Dr Marta Favara

Senior Research Officer and Deputy Director, Young Lives

Marta is Senior Research Officer and Deputy Director, Young Lives. She joined the Young Lives team in 2015 and since then she has been leading the quantitative research team. Marta is a development economist. Her main research interests include labour economics, education economics, and behavioural economics.

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, a Researcher Fellow with the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance since 2018, and she is currently affiliated to St Antony’s College.

Before joining Young Lives, Marta 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 has worked in several research projects, survey designs, impact evaluations and policy dialogue with public and private institutions in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

In the media

Books and monographs

Favara, Marta (with P Darvas, T Arnold) (2017) 'Stepping Up Skills in Ghana: Snapshot of the Step Skills Measurement Survey', Directions in Development The World Bank
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

Journal articles and special issues

Favara, Marta (with C Porter, A Hittmeyer, D Scott, A Sanchez) (2022) 'The Evolution of Young People’s Mental Health during COVID-19: Evidence from four Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries', Public Health in Practice
Favara, Marta (with C Porter, R Freund, D Scott, A Sanchez) (2022) 'Young Lives interrupted: Effects of Covid-19 and containment policies on adolescents in low- and middle-income countries', Journal of Dvelopment Studies
Favara, Marta (with A Hittmeyer, C Porter, Saurabh Singhal, Tassew Woldehanna) (2022) 'Young people, mental health, and civil conflict: Preliminary findings from Ethiopia's Tigray region', Psychiatry Research Communications 2 (1) 100025
Favara, Marta (with Curi-Quinto K., Sánchez, A., Lago-Berrocal N., Penny, M., Murray, C., Nunes, R., