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The Department of Business and Labour Economics (BLE) provides business and policy-oriented economics education for the Business School and associated programmes in Engineering and Science. The department also researches business and labour economics topics funded by the ESRC and other government agencies including EU agencies, and also by businesses themselves.
Degrees and Courses
Find out about the Business and Labour Economics related degrees and courses offered across all levels of study, as well as programmes offered in other departments, that are available at Birmingham Business School; view degree programme and courses.
Department members focus on the following three main research areas:
Labour markets, employment regulation and incentives.
This research is organised through the Centre for Research on the Economy and the Workplace (CREW), and analyses how management structures and government policies impact on employment relationships, working lives and the wider labour market contexts within which public and private sector organisations function. It uses a range of methodologies and data sources including secondary data analysis and case studies, in which a business or worker sub-group is tracked over time, and evidence collected from personnel records and interviews – and more recently even absenteeism and medical records (see the BLISS project)
International trade, piracy and production.
This theme is concerned with analysing international business activities – including illegal activities such as smuggling and piracy and their wider implications from both micro and macro level perspectives. Again, the research uses a range of methodologies and data sources, including data from business on, for example music piracy.
The global value chain cluster.
This cluster focuses on power relationships between firms in international trade. The contribution of the department here includes research on innovation systems, global knowledge and public policy. Find out more about the Global Value Chains Research Cluster.
Research areas of the department have included exploring the trade-off between working conditions and wages, and looking at the impact of EU labour regulation; small firms and clusters; competitiveness in clusters and regions; and the knowledge economy and EU regional policy and enlargement; foreign direct investment in East Asia and the impact of globalisation on regional economic development at firm level.
Members of the department have recently been awarded grants including Stan Siebert who has been awarded an ESRC-Hong Kong bilateral grant for a quasi-natural experiment on innovative management practices in a large manufacturing firm in China (with Xiangdong Wei of Lingnan University and John Heywood of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).
Lisa De Propris also has a NESTA Research Grant on Creative Clusters and Innovation. The research project will investigate the innovation spillovers of creative clusters on UK regional innovation capabilities (with Caroline Chapain, Stewart MacNeill, Philip Cooke (Cardiff).
The department’s aim is to assist understanding of the business economic and policy environment, including the labour “people capital” environment. Our teaching is therefore multi-disciplinary, with economics as the core, supplemented by HRM analysis, history, statistics, political science and international trade analysis.
We are responsible for the main business economics courses in all three years of the undergraduate degrees, including contributions to the Major-Minor and the Singapore degrees. In addition, we provide options for further analysis of important business areas including statistics for business, the economics of labour markets, the macroeconomy, and business policy history e.g. bankruptcy law development.
Lecturer in Managerial Economics
After completing a PhD in Economics (University of Paris Nanterre, France), Sami Bensassi joined the University Jaume I (Spain) in 2009. During the period he passed in Spain, he led a research project on the impact of maritime trade on the Mediterranean countries for the Center for Research on the Mediterranean Economies (CREMED). In 2012, Sami started lecturing at the University of ...
Telephone 0121 414 4438
EU regional policy and governance
Industrial competitiveness and the regional economy
Automotive and the food industries
Labour market change
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 4984
Reader in Regional Economic Development
My main research interests are: small firms and clusters; competitiveness in clusters and regions; forms of clusters and governance; innovation; clusters and foreign direct investment; regional development; knowledge economy and clusters, and creative and cultural industries. In parallel, I have always been concerned with the role of the government and institutions, and have looked at ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 6258
Senior Lecturer in International Business History
Paolo Di Martino joined the Birmingham Business School in 2010. He has been lecturer in Economic History at the University of Bristol (2002-2004), Birmingham (2004-2005) and Manchester (2005-2010). In 2008 he has been junior visiting fellow at the Department of Economic History of the London School of economics.
He gained his PhD in Economic History at the Department of ...
Lecturer in Business Economics
Liza joined the Business School in 2010. Previously she worked as a lecturer at the Manchester Business School and as a research fellow at the University of Nottingham. She is an external research fellow of the GEP centre and of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Liza gained her PhD at the University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne. Her main research interest is applied international ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 8302
Professor of Labour Economics
W Stanley Siebert is Professor of Labour Economics at the Business School, where he has worked since 1980. He gained his PhD at the London School of Economics. He has published widely in the major economics and industrial relations journals including the Academy of Management Journal, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Management ...
Telephone 414 6698
Lecturer in Managerial Economics
Ferran’s research takes an economic perspective and he has a strong preference for quantitative methodologies. His research outputs have focused on two areas: Evaluation of policies concerning industrial and venture promotion, and the crisis of the creative industries. Those interests were developed thanks to the opportunity of working with multidisciplinary teams in different ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 8563