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University of Essex

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Dr Gundi KniesResearch Fellow

01206 872734

Curriculum vitae



Research Interests

  • subjective well-being, life satisfaction and happiness
  • neighbourhoods and community
  • poverty and income inequality
  • social disadvantage and social inequalities
  • consent to linking administrative records to survey data

I am a quantitative researcher with training and research experience in Economics, Social Policy and Sociology. I have experience undertaking income distribution/poverty, life satisfaction and neighbourhood effects analysis using a range of datasets, including the German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) and the British Household Panel Study (BHPS). I am interested in research around what it is that makes people satisfied with their lives. My main focus lies on the whether and how the local context enhances or hinders people's life chances.

My current research centers around asking survey respondents for their consent to add administrative records to their survey responses and I am involved in a number of projects investigating the relationship between place and well-being, both in adults and children.

An exiting new project I am working on is looking at whether physical attractiveness is associated with occupational mobility. Findings from that research project have been published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility and this is currently available free of charge:


I am member of the design and implementation team of Understanding Society, managing health and economic record linkages. I am also involved with training researchers in using the BHPS and Understanding Society data using Stata.

Check out our new Worksheet 11 "USING THE BHPS COMPONENT OF UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY, THE NEW UK HOUSEHOLD LONGITUDINAL STUDY (UKHLS)". It provides some useful hints as to how (not) to use the BHPS sample within Understanding Society! All course materials are available online, see online (the materials are half-way down the page in a zip file)


Research & Publications