Community Research Group

About this groupCommunity research group

Our primary research agenda is based on two broad objectives:

  • Evaluating whether existing public welfare policies support social inclusion of diverse and traditionally marginalized communities in NZ, such as previously convicted, low-paid, and indigenous and ethnic groups; and
  • Analysing well-being characteristics of socio-economically vulnerable populations in NZ and identifying scope for welfare promoting policies.

Our ongoing empirical studies on welfare implications of large-scale reforms such as the Civil Union Act of 2004, Marriage Amendment Act of 2013, Clean Slate Policy 2004, Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, and Sale of Liquor Amendment Act 1999 align with the first research objective. Additionally, our research on the low-paid population, ethnic differences in youth’s criminal behavior, and ethnic disparities in child health care utilisation in NZ aims to achieve our second objective.


Kabir Dasgupta (Lead Researcher)Alexander Plum (Lead Researcher)Keshar Ghimire (University of Cincinnati)
André Diegmann (IWH)Tom Kirchmaier (LSE)Christopher Carpenter (Vanderbilt University)

Current research

  • Not Much Bounce in the Springboard: On the Mobility of Low Pay Workers

Description: This project utilises monthly administrative data to evaluate the probability of individuals with a strong attachment to the low pay sector shifting into higher pay.

Team: Kabir Dasgupta (Lead), Alexander Plum (Lead), Gail Pacheco, Peter Sloane

  • Spare the Conviction, Spoil the Child? Effect of Regulatory Provisions of Youth Justice on Future Wellbeing

Description: This project evaluates the effect of youth justice practices on the future wellbeing of youth who commit crime.

Team: Kabir Dasgupta (Lead), Alexander Plum (Lead),  André Diegmann, Tom Kirchmaier

  • Health, Economic, and Social Outcomes of Same-Sex Couples in New Zealand

Description: This project looks into differences in various socio-economic and health outcomes among same-sex couples when compared with heterosexual couples in New Zealand.

Team: Kabir Dasgupta (Lead), Alexander Plum (Lead), Scott Carptenter

Past research