Dr Alex Plum

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Senior Research Fellow

Email: alexander.plum@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7770-7344

Links to relevant web pages:


  • PhD, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
  • Diploma, Free University of Berlin
  • Undergraduate Diploma, University of Mannheim


Alexander Plum joined the NZ Work Research Institute in November 2017. He is an applied econometrician with a focus on utilising linked administrative data (in particular the Integrated Data Infrastructure from Stats NZ).

Alexander has worked on several commissioned projects on various topics, including work for MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and the Human Rights Commission. His projects deal with low pay and in-work poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. Furthermore, he is the principal investigator of two in-work poverty studies.

Alexander is also an associate investigator on two major grants. The first one is a three-year project funded by the Health Research Council, entitled “Ethnic differences in the uptake of healthcare services: A microanalysis”. The aim of this study is to add to the knowledge base regarding barriers and enablers to the uptake of key healthcare services for preschool children. The second project is an MBIE Endeavour Fund, running five years and entitled “The Expression, experience and transcendence of low-skill in Aotearoa New Zealand”. The focus of this research is to explore life trajectories for 1.3 million adults living with low literacy and/or numeracy skills and to identify potential policy tools for intervention.

Fields of research:

  • Applied Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Welfare Economics
  • Economic Models and Forecasting

Research outputs:

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Knies, G., & Plum, A. (2017). Does it pay off to work on a low wage?. In M. Benzeval, C. Hamilton, R. Kanabar, R. Parsons, & R. Patel (Eds.), Insights 2017: Findings from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (pp. 10-11). Essex, UK: Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER). Retrieved from https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/2017/11/07/insights-2017

Conference contributions


  • Plum, A., & Pacheco, G. (2019). In-work poverty in New Zealand: A focus on Pacific Peoples. Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://workresearch.aut.ac.nz/

  • Plum, A., Pacheco, G., & Hick, R. (2019). In-Work Poverty in New Zealand. Retrieved from https://workresearch.aut.ac.nz/

  • Cochrane, B., Fletcher, M., Pacheco, G., & Plum, A. (2018). Low pay in NZ. Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved from http://www.mbie.govt.nz/


  • Plum, A. (2016). bireprob - Maximum simulated likelihood estimation of a bivariate random-effects probit model that considers correlation in the random-effects error terms and in the idiosyncratic shocks (Version 1.0) [Computer Software]. College Station, Texas 77845 USA: StataCorp. Retrieved from http://www.stata-journal.com/article.html?article=st0426

Oral presentations

  • Dasgupta, K., & Plum, A. (2020). Human capital formation and changes in low pay persistence. Melbourne, Australia (virtual presentation).

  • Dasgupta, K., & Plum, A. (2020). Time to let go of the past! Effect of clean slate scheme on employment and earnings. Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://workresearch.aut.ac.nz/document-library/presentations

  • Dasgupta, K., & Plum, A. (2020). Human capital formation and state dependence in low pay. Virtual meeting via Zoom.

  • Dasgupta, K., Erwin, C., & Plum, A. (2020). The devil's in the details: Identifying the link between access to alcohol and criminal behavior. Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://workresearch.aut.ac.nz/document-library/presentations

  • Plum, A., & Dasgupta, K. (2020). Low-pay persistence over the life-cycle. Auckland, New Zealand.

Working paper/discussions

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