Dr Marta Favara

Senior Research Officer, Young Lives

Marta joined the Young Lives team as a Quantitative Research Officer in 2015 and is leading the quantitative research streams on Youth and Gender and Skills and Transition to the Labour market. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Essex (UK) and a Masters in Economics from the University of Leuven (Belgium). She has also been an IZA research affiliate since 2012.

Before joining Young Lives, she worked as an economist at the World Bank (Young Professionals Programme) in the Poverty, Inequality and Gender Unit for the Latin America and Caribbean Region and in the Education Unit for the Africa Region. She worked on several projects, leading policy-relevant research, policy and survey design and impact evaluations.

Her main research interests include labour economics (education and gender), behavioural economics (choice under uncertainty, adolescent risk behaviours), and development economics (poverty, inequality and early childhood development). Her recent work focuses on skills formation, education trajectories and labour market outcomes. In addition, she investigates the role of aspirations and subjective expectations as potential self-enforcing mechanisms underlying poverty and gender inequality.

She has ongoing research in the following areas: the effect of gender stereotypes and social norms on girls’ and boys’ education choices; individual resources and external circumstances affecting risk behaviours during adolescence; the use of behavioural insights to prevent teenage pregnancy; the measurement of non-cognitive skills, psychosocial well-being and economic empowerment in large-scale surveys.

Marta has analytical and fieldwork experience, and experience of dialogue with public and private institutions (eg national and local governments, academia, research centres, and schools), in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and India.


Journal articles and special issues

Favara, Marta (with Alan Sanchez) (2017) 'Psychosocial competencies and risky behaviours in Peru', IZA Journal of Labor & Development 6 (3)


Favara, Marta (with F Cuevas, J Rosero) (2016) 'Dimensiones psicosociales de la pobreza'. In Moncayo et al (ed) Poverty Assessment - Reporte de Pobreza por Consumo in Ecuador 2006-2014 , Estudio Tematico INEC, The World Bank

Working papers

Favara, Marta (with P Lavado and A Sanchez) (2016) 'Understanding teenage fertility, cohabitation, and marriage: the case of Peru', GRADE Research Progress Paper No 22, September
Favara, Marta (2016) 'Do dreams come true? Aspirations and educational attainments of Ethiopian boys and girls', Young Lives Working Paper No 146 [forthcoming in Journal of African Economies]
Favara, Marta (2012) '’United We Stand Divided We Fall’: Maternal Social Participation and Children's Nutritional Status In Peru', Policy Research Working Paper No 6264 [forthcoming in Review of Development Economics], The World Bank

Other publications

Favara, Marta (with Joao Pedro Azevedo, Sarah E Haddock; Luis F Lopez-Calva; Miriam Muller; Elizaveta Perova) (2012) 'Teenage Pregnancy and Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean: On Teenage Fertility Decisions, Poverty and Economic Achievement', The World Bank
18 December, 2017
New article by Marta Favara explores link between mothers' group participation and child development
Research interests:

Applied micro-economics; labour economics; economics of education; behavioural economics and development economics.