobility, and the regional demand for vocational skills. The centre brings together four internationally-renowned partners and aims to become a world-class research hub with the potential to generate a step-change in our understanding of the nature, significance and potential contribution of vocational education to individuals and the wider economy.


InstEAD research staff and affiliates are presenting their work to economists from around the world at the Royal Economic Society (RES) Annual Conference at the University of Sussex on 26-28 March 2018.

InstEAD co-director Professor Sarah Brown will chair a session on Consumption and Saving and will present research on Financial Hardship and Saving Behaviour: Bayesian Analysis of British Panel Data co-authored with Professor Pulak Ghosh (Indian Institute of Management), Dr Bhuvanesh Pareek (Indian Institute of Management Indore) and Professor Karl Taylor (University of Sheffield). The findings suggest that saving on a regular basis reduces the likelihood of future financial problems and more specifically higher levels of mortgage debt are linked with an increased probability of financial hardship.

Professor Andy Dickerson will present research on The Changing Demand for Skills in the UK co-authored with Dr Damon Morris (University of Sheffield). This is research with the Centre for Vocational Educational Research and finds that the demand for analytical and interpersonal skills is strongly increasing whilst the returns to physical skills are negative.

Dr Anita Ratcliffe will present research on Identity conflict: A framework and empirical investigation co-authored with Dr Jolian McHardy (University of Sheffield) which shows that the cost of identity conflicts are significant, and of similar magnitude to that of experiencing discrimination in the labour market.

Research Associate Dr Cristina Sechel will present research on the Recognition of Research Excellence for Lecturers in Economics: Outputs and Gender co-authored with Dr Richard McManus (Canterbury Christ Church University) and Professor Karen Mumford (University of York).

Dr Ian Gregory-Smith will have work presented on ‘Say-on-Pay’, Binding Votes and the Vesting Ratios of Performance Equity with Dr Rodion Skovoroda (Nottingham University Business School), Professor Alistair Bruce (Nottingham University Business School) and Professor Trevor Buck (University of Glasgow).

2018 Royal Economics Society Annual Conference