Dr Alexander Plum

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Senior Research Fellow, NZ Work Research Institute

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 – ext: 5383

Email: alexander.plum@aut.ac.nz


  • PhD Economics, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany), 2016
  • Diploma in Economics, Free University Berlin (Germany), 2009
  • Intermediate Diploma in Economics, University of Mannheim (Germany), 2006

Memberships and Affiliations:


  • Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin (Germany)
    Directorate-General I: Economic and fiscal policy strategy; international economy and finance
    Division I B 6: Demographic trends; social welfare state
    Policy Advisor, 07/2016 – 11/2017
  • Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg (Germany)
    Chair of Public Economics
    Research Assistant, 04/2012 - 07/2016
  • DIW econ, Berlin (Germany)
    Economic Consultancy of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
    Analyst, 03/2010 - 03/2012
  • German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Berlin (Germany)
    Research Cluster: Energy, Transportation, Environment
    Student Research Assistant, 10/2008 - 09/2009

Research Areas:

  • Labour economics and social welfare
  • Applied economics and econometrics
  • Survey and administrative data

Research Summary:

Focus of my research is the identification of income inequality and its effect on the labour market and earnings prospects. For example, a crucial question is to derive whether low wages provide a springboard to better paid jobs or whether labour market prospects are deteriorated when starting working in the low-wage sector. Furthermore, I design econometric estimation procedure and apply them to real world data.

Current Research Projects:

  • Evaluating within-year variation in income inequality measures: Evidence from administrative data, with Gail Pacheco, & Melanie Borah.
  • Persistence in low-pay employment, with Gail Pacheco.
  • Unemployment scarring increases over the life cycle, with Sara Ayllón.
  • Determinants of early retirement in UK, with Ricky Kanabar.
  • Neighbourhood effects on low pay dynamics: Empirical evidence for England, with Gundi Knies (submitted).
  • The British low wage sector and the employment prospects of the unemployed,  Invited for Revise & Resubmission at Applied Economics.


Journal Articles:

  1. Plum, Alexander (2018). The British Low-Wage Sector and the Employment Prospects of the Unemployed. Accepted for publication in Applied Economics.
  2. Plum, Alexander (2017). Becoming unemployed and poor in Great Britain. Applied Economics Letters, 24(18), 1289-1293.
  3. Plum, Alexander (2016a). Can Low-Wage Employment Help People Escape from the No-Pay – Low-Income Trap? B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 16(4).
  4. Plum, Alexander (2016b). Reconsidering the Interrelated Dynamics of Unemployment and Low-Wage Employment in Great Britain. Economics Bulletin, 36(2), 1230-1241.
  5. Plum, Alexander (2016c). bireprob: An estimator for bivariate random-effects probit models. Stata Journal, 16(1), 96-111.
  6. Plum, Alexander & Ayllón, Sara (2015). Heterogeneity in unemployment state dependence. Economics Letters, 136, 85-87.
  7. Plum, Alexander (2014). Simulated multivariate random-effects probit models for unbalanced panels. Stata Journal, 14, 259-279.
  8. Knabe, Andreas & Plum, Alexander (2013). Low-wage jobs - A springboard to high-paid ones?. Labour: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, 27, 310-330.

Reviewed Reports:

  1. Cochrane, Bill, Fletcher, Michael, Pacheco, Gail & Plum, Alexander (2018). Low pay in New Zealand. Report for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Wellington, NZ.
  2. Knies, Gundi & Plum, Alexander (2017). Does it pay off to work on a low wage? In: Insights 2017: Findings from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Editors: Benzeval M, Hamilton C, Kanabar R, Parsons R, Patel R: p 10-11. Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), Essex, UK.


  • Young Economics Session of the XXIV. Villa Mondragone International Economic Seminar (Rome, Italy). Best paper: Low-Wage Jobs-Springboard to High-Paid Ones?