Stephen Burks focuses on two main research areas: experimental and behavioral personnel economics and the economics of the US trucking industry. Much of his empirical research has addressed how experimentally identified social, loss, time, and risk preferences affect the way in which labor economics explains the employment relationship. More recently, he has been working on the relationship between the health status of truckers and their on-the-job outcomes.
Burks is affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) at the University of Nottingham, UK. He was a founding member, and is past chair (2014-17), of the standing technical Committee on Trucking Industry Research (AT060) at the Transportation Research Board. He received the University of Minnesota Morris Faculty Distinguished Research award in 2014, and a research team he led won the 2019 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award from CTS for collaborative work on trucker medical conditions and safety performance.
Burks holds a BA in philosophy from Reed College, an MA in philosophy from Indiana University, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.