Lei Xu

Dr Lei Xu

  • Lecturer in Economics
  • DH
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Dr. Lei Xu is a Lecturer in Economics at the Business School of Bournemouth University. Lei obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Dundee in 2018. He joined the Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics in 2021 after working at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research for more than 3 years. Lei is a micro-economist with research interests in the economics of education, and labour economics broadly defined. His research primarily relies on novel identifications due to the pervasive confounding factors in many non-experimental observational studies. His research focuses on estimating the production function in secondary education, the selection of fields of education and occupation, work-based learning with a special focus on apprenticeships, and career mobility. His work so far has explored topics including the returns to higher education, apprenticeships, housing prices, peer effect, access to better educational resources, and minimum wage.

Journal Articles

  • Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2023. Does the employment effect of national minimum wage vary by non-employment rate? A regression discontinuity approach. Manchester School, 91 (1), 18-36.
  • Dai, F., Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2022. Higher education expansion and supply of teachers in China. China Economic Review, 71.
  • Speckesser, S. and Xu, L., 2022. Return to apprenticeships: a comparison between existing apprentices and newly recruited apprentices. Oxford Economic Papers, 74 (1), 14-39.
  • Tani, M., Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2021. The impact of an un(der)funded inclusive education policy: Evidence from the 2013 China education panel survey. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 190, 768-784.
  • Luo, R., Teng, K., Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2021. A decomposition of student achievement gap by gender in China: Evidence from random class assignment. International Journal of Educational Research, 106.
  • Huang, B., He, X., Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2020. Elite school designation and housing prices-quasi-experimental evidence from Beijing, China. Journal of Housing Economics, 50.
  • Huang, B., Xu, L. and Zhu, Y., 2019. Does the higher education expansion in the UK reduce the returns to education? A comparison of returning-from-work versus fresh out-of-school graduates. Economic Modelling, 79, 276-285.


  • Zhu, Y. and Xu, L., 2022. Returns to Higher Education: Graduate and Discipline Premiums. Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. SpingerLink.

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Business and Finance Analytics

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Basic Statistical Techniques


  • Digital skills in the apprenticeships of the 2020s and expected impacts (Nuffield Foundation, 01 Jul 2019). In Progress


  • PhD in Economics (University of Dundee, 2018)
  • MSc in Economics (Queen Mary University of London, 2014)
  • BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, 2012)