The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
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.