BCom(Hons), MCom(Hons), PhD (Melbourne); MSc (Wisconsin-Madison)


Roger Wilkins’ research has primarily been concerned with the nature, causes and consequences of labour market outcomes, the distribution and dynamics of individuals’ economic wellbeing, and the incidence and determinants of socio-economic disadvantage.

His biggest impact has been on applied social science research on Australia through production and promotion of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, Australia’s nationally representative household panel study. The HILDA Survey has fundamentally changed the empirical social science research landscape in Australia and is regarded internationally as one of the leading household panel studies. Since 2007, he has been Deputy Director of the study and has produced the annual Statistical Report, which has grown to be a nationally significant publication, receiving widespread media coverage and attention of policymakers.

His research on economic wellbeing has improved our understanding of its distribution and dynamics, including the extent, nature, causes and consequences of poverty and socio-economic disadvantage in the community. He has worked on issues of inequality over his entire career, most recently working with tax records data to produce measures of top income shares and other measures of inequality at the top of the distribution. Since 2014, he has been the Australian contributor to the Paris School of Economics’ World Inequality Database founded by Thomas Piketty and others. On poverty and socio-economic disadvantage, his research has considered the multiple dimensions of disadvantage (beyond low income). This has included developing new approaches, the most notable of which is a measure of social exclusion for Australia.

Related to his research on economic wellbeing is work on individuals’ interactions with the income support (welfare) system. This has included examining the role of both macroeconomic conditions and income support policy settings in affecting benefit receipt.

His labour market research has included study of employment and earnings dynamics of low-paid workers, the drivers of gender differences in rates of job loss, the demographic incidence and wellbeing consequences of underemployment, and evaluation of active labour market programs.

Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne

Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Fellow, Global Labor Organization

Fellow, World Inequality Database