I am a research economist with experience in academia, the public and voluntary sectors, and consultancy work.

My research is mainly applied econometric and statistical work using large national datasets, including both pooled cross-sections and panel data. My research interests include charities and nonprofits, migration, social care, evaluation of learning, and the economics of volunteering, with an emphasis on the implications for public policy.

I am currently a lecturer in quantitative methods at the University of Stirling.

My PhD research in Economics was awarded in April 2011 by the University of Stirling in Scotland. My PhD examined the voluntary (non-profit) sector labour market in the UK, and the wage-setting behaviour of charities and NGO’s particularly in the Health & Social Work services. My PhD supervisors were Prof. David Bell and Prof. Sascha Becker.

My PhD research proposal was approved and fully funded by the UK’s Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) for three years. In May to July 2009 I undertook an ESRC-funded Overseas University Visit to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt in Munich, Germany.

Click to download a copy of my current full CV. (Updated January 2013)


Bell, D.N.F. & Rutherford, A. C. (2013) "Working Time and Older Workers" The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, (forthcoming)

Bell, D.N.F. & Rutherford, A. C. (2013) "Individual and Geographic Factors in the Formation of Care Networks in the UK" Population, Space and Place, (forthcoming)
| PSP |

Bell, D.N.F., Rutherford, A. C. & Wright, R.E. (2013) "Free Personal Care for Older People: A Wider Perspective on Its Costs" Economic Commentary, Vol. 36, No. 3

Bell, D.N.F. & Rutherford, A. C. (2012) "Long-Term Care and the Housing Market" Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 59, No. 5
| Working Paper Version | SJPE |

Rutherford, A. C. (2012) "The ‘Ins’ and ‘Outs’ of Working in the UK Voluntary Sector" Voluntary Sector Review, Vol 3, No. 3

Rutherford, A. (2012). Get By With a Little Help From My Friends: A Recent History of Charitable Organisations in Economic Theory. In: Faccarello, G. & Sturn, R. Studies in the History of Public Economics. Routledge
ISBN 978-0-415-69514-5

Rutherford, A. C. (2010) "Get By With a Little Help From My Friends: A Recent History of Charitable Organisations in Economic Theory" European Journal of the History of Economic Thought; Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 1031 - 1046
Working paper version | EJHET

Rutherford, A. C. (2010) Measuring the Social Economy in Scotland; Research Report; Scottish Government;

Rutherford, A. C. (2009) Engaging the Scottish Diaspora: Rationale, Benefits and Challenges;Research Report; Scottish Government;
ISBN 978 0 7559 7593 8
Available from the Scottish Government

Working Papers

These are research papers that I am currently working on. Please contact me if you would like more information, or would like to cite any of these papers.

Rutherford, A.C. (2012) “Networks of Informal Caring: a Mixed Methods Approach”, (presented at the International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-term Care (London), and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations ‘Researching the Voluntary Sector’ Conference (Birmingham); both in September 2012)

Rutherford, A.C. (2011) “Understanding Volunteering: A Quantitative Analysis of Urban/Rural Differences in Participation”; (under review)

Rutherford, A.C. (2010) “On the Up: Voluntary Sector Wages in the UK 1998 to 2007” (revise and resubmit at Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly)

Rutherford, A.C. (2009) “Where is the Warm Glow? Donated Labour in the Health & Social Work Industries”; Stirling Economics Discussion Paper 2009-20

News, Conferences & Presentations

Updates on my research, upcoming conferences and presentations.

Friday, 14 November 2008

How will the Voluntary Sector be affected by the recession?

The flagging economy will mean that funding sources for charities will be squeezed, with those dependent on one source more vulnerable than those with a more diversified portfolio of funders. Beyond the more obvious tightening in budgets for both individual and corporate donors, the fall in the stock market has hit the investment portfolios of charitable trusts and this could be expected to affect the income they have available to make grants to charities and community organisations. Of course, the reserves of the voluntary organisations themselves will have been hit by drops in equity values, and those dependent on income from their reserves to fund the “core costs” that donors often don’t support may find themselves short.

