Kerry Papps

Kerry was a research analyst at Motu during 2003. He is now a senior lecturer at the University of Bath. He graduated from Cornell University with a PhD in labour economics in 2007 and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, between 2007 and 2010. He is also a research fellow of the IZA, Bonn.

Kerry’s primary research interests are in the labour supply decisions of married couples and in how people interact within workplaces and teams. He has also examined the effects of the minimum wage on workers and has been commissioned to provide research to the UK Low Pay Commission.

What was your background before joining Motu?
I was midway through my PhD studies at Cornell University when I came to Motu.

Why did you choose to come here?
I wanted to come home to New Zealand during the summer vacation at Cornell. I had a background in research before I started my PhD, but at that point, I had spent two years doing coursework and I really wanted to be involved in research again.

What were the highlights of your time at Motu?
The highlight of my time at Motu was working on a project on fish quotas, which was something that was completely different from anything I had done before. Motu had access to a fantastic dataset and the research I did led to a really good publication.

How has your career progressed since you left Motu?
Motu has followed me throughout my career. Dave Mare convinced me to do my PhD in the US in the first place and I have kept in touch ever since I left New Zealand, returning for three months when I was on sabbatical in November 2017-January 2018.

What advice do you have for early career economists?
My advice for early career economists is to take all the opportunities you are offered. The benefit of New Zealand being so small is that there are a lot of research projects to go round. But the quality of research at Motu is as good anywhere in the world.