I am currently a Research Officer at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of educational inequality, and evaluating policies and programmes aiming to reduce it. I'm always keen to hear about new research opportunities in the fields of education, training and skills; social mobility; and policy evaluation. You can read my current CV here.

In addition, I am an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Social Science at UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where I also completed a PhD in Economics of Education under the supervision of Profs. Lorraine Dearden (IFS/UCL) and John Micklewright (UCL). I'm also an Associate Fellow of the Jacobs Foundation Pathways to Adulthood international fellowship programme.

Past activities


My current projects include a grant from the Nuffield Foundation, evaluating a randomised controlled trial in schools funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, and a quasi-experimental impact evaluation for the UK Ministry of Justice. There's more information on a selection of these projects below.

Socio-economic status and subject choice at 14: do they interact to affect university access?

There is a large socio-economic status gap in Higher Education participation in England. However, most evidence suggests that this is driven by inequality that emerges before the point of application. It has been suggested that one such source of inequality is the subjects and qualifications studied by young people while still at school. The importance of this factor for young people's changes of progressing to Higher Education in general, and to highely selective HE institutions in particular, has increasingly attrated the attention of policymakers. This has been most notably in the UK Government's introduction of the English Baccalaureate performance measure for schools at age 16, and the instroduction of performance in Russell Group "facilitating subjects" at A-Level for schools at age 18. However, this area is under-studied in the academic literature.

This project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and more information is available from the NIESR and Nuffield Foundation websites.

Randomised evaluation of Embedding Formative Assessment

This project will test a two-year professional development programme on formative assessment. This is based around a pack, “Embedding Formative Assessment” (EFA), which includes materials schools need to deliver 18 monthly internal workshops (“Teacher Learning Communities”) involving all teachers from across the school, working together in groups of 8-12. Formative assessment involves teachers using evidence of pupils’ understanding and learning to make decisions, minute-by-minute and day-by-day, about the next steps in teaching and learning. This evidence could also be used when planning lessons or differentiating activities for individual pupils. When assessing formatively, the feedback given by teachers moves learners forward. Students are developed to be owners of their own learning and support each other to progress. The pack was developed by renowned educationalist Dylan Wiliam with SSAT.

This project is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and more information is available from the NIESR and EEF websites.

Selected publications

Anders, J. (2015) Does socioeconomic background affect pay growth among early entrants to high-status jobs? - in NIESR Discussion Papers, No. 453 (August 2015)

This work also appeared as a Sutton Trust Report. The Sutton Trust also produced a Research Brief summarising the findings and details of the press coverage it received (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Parker, P., Jerrim, J., & Anders, J. (forthcoming) What effect did the Global Financial Crisis have upon youth wellbeing? Evidence from four Australian cohorts - forthcoming in Developmental Psychology (Accepted November 2015)

Parker, P., Jerrim, J., Anders, J. & Astell-Burt, T. (forthcoming) Does living closer to a university increase aspirations, exposure to information sessions and higher education entry? Evidence from an Australian longitudinal study. - forthcoming in Journal of Youth and Adolescence (Accepted October 2015)

Jerrim, J., Parker, P., Chmielewski, A. K. & Anders, J. (forthcoming) Private schooling, educational transitions and early labour market outcomes: Evidence from three Anglophone countries - forthcoming in European Sociological Review (Accepted November 2015)

Anders, J. & Micklewright, J. (2015) Teenagers’ expectations of applying to university: how do they change? - in Education Sciences, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 281-305.

An earlier version of this work appeared as: Anders, J. & Micklewright, J. (2013) Teenagers’ expectations of applying to university: how do they change? - in DoQSS Working Papers, No. 13-13 (October 2013)

Anders, J. (2014) Does an aptitude test affect socioeconomic and gender gaps in attendance at an elite university? - in DoQSS Working Papers, No. 14-07 (April 2014)

Anders, J. & Dorsett, R. (2015) What young English people do once they reach school-leaving age: a cross-cohort comparison for the last 30 years - in NIESR Discussion Papers, No. 454 (October 2015)

This work also appeared as LLAKES Research Paper No. 55 and CLS Working Paper No. 2015/7.

Speckesser, S., Anders, J., De Coulon, A., Dorsett, R., Espinoza Bustos, H., Kirchner Sala, L. & Nafilyan, V. (2015) Empirical research on Youth Transitions to, and within, the labour market - in BIS Research Papers, No. 255 (October 2015)

Anders, J. (2012) The Link between Household Income, University Applications and University Attendance - in Fiscal Studies, vol. 33, no. 2 (June 2012), pp. 185–210

An earlier version of this work appeared as: Anders, J. (2012) What's the link between household income and going to university? - in DoQSS Working Papers, No. 12-01 (March 2012)

Anders, J. & Whitty, G. (forthcoming) 'Closing the achievement gap' in English cities and towns in the twenty-first century - forthcoming in the International Handbook of Urban Education

Anders, J. & Jerrim, J. (forthcoming) The socio-economic gradient in educational attainment and labour market outcomes: a cross-national comparison - book chapter

Whitty, G. & Anders, J. (2013) Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Policy and Practice in England 1997-2010 - in Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective, ed. Julia V. Clark. Springer

A revised version of this work is available as: Whitty, G. & Anders, J. (2014) (How) did New Labour narrow the achievement and participation gap? - in LLAKES Research Papers, No. 46 (January 2014)

Anders, J. (2012) Using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for research into Higher Education access - in DoQSS Working Papers, No. 12-13 (December 2012)



Postal address:
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
United Kingdom