Karen Mumford is Associate Provost (Asia and Oceania), Professor of Economics, and Director of the Asian Research Centre (YARN), all at the University of York. She received her doctorate in economics from the Australian National University (ANU) in 1991. She has subsequently taught at the ANU, the University of Warwick and the University of York. She has held visiting positions at the ANU, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton. Karen’s research is concerned with labour economics: wage bargaining; industrial disputation; employment dynamics; the relative labour market position of women; and implications from using the family as the unit of analysis.

Karen's publications have ranged from international journals with a general focus such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal, Economica, and the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics; specialist labour economics journals such as the Industrial and Labor Relations Review and the British Journal of Industrial Relations; policy fora (Economic Papers); professional newsletters (the Royal Economic Society Newsletter); government reports; and a book.

Karen has been the Chair of the Royal Economic Society Women's Committee and is currently a member of the Women's Committee in an ex officio role. She was the Convenor of the UK labour economics study group (WPEG) and is a member of its Steering Committee. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2016 for services to economics and labour market diversity.

She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2004.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10453
published in the Low Pay Commission Report Series https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/low-pay-commission-research-autumn-2016 see also https://sites.google.com/a/york.ac.uk/gender-gap-britain/home

This study provides a robust assessment of the importance of a number of determinants of the gaps in earnings between the four groups of employees who make up the British workforce; males and females who work full and part-time. The analysis considers the contribution of individual employee characteristics as well...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9059
Francesco Mariotti, Karen A. Mumford, Yolanda Pena-Boquete
published in IZA Journal of Migration, 2017, 6 (1), 1-18. http://rdcu.be/ov9g

We analyse the migration movements of power couples (couples where both members have at least a college degree), half power and no-power couples within Australia. We explicitly allow for potential correlation of these movements with local labour market features. Our results support the urbanisation hypothesis for ongoing couples over either...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8302
Francesco Mariotti, Karen A. Mumford, Yolanda Pena-Boquete
published in: Australian Economic Review, 2015, 48(1), 43-64

We explore asset holding diversification by Australian households, in particular, the household asset diversification participation decision (whether or not to diversify at all) is jointly estimated with the decision of how much to diversify. In so doing, recent literature on the modelling of proportions is combined with the growing body...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6673
published in: Manchester School, 2015, 83 (3), 307 -313

We explore the relationship between reported job satisfaction and own wage, relative wage and average comparison group wage; allowing for asymmetry in these responses across genders. We find that the choice of relevant comparison group is affected by gender in Britain; men display behaviour characteristic of competitiveness whilst women do...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6558
published in: Economic Record, 2013, 89 (286), 367–381

We use quantile regression and counterfactual decomposition methods to explore gender gaps across the earning distribution for full-time employees in the Australian private sector. Significant evidence of a self selection effect for women into full-time employment (or of components of self selection related to observable or unobservable characteristics) is, interestingly,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4821
published in: Research In Labor Economics, 2010, 30, 35-60

We use household panel data to explore the wage returns associated with training incidence and intensity (duration) for British employees. We find these returns differ depending on the nature of the training; who funds the training; the skill levels of the recipient (white or blue collar); the age of the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4331
revised version published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18 (6), 837-844

This paper investigates gender differences between the log wage distributions of full-time British employees in the public and private sectors. After allowing for positive selection into full-time employment by women, we find significant and substantial gender earnings gaps, and evidence of glass ceilings, in both sectors. The earnings gaps amongst...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3957
Marie Drolet, Karen A. Mumford
revised version published in British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2012, 50 (3), 529-553

This paper uses British and Canadian linked employer-employee data to investigate the importance of the workplace for the gender wage gap. Implementing a novel decomposition approach, we find high levels of unexplained wage inequality in the private sector of both countries, which is related to women receiving relatively lower wages...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3158
published as 'The public-private sector gender wage differential in Britain: evidence from matched employee-workplace data ' in: Applied Economics, 2011, 43 (26), 3819 - 3833

Using new linked employee-workplace data for Britain in 2004, we find that the nature of the public private pay gap differs between genders and that of the gender pay gap differs between sectors. The analysis shows that little none of the gender earnings gap in both the public and private...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2981
revised version published as "What Determines the Part-Time and Gender Earnings Gaps in Britain: Evidence from the Workplace" in: Oxford Economics Papers, 2009, 61(1), 56-75

This study examines the role of individual characteristics, occupation, industry, region, and workplace characteristics in accounting for differences in hourly earnings between men and women in full and part-time jobs in Britain. A four-way gender-working time split (male full-timers, male part-timers, female full-timers and female part-timers) is considered, and allowance...