University of Stirling, UK, and IZA, Germany
IZA World of Labor role
Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, UK
Labor market economics, labor costs, working time, human capital, business cycle fluctuations, economics of education, British engineering labor market between 1920 and 1970
Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, 1986–2014; Senior Research Fellow, Science Center, Berlin, 1980–1986
MA Economics, University of Liverpool, 1969
"The decline of paid overtime working in Britain." British Journal of Industrial Relations (Forthcoming) (with D. N. F. Bell).
"Labour productivity during the Great Depression and the Great Recession in UK engineering and metal manufacture." Oxford Economic Papers (2022): 431–452.
"Real wage cyclicality and the Great Depression: Evidence from British engineering and metal working firms." Oxford Economic Papers 65:2 (2013): 197–218 (with J. E. Roberts).
"Forced to be rich? Returns to compulsory schooling in Britain." Economic Journal 120:549 (2010): 1345–1364 (with P. J. Devereux).
“Real wage cyclicality of job stayers, within-company job movers, and between-company job movers.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 60 (2006): 105–119 (with P. J. Devereux).
Hours vs employment in response to demand shocks Updated
Evaluating the labor market effects of temporary aggregate demand shocks requires analyzing both employment and hours of workRobert A. Hart, February 2023The responses of working hours and employment levels to temporary negative demand shocks like those caused by the Great Recession in 2007–2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020–2022 have shown that consideration of both is important. Workers’ desired rises in working hours in times of recession also serve to modify the standard measure of unemployment. During Covid-19, both jobs and earnings were temporarily protected among workers forced into short-time work schemes, providing a useful comparison with the provision of improved unemployment insurance to unemployed workers at that time.MoreLess
The rise and fall of piecework
Incidence of piecework has significantly reduced in advanced industrialized economies—has its decline gone too far?Robert A. Hart, April 2016A pieceworker receives a fixed rate for each unit (“piece”) produced or action performed. In part, the rate reflects a cost of monitoring output. A timeworker receives a fixed wage rate per hour that, in the short term, does not vary with output performance. From the 18th century up to the last third of the 20th century these were the two dominant payment methods in the manufacturing and production industries. Yet, today the incidence of piecework in advanced economies is very small, having lost considerable ground to time rates and to other forms of incentive pay. What caused this transformation, and has the movement away from piecework gone too far?MoreLess