Sari Kerr

Expert Profile

Sari Pekkala Kerr is an economist and a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. She joined the WCW in 2010. Dr. Kerr previously worked at the Government Institute for Economic Research in Helsinki. She also served as an adjunct professor or visiting scholar to the economics departments of MIT, Boston University, and the University of Kent at Canterbury. Dr. Kerr also has extensive private sector experience as an economic consultant for Charles River Associates and Keystone Strategy. Dr. Kerr received her Ph.D. from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.

Dr. Kerr’s research and teaching focus on the economics of labor markets, education and families. One strand of research evaluates how different schooling systems affect learning outcomes and economic mobility, especially for children from disadvantaged family backgrounds. A second strand examines the role of active labor market policies and geographic mobility for alleviating unemployment and welfare dependence. Her most recent efforts quantify the effects of welfare-to-work programs on the participants’ long-term economic outcomes and the economic impacts of immigration.
 
Dr. Kerr is actively involved with the academic community in Europe and in the US. She is the Scientific Secretary of the European Regional Science Association, and she earlier served as an international expert in the European Union Mutual Learning Panel on the Economics of Immigration. She co-chaired the Labor Economics Finnish Post-Doctoral Program for several years. She has also been a policy advisor regarding gender equality in labor markets and immigration.
 
Kerr received a University Diploma in Economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England, and her M.A. in Economics, Business Studies, Education and Linguistics and her Ph.D. from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. 

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