Professor Ken Mayhew

Ken Mayhew is Director of SKOPE, an ESRC designated research centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance. He is also Fellow and Tutor in Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford. Founded in 1998, SKOPE is a multi-disciplinary centre based in the Oxford Department of Education and the Cardiff School of Social Sciences.

Ken obtained a First in Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford and took a Masters in Economics at LSE. After graduate school he joined Her Majesty’s Treasury before moving to Oxford. In 1989 and 1990 he was Economic Director at the UK National Economic Development Office, and has worked as a consultant for a number of private and public sector organisations at home and abroad. In the UK these include the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Confederation of British Industry. Abroad they include the EU, the Polish and Belgian Governments, SIK (Sweden) and Group Training Australia. He was on the Academic Advisory Board of the National Skills Taskforce. His major research interests are in labour economics, human resource management and the economics of education and training. He has published widely in these areas. He is an editor of Oxford Economic Papers and of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy.


Ken’s current research is mainly in four areas: labour market segmentation; the ageing workforce; the economics of higher education; low paid work in the UK and Europe.


Recent publications include:

  • Low Wage Work in the UK, Russell Sage Foundation, 2008 (edited with C. Lloyd & G. Mason
  • “Improving the human capital of older workers” Ageing Horizons 2008 (with M. Elliott & B. Rijkers)
  • “Productivity in the UK: getting inside the black box” Oxford Review of Economic Policy Winter 2006 (with A. Neely)
  • “From skills revolution to productivity miracle” Oxford Review of Economic Policy Winter 2006 (with E. Keep)
  • “How to improve the human capital of older workers”, in OECD, Human Capital and Labour Market Performance, 2005 (with B.Rijkers)
  • Defining a Strategy for the Direct Assessment of Adult Skills, European Commission, Danish Technological Institute, 2005 (with F. Green, C. Stasz et al.)
  • “The economic and distributional implications of current policies on higher education” Oxford Review of Economic Policy Summer 2004 (with E. Keep)
  • Can Employers be Persuaded that Training Pays?, Futureskills Scotland, 2004 (with E. Keep)
  • Employer Perspectives on Skill, DfES, 2003 (with F. Green & E. Molloy)
  • Rates of Return to Employers of Investment in Training and Employer Training Measures, DTI, 2003 (with E. Keep)
  • The Economics of Skills Obsolescence: Theoretical Innovations and Empirical Applications, Elsevier, 2002 (edited with A. de Grip & J. van Loo)
  • Skills Measurement and Economic Analysis, special issue of Oxford Economic Papers July 2001 (edited with L. Borghans & F. Green)
  • “Skills measurement and economic analysis” Oxford Economic Papers July 2001 (with L. Borghans & F. Green)
  • “The impact of training on labour mobility” British Journal of Industrial Relations June 2000 (with A. Felstead & F. Green)
Ken Mayhew


  • Department staff

College affiliation

  • Pembroke College


  • Professor of Education and Economic Performance

Research groups