PhD opportunity An examination of the long-term trends in working hours and wages in the tourism and hospitality sector

Job Description

As firms in the tourist and hospitality sector struggle to attract and retain staff, the issue of job quality in the sector once again comes to the fore. This raises the question: how does the tourism and hospitality sector contribute to good job opportunities, and how does it vary across countries?
This project aims to answer this by looking at three main aspects.
The first aspect is whether economic development leads to a decline in working hours in the hospitality sector. Weekly hours per worker have become polarised with the average number of hours worked per week in hospitality sector in Ireland falling significantly over the past 25 years but remaining high in Eastern European countries. Issues related to the polarisation of working hours (whereby low-paid workers work a short week, but high paid workers work longer hours) raises questions. How does the polarisation of working hours vary across countries, and what is the role of the hospitality sector? In particular, does a changing demand for hospitality services drive polarisation, and to what extent does the welfare state act as a subsidy for a shorter working week?
The second aspect will examine to what extent do workers in the hospitality sector in Europe suffer a pay penalty relative to other sectors, the cause of such a pay penalty, how it has evolved and whether it differs across European countries. Can such differences be explained by differences in skills? Or do macro-economic factors such as the overall level of economic development help explain differences in the pay penalty?
The final aspect is to what extent is employment inhospitality used as a stepping-stone toward employment in other sectors versus as a life-long career, and how does this vary across countries.
Supervisor Dr. Rory O’Farrell
[email protected]

Student Stipend per annum €18,500
Materials & Travel Budget per annum €2,600
Fees covered by the funding for 4 years
Duration of Funding 48 months

A Masters degree in economics (minimum 2.1 or equivalent) with a significant quantitative component.
Excellent research and writing ability, and a proven ability to engage in self-directed learning.
Subject to interview.

If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest.

Application deadline 14/02/2023