Professional ​

I'm an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. My main field of interest is the economics of education. I focus on the determinants of human capital from the schooling years on to higher education and associated labor markets. Methodologically I specialize in exploiting novel variation found in large administrative data. I am a Research Affiliate with NBER, IZA, and the CEP at LSE, and a Research Fellow with CESifo. I also co-run the Economics of Higher Education research network. 

Murphy, R., F. Weinhardt, and G. Wyness (2021) “Who Teaches the Teachers? A RCT of Peer-To-Peer Observation and Feedback in 181 Schools”  Economics of Education Review
Murphy, R. and F. Weinhardt (2020) “Top of The Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank” Review of Economic Studies

Murphy, R. (2020) “Why Unions Survive: Understanding How Unions Overcome The Free-Rider Problem”, Journal of Labor Economics
Murphy, R. and G. Wyness (2020) “Minority Report: The impact of predicted grades on university admissions of disadvantaged groups” Education Economics

Murphy, R., Scott-Clayton, J. & Wyness, G. (2019), “The End of Free College in England: Implications for Quality, Enrolments and Equality” Economics of Education Review
Machin, S. and R. Murphy (2017) “Paying Out and Crowding Out? The Globalisation of Higher Education”, Journal of Economic Geography
Beland, L and Murphy, R. (2016) “Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance” Labour Economics, Vol.41, pp.61-76

Denning J., R. Murphy, and F. Weinhardt “Am I good enough? The importance of prior class ranking on life outcomes” R&R Review of Economics and Statistics
Murphy, R. and Wyness, G. “Testing Means-Tested Aid” R&R Journal of Labor Economics

Campbell, S., Macmillan, L., Murphy, R., Wyness, G. “Matching in the dark? Inequalities in student to degree match” R&R Journal of Labor Economics
Burgess, S., Greaves, E., Murphy, R. “Decentralisation of the English teacher labor market”


Working ​
Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin Dept. of Economics
​2014 - present
Research Officer, London School of Economics, Centre for Economic Performance
​2012 - 2015
Research Assistant, London School of Economics, Centre for Economic Performance
​2006 - 2012
Research Assistant, University of Westminster
​2005 - 2006
PhD Economics University College London



MSc. Economics University of Southampton



BSc. (Hons) Economics University of Southampton


Professional Activities
Teaching Experience

Economics of Education, Undergraduate, University of Texas at Austin ​Spring 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


Introduction to Labor, Graduate, University of Texas at Austin,   Autumn 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019


Referee Experience 

Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Human Capital, The Economic Journal, Economica, Economics of Education Review, European Economic Review, Empirical Economics, London Review of Education, Education Economics, Economic Inquiry


Research Network Founded

Economics of Higher Education