The Centre for Employment Work and Finance (CEWF) is led by Professor Gordon L. Clark and Professor Linda McDowell. The centre brings together academics, doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and affiliated research staff at Oxford and elsewhere.

The centre undertakes research at the intersection of three themes in economic geography: the evolving nature of work and employment in western economies, focusing on labour market segmentation, geographical location and corporate function; the changing nature of public and private systems of retirement income, especially the fragmentation of pension entitlements recognizing the imperatives behind new forms of management and organization; and the relationship between work, pensions and global restructuring including the role and significance of financial markets in pricing the urban environment as well as past relationships and commitments.

Our goals are twofold: to document and explain contemporary changes within theses themes using innovative methods and theories and secondly to bring together at Oxford public and private institutions interested in these themes through collaborative research partnerships.

CEWF maintains a working paper series in employment, work and finance.

Recent research includes:

  • Pension funds and urban revitalization (funded by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations).
  • Finance, Behaviour and Pension Fund Governance (previously funded by the UK National Association of Pension Funds).
  • Structure and governance of pensions systems and the development of European capital markets and the crisis of European pensions systems. (Co-sponsors have included the European Science Foundation, the European Union, the French Government and a number of financial institutions).
  • Pension funds and urban infrastructure (funded by ESRC).
  • Gender, migration and service sector employment in London (part of the new ESRC gender network programme).
  • Employment change and the coping strategies of young families in London and Manchester (funded by ESRC).
  • Gender and pension entitlements (funded by an ESRC CASE award with Watson Wyatt).
  • Risk and culture in European defined contribution plans (funded by an ESRC CASE award with Mercer Human Resource Consulting).
  • Generation and employment change among women (ESRC studentship), and diversity policies in new media and legal firms (also funded by an ESRC studentship).
  • Youth employment trends in an offshore financial centre (studentship funded by the States of Guernsey Education Department).

The development of collaborative partnerships with other academic and public and private institutions is an important part of the centre's aims. The current partnership with the Harvard Law School's Labor and Worklife Program (Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project) brings together our focus on employment, pensions and finance as applied to urban economic development.