Professor Fiona Carmichael

Professor of Labour Economics

The Department of Business and Labour Economics


Contact details


1980-1983: BA(Hons) first class: University of East Anglia; Economics, Quantitative methods and Politics
1984-1985: MPhil: University of Cambridge; Economics
1985-1989: PhD: University of East Anglia; Multinationals in the Labour Market
1999-2001: Postgraduate Certificate in Further, Adult and Higher Education: Manchester Metropolitan University


Fiona joined Birmingham Business School in 2007. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of East Anglia (1989) and an MPhil in economics from Cambridge University (1985). Her first degree  in Economics, Politics and Quantitative Methods is from The University of East Anglia (1983). Her main theoretical and empirical contributions are concentrated at the intersection between labour economics, the sociology of work and HRM,  in health economics and in sports economics and policy. Current research is focussed mainly around employment and policy issues linked to older age,  the ageing society  and the care economy.


Undergraduate Level 1:

  • Economics for Business

Undergraduate Level 3:

Masters/Doctoral level:

  • Introductory and quantitative Research methods


2003 recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award by the Economic Centre of the Learning and Teaching Support Network for teaching on game theory

Postgraduate supervision

 Fiona supervises doctoral researchers working on:

  • The ageing labour force
  • Gender, ageing and work
  • Informal care and paid employment
  • The economics of Sports and sports policy

Current doctoral research students are working on a range of projects including: retirement decision making, female employment in Saudi Arabia, participation of older Chinese workers in physical activity and demographic ageing in China.

XIAOCONG YANG: Demographic ageing in China: income in later life, labour market effects and the employment costs of informal care. An empirical study employing the CLHLS, CHNS and CHARLS micro-databases to investigate the impacts of demographic ageing on the labour market, the distribution of income and the welfare of the elderly population in China: demographic transition in China; income in later life; income inequality and health status among older people; opportunity costs of informal elder care; comparisons with France, Germany, UK and China.

CHRISTIAN KWEKU DARKO: Wage Inequality in Ghana: The Role of Education, Skill-Biased Technological Change and Foreign Direct Investment. The econometric analysis focuses on: the impact of educational attainment and skills on wages and how differences in educational attainment contribute to wage inequality; the impact of technical change on relative wages over time and whether this implies skill biased technical change; the impact of multinationals on wages in the Ghanaian labour market and; the impact of wage differentials and wage inequality for economic growth in Ghana.

PhD opportunities


Fiona's research is concentrated at the intersection between labour economics, the sociology of work and HRM and in health economics. She also researches topical  issues in sports economics and policy and has published work in economic development and game theory. 

A major focus of her research is on the interaction between paid work and individual characteristics and circumstances including older age, caring responsibilities and ethnicity. Current research is located around issues linked to older age and the ageing society, uses mixed-methodologies and is inter-disciplinary.

Main areas of current research are:

  • The ageing labour force: Ageing and employment, retirement decision making, active ageing
  • Women's unpaid work particularly the trade-off between informal care provision and paid employment
  • Economics of sports and sports policy

Other activities

University management:  Director of Doctoral Research in the College of Social Science


Journal publications  (most recent)

Carmichael, F. and  Ercolani, M. (forthcoming) Overlooked and undervalued: the caring contribution of older people, International Journal of Social Economics (accepted for publication July 2013))

Carmichael, F., Hulme, C. and Porcellato, L. (2013) Older age and ill-health: links to work and worklessness, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 6:1, 54 - 65, doi:10.1108/17538351311312330

Duberley, J., Carmichael, F.  and  Szmigin, I. (2013) Exploring Women’s Retirement: Continuity, Context and Career Transition, Gender, Work & Organization, doi:10.1111/gwao.12013

Carmichael, F. and Ercolani, M. (2012) Age-training gaps in the European Union, Ageing and Society, doi:10.1017/S0144686X12000852

Carmichael F., Grix, J. and Palacios, D. (2012) The Olympic Legacy and participation in sport: An interim assessment of Sport England’s Active People Survey for Sports Studies Research,  International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, DOI:10.1080/19406940.2012.656675 (22 Mar 2012)

Grix, J. and Carmichael F.   (2012) Why do governments invest in elite sport? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 4:1 73-90

Carmichael F. and Thomas D., (2011) Maintaining position by investing in human capital: the case of the premier league, Bulletin of Economic Research,  Vol. 63 no. 4 464-497

Carmichael F., Hulme. C., Ingham. B., Porcellato, L., and Prashar, A., (2010) Giving older workers a voice; constraints on employment, Work Employment and Society,  Volume 24 Issue 1, March 2010, 85-103

Carmichael F., Charles, S. and Hulme, C. T., (2010) Who will care? Employment status and willingness to supply informal care, Journal of Health Economics, 29, 182-90  

Carmichael F., Ingham, B. and Chirijevskis A., (2009) Implications Of An Increasing Old-Age Dependency Ratio: The UK And Latvian Experiences Compared, Pensions, Special Issue on Global Pension Perspectives Part 2, 14:4

Carmichael F.  and Hulme C., (2008) Are the Needs of Carers Being Met by Government Policy? Journal of Community Nursing, September 22, 4-12

Carmichael F, Connell G, Hulme C, Sheppard S., (2008) Work life imbalance; informal care and paid employment, Feminist Economics, April 14(2) 3-35

Carmichael F., and Thomas D., (2008) Does the best team win? Analysis of team performances at EURO 2004, European Sport Management Quarterly, 8:3, 211-228. Republished in Andreff, W.,(2011) Recent Developments in the Economics of Sport, The International Library of Critical Writings In Economics, Founding Series Editor: Mark Blaug, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham

Commissioned reports (most recent)

Carmichael F. (2011) Review of  research on   caregiving activities and  labour market behaviour. Report for The Policy Research Directorate,  Strategic and Policy Research Branch of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Canadian Federal Government

Carmichael, F., (2011) Informal Care in the UK: Constraints on Choice, Report for the British Academy, summary available at:

Carmichael F., Ercolani M., Kang L.,  Maimaiti Y., O’Mahony M., Peng F., Robinson C. (2009) Education, Training and Productivity, Report for the European Union Commission, Education, Training and Productivity project



Carmichael F., (2004) A Guide to Game Theory, Pearson Education

Chapters in books, invited book reviews (indicative) 

Carmichael, F. and Thomas, D. (2013; forthcoming) Team performance: production and efficiency in football in Goddard, J. and. Sloane, P. (eds.) Handbook on the Economics of Football, Edward Elgar

Carmichael, F. and Thomas, D. (2013; forthcoming) Competitive Balance in European Football in the Post-Bosman Era,  in  Lenten, L. (ed)  The Economics of Sports Leagues: An International Perspective, Edward Elgar

Carmichael D (2012) Review of Blossfeld, H., Buchholz, S. and Kurz, K. (editors), Ageing Populations, Globalization and the Labor Market. Subtitle: Comparing Late Working Life and Retirement in Modern Societies, Work Employment and Society (forthcoming)

Carmichael F., Hulme. C., Porcellato, L., Ingham. B., Prashar, A., (2011) Ageism and age discrimination: the experiences and perceptions of older employees, in Parry, E. and Tyson, S. (eds.) Managing age diversity, Palgrave Macmillan


Carmichael F. (2009) Review of John Eisenbeg et al., The Triumph of Imagination. Creativity in Sport and Fred Coalter, A Wider Social Role for Sport. Who’s Keeping the Score? International Review of Applied Economics, 23, November, 743-746 (ABS 2)

Carmichael F., Connell C., Hulme C. and Sheppard S. (2008) ¿Quién cuida y a que coste? El compromiso entre el cuidado no remunerado y el empleo remunerado, in De Villota P. (ed.), Conciliación de la vida profesional y familiar, Editorial Sintesis: Madrid

Pre 2008 publications

Carmichael F., (1992) Multinationals and strikes: Theory and evidence,  Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol. 39 Feb, 52-68

Carmichael F., (1992) The impact of multinational enterprise on wages: theory and evidence, International Journal of Manpower, vol. 13, no. 2, 27-40 (*Paper received the 1992 IJM award for excellence)

Carmichael F. and Thomas D. A., (1993) Bargaining in the transfer market, Applied Economics,  vol. 25, 1467-1476. Republished in Gerrard, B., ed. (2006) The Economics of Association Football,.  Edward Elgar: Cheltenham

Carmichael F., (1994) Benefit regulation and low pay: government policy 1979-1993, Renewal,  vol. 2 no. 3, 40-50

Carmichael F. and Morris C., (1995) The impact of vertical integration on wages; new evidence,  International Review of Applied Economics,  vol. 9 no. 1,  42-58

Carmichael F. and Thomas D. A., (1995) Production and efficiency in team sports: an investigation of rugby league football, Applied Economics, vol. 27, 859-869

Carmichael F. and Charles S. A., (1998) The labour market costs of community care, Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 17, no. 6, 747-765

Carmichael F., Forest D. and Simmons R., (1999) The labour market in association football: Who gets transferred and for how much? Bulletin of Economic Research, vol. 51, no. 2, 125-150. Republished in Gerrard, B., ed. (2006) The Economics of Association Football,.  Edward Elgar: Cheltenham

Carmichael F., Millington J. and Simmons R., (1999) Elasticity of  demand for Rugby League attendance and the impact of BSkyB, Applied Economics Letters, vol. 6, 125-50

Carmichael F. and Woods R., (2000) Ethnic penalties in unemployment and occupational attainment: evidence for Britain, International Review of Applied Economics, vol. 14, no. 1, 72-98

Carmichael F. and Thomas D. A., (2000) Institutional responses to uncertainty: Evidence from the transfer market, Economic Issues,  vol. 5, 1-20

Carmichael F., (2000) Intergenerational mobility and occupational status in Britain,  Applied Economics Letters, vol. 7, 391-396

Carmichael F. and Ward R., (2000) Youth Unemployment and Crime in the English Regions and Wales, Applied Economics, vol. 32  Included in the library collection and abstracted for Criminal Justice Abstracts, Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, USA

Carmichael F., Thomas D. A.  and R Ward R., (2000) Team Performance: The case of English Premiership football  Managerial and Decision Economics, vol.21,  31-45. Republished in Gerrard, B., ed. (2006) The Economics of Association Football,.  Edward Elgar: Cheltenham

Carmichael F., Tan H. and Fu M., (2000) Labour productivity in rural industry exports: a cross section analysis, in S Cook et al  (eds.) The Chinese Economy under Transition,  Macmillan

Carmichael F. and Ward R., (2001) Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales, Economics Letters, vol. 73, no. 1, 111-116

Carmichael F., Thomas D. A. and Ward R., (2001) Production and efficiency in Association football, Journal of Sports Economics, vol. 2, no. 3, 228-243

Carmichael F., (2002) Catch 22 in a signalling game, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, vol. 158, no. 3, September, 375-392

Carmichael F. and  Charles S A., (2003) Benefit payments, informal care and female labour supply, Applied Economics Letters, 10:7, June, 411-416

Carmichael F. and  Charles S A., (2003) The opportunity costs of informal care; does gender matter? Journal of Health Economics, 22, February, 781-803

Carmichael F. and Thomas D. A., (2005) Home field effects and team performance, Journal of Sports Economics 6: 3, August, 264-281 

Carmichael F., (2006) The player transfer system in soccer, in Andreff W. and Szymanski S., (eds.) Handbook  on the Economics of Sport, Edward Elgar

Carmichael F. and Thomas D., (2006) What makes for winning team performances? Evidence from EURO 2004, in Papanikos G. T., (ed.) An amalgam of sports and exercise research, ATINER: Athens


Employment and training issues relating to ageing societies, the over 50s and informal carers

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office


Employment and training issues relating to ageing societies, the over 50s and informal carers

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office

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