Professor Eric Smith Commissioner, Academic Member

Eric was born in New York City and grew up in its New Jersey suburbs. In 1983, Eric received a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Williams College (Williamstown, MA). After working for two years in Washington DC at the Bureau of Economic Statistics, Eric went to graduate school in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA).

After being awarded a PhD in 1990, Eric began his academic career as a Lecturer at the University of Essex in Colchester and became Professor of Economics in 2009. Among many other roles over the years at Essex, Eric has served as Head of Department as well as Director of the Institute for Labour Research.

Eric has extensive experience beyond the University of Essex. He is currently the Director of the Royal Economic Society Easter School and in the past has served on the Executive Committee of the Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics as well as the ESRC large grants commissioning panel. During various periods of academic leave, Eric has held visiting scholar positions at University of British Columbia, McMaster University, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, Paris II, as well as the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Atlanta.

 Eric’s research focuses primarily on search and matching with an emphasis on the labour market. His current research projects address two broad areas. The first explores price formation and trading flows (typically but not exclusively) under the so-called stock-flow matching mechanism. The second broad area considers the way in which individuals acquire different types of skills before entering an uncertain labour market and the subsequent implications for the distribution of earnings.

In addition to widely publishing peered reviewed scholarly papers, Eric has 

  • reported monthly to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) as their local regional economy expert for the East of England
  • co-authored a benchmark report on economic and social conditions in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership region 
  •  helped  publish the Insight East Quarterly report 
  •  contributed numerous public lectures, panel discussions, radio and television interviews discussing regional and national economic issues

When not otherwise away on leave from Essex, Eric has lived in Wivenhoe since moving to England. He is married with a young son, owns a beach hut in Frinton-on-Sea, serves as Treasurer of his snooker club, the Colne Social Club, and is part owner of his local pub, the Black Buoy.