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Staff Biography

[Photo: Mike ELSBY] Dr Mike ELSBY
Associate - Labour Markets
University of Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 650 8369
Email: mike.elsby@ed.ac.uk

Curriculum Vitae PDF  Personal WebSite WWW

Expertise: Labour economics, Macroeconomics


Mike Elsby's research focuses on the interface between macroeconomics and labour economics, in particular unemployment and wage determination. Recent work has examined the theory and measurement of unemployment dynamics; the microeconomic foundations of aggregate employment persistence; the role of wage setting in shaping the cyclical and trend behaviour of joblessness; and the origins of long-run declines in labour's share of income.

Current Areas of Research:

The Wages of Nonemployment (with David Ratner and Matthew Shapiro). This project seeks to understand the substantial and persistent secular decline in rates of employment observed among less skilled men. Our first goal is to document the sources of income used by those chronically out of work to get by. Second, we assess whether trends in the generosity of non-work income over time are able to account for long-run trends in joblessness.

Understanding Employment Persistence (with Ryan Michaels and David Ratner). This project uses rich establishment-level micro data to examine the microeconomic origins of persistent aggregate employment fluctuations. We confront leading theoretical models of adjustment frictions with this evidence, and identify further novel channels that are consistent with the data.

The Origins of Declines in Labour's Share of Income (with Bart Hobijn and Aysegul Sahin).


  • 2005: Ph.D. Economics, LSE
  • 2001: M.Sc. Economics (Distinction and Ely Devons Prize), LSE
  • 2000: B.Sc. Economics (First Class Honours), LSE


  • 2014: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics Best Paper Prize.
  • 2012: Philip Leverhulme Prize, Leverhulme Trust.

Affiliations/Professional activities with other institutions:

  • University of Edinburgh - Professor of Economics

Selected Publications: