Franz Buscha is a Professor of Economics in the School of Organisations, Economy and Society at the University of Westminster. Franz joined the university as a Research Fellow in 2006 after completing his PhD in Economics at Lancaster University. Since then Franz has been an important member of Westminster Business School (WBS) and the CER, actively contributing to income generation, research output and impact.
In his Professorial role Franz acts as mentor to junior researchers and as investigator advisor on various funded projects. He has taught Labour Economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and served as the deputy course leader of the MSc/MA in International Economic Policy and Analysis. From 2013 to 2017, he was the Director of PhD Studies for WBS, overseeing the academic progression of 60+ doctoral students.
Since 2016 Franz has been a senior manager, serving as the College Director for Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Westminster Business School. In this capacity he is responsible for the management of Westminster Business School's research strategy and research portfolio, building and maintaining a prominent research culture and overseeing the research activities of over 200 academics. In this role Franz represents the college on various University committees, including Research Committee and Research Planning Group. Franz has also conducted numerous institutional reviews and fundings submissions. For example he led the 10 year Graduate School Review (2022) and the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership submission (2023)
A major achievement has been WBS’s outstanding REF 2021 results, which showed significant improvement in all areas tested. WBS was one of the most improved business schools in the country in Unit of Assessment: Business and Management and an impact score of 3.75 (of a maximum possible of 4) underpinned our leading position on impact among UK business schools.
Franz's personal research interests are in education economics, labour economics, and applied econometrics. Franz has made scientific contributions to issues such as social mobility, measuring the returns to education, the effect of weather of happiness, political beliefs and identity formation. He has been involved in numerous funded research projects from research councils and government departments.
Beyond academia, Franz has been instrumental in organising prestigious events, such as the Royal Economic Society (RES) PhD Meetings at Westminster Business School, which he has helped organise for four consecutive years. He has also been an active participant and presenter in several global economic conferences.
He has published in leading journals such as Economics of Education Review, Labour Economics, the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the British Journal of Political Science and the British Journal of Sociology. Franz has also contributed to numerous policy reports and his research has been covered by media outlets such as BBC news, BBC Radio 4, The Economist, The Guardian, The Times, and Huffington Post. Franz also had a monthly radio program called Policy Matters on Share Radio for many years.
PhD Economics, Lancaster University
MSc Economics, Lancaster University
BSc (Hons) Economics, Lancaster University
European Association of Labour Economists
Royal Economics Society
Consultancy and professional practice
As part of the Centre's activities Franz has worked closely with various government departments (such as DFE, HMRC, HMT, BIS, MoD, ONS and ACAS) on a variety of policy evaluation projects in the last fifteen years. In addition to policy evaluation Franz supplies bespoke econometric advice and a range of Stata/Econometric courses to government practitioners. Some of his past work includes work for the Ministry of Defence, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Franz has also worked together with academics from the IFS, Cambridge, Lancaster, Bath and Durham to analyse Higher Education Longitudinal Outcomes (LEA) data to examine under- and post-graduate returns to higher education for the Department of Education.
Franz has over 15 years experience in applied econometrics and evaluation methodology and approaches his research from a predominantly quantitative angle. His favourite research interests are in the fields of labour and education economics and much of his research focuses on topics such as the returns to learning and the determinants of educational outcomes. However, Franz has also researched in other fields such as sociology, management and political science.
Franz has published in leading journals in his field and has made contributions to issues such as social mobility, measuring the returns to education, the effect of weather of happiness and workplace mediation. He has been involved in numerous funded research projects from research councils and government departments totalling over £1,000,000.
As part of his research activities Franz has participated in numerous ESRC supported studies over the last 10 years that examined trends in intergenerational mobility in England and Wales. Working together with Prof. Patrick Sturgis (LSE), Emma Gorman (Westminster) and Min Zhang (Westminster), Franz has helped introduce the ONS Longitudinal Study to social mobility research, identify geographic variations in UK social mobility and explore how educational reforms such as the abolition of grammar schools and the Raising of the School Leaving Age impact cohort social mobility. Franz is currently involved in a new ESRC project that runs 2023-2025 and seeks to further out understanding of social mobility by using newly released 2021 Census data.
In addition, as part of the CER, Franz is frequently involved in various policy related research projects including: an examination of recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces for the Ministry of Defence; an evaluation of factors which could bias the measurement of qualifications for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; econometric advice for HM Revenue and Custom; and an investigation of the patterns of representation in Employment Tribunal applications for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
Franz has also referees for several academic journals including: Education Economics, Labour Economics, the European Sociological Review, the Manchester School, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A, Contemporary Economic Policy, Economic Affairs, Canadian Public Policy and the Economic Bulletin. Franz was also an associate editor for Work, Employment and Society from 2013 to 2015. In addition, Franz fulfils the role of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) reviewer, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to uphold the highest standards in research