Many charities and community organisations are small, and they will be affected in the same way that small businesses are being hit by the downturn. Cash flow can be an issue, particularly when it is difficult for small organisations to get credit. Where a private firm facing these problems can go to its shareholders to re-finance through equity, as many of the banks have done, this is not an option for a non-profit organisation. There have been calls for help for small businesses, and many voluntary organisations could find themselves in similar positions. Government pledges to help small business by paying invoices promptly will benefit community organisations reliant on government grants or contracts. However, organisations which have grants that require them to spend first and then claim back the funds could be in more difficulty if cash-flow is tight.

There is some evidence that the effect of an economic downturn on the voluntary sector is lagged, and so there could be some delay before the full impact is felt by the sector. This may particularly be the case for fundraising income, with worse to come. It is the volatility that we are seeing in the economy, as much downturn itself, that makes these very challenging times for all small organisations, and charities could face some particular problems in riding out the storm.

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Past Conference Paper Presentations

  • NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference, London (Sept 2011)
  • NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference, University of Leeds (Sept 2010)
  • EEA Congress 2010, University of Glasgow (Aug 2010)
  • Work Pensions and Labour Economics (WPEG) 2010, University of Bristol (Jul 2010)
  • EALE/SOLE 2010 3rd International Conference, University College London (Jun 2010)
  • Spring Meeting of Young Economists (SMYE), Luxembourg (Apr 2010)
  • Scottish Economic Society Conference, Perth (Apr 2010)
  • SGPE Conference, Peebles (Jan 2010)
  • VSSN Day Conference, Third Sector Research Centre (Dec 2009)
  • IAREP Economic Psychology of Giving, Public Goods and Leadership, University of Kent (Nov 2009)
  • NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference, University of Warwick (Sept 2009)
  • INFER Conference, University of Stirling (Sept 2009)
  • European PhD Network on the Third Sector and Civil Society, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (May 2009)
  • Scottish Economic Society Conference, Perth (Apr 2009)
  • International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) 2009, Edinburgh (Apr 2009)
  • SGPE Conference, Peebles (Jan 2009)
  • History of Public Economics Conference, ERMES / Panthéon Assas University, Paris (Dec 2008)
  • Management Research for the Third Sector Symposium, University of St. Andrew's (Nov 2008)
  • NCVO/VSSN Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference, University of Warwick (Sept 2008)
  • European PhD Network on the Third Sector and Civil Society, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania (May 2008)
  • SGPE Conference, Dunblane (Jan 2008)
  • “Moving Forward” Postgraduate Conference, University of Aberdeen (Jun 2007)
  • SGPE Conference, Dunblane (Jan 2007)

Other Writing

Please contact me if you would like more information on any of the projects below, or would like to cite any of this work.
  • Media Article
    Article on the Guardian Online, on the 'ins' and 'outs of working in the voluntary sector: Why do staff join and leave the voluntary sector?;
  • Guest Blog Post
    Opinion Piece on on the pay inequality and the professionalisation of the voluntary sector;
  • Research Summary:
    Paying the Price for Care: Estimating Wage Differentials between the Private, Public & Voluntary Sectors (2008)
    Full Text
  • Policy Report:
    Reviewing the Approaches of the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and four Development NGOs to the Monitoring & Evaluation of International Development Projects and Policy (2008)
    Written as part of a 3-month placement at the Scottish Government
  • Policy Report:
    Assessment of the Economic Impact of Trading Standards Services (TSS) (2007)
    Written as part of a Summer internship with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
  • MSc Dissertation:
    Modelling the Provision of Care for Older People in Scotland: A Quasi-Market Approach (2006)
    Full Text


In my research I work with a number of large national UK datasets. These include:
  • UK Labour Force Survey (LFS)
  • Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS)
  • British Household Panel Survey (BHPS)
  • Scottish Household Survey (SHS)
  • English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA)