Peter Philips
  • Professor, Economics Department

Research Summary

Philips is a labor economist specializing on the construction labor market. He has ancillary interests in econometrics and American economic and business history. His current research interests include regulations, construction safety, women and minority employment in construction, construction apprenticeship programs, project labor agreements, bidding procedures on construction projects, and health insurance for construction workers. Philips is also a qualified forensic economist.

Education

  • BA, Economics, Pomona College
  • MA, Economics Department, Stanford University
  • PhD, Food Research Institute, Stanford University. Project: Towards a Historical Theory of Wage Stuctures: The Evolution of Wages in the California Canneries- 1870 to Present

Biography

Peter Philips is Professor of Economics and former Chair of the Economics Department.  He received his BA from Pomona College and his MA and PhD from Stanford University.  He began teaching at the University of Utah in 1978.  Philips is a labor economist specializing on the construction labor market.  He has ancillary interests in econometrics and American economic history focusing on the labor market.  His current research interests include construction labor market regulations, construction safety, women and minority employment in construction, construction apprenticeship programs, project labor agreements, bidding procedures on construction projects, and health insurance for construction workers.  Additionally, Philips does some sideline research on the racial composition of the National Basketball Association and the competition between white women and Chinese men in the Post Gold Rush California labor market.  Philips has over 50 academic books and articles published on these and related topics.

Philips is an accomplished teacher having won many awards for his teaching and guidance of graduate students.  These awards include the University of Utah, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Superior Teacher Award (1982), the University of Utah, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dean's Research Fellow (1985 and 1988), University of Utah, John R. Park Teacher's Fellowship (1988), University of Utah, Lowell Bennion University Distinguished Service Professor (1992-93),            University of Utah, Presidential Teaching Scholar (1993), Nominee, Student Choice Teaching Award, Academic Affairs Board of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, 2004 and the University of Utah, Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor, 2007.

Philips has testified numerous times before legislative bodies regarding various labor market regulations in the construction industry.  Philips also was the only economist on the National Academies committee of experts evaluating the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) construction safety research program.

Philips is married to Jean Reagan, a children's book author, and has a grown daughter, Jane.  Philips' son, John, died of a heroin overdose in 2005.  In the summertime, Philips and his wife are voluntary back-country rangers in the Grand Teton National Park.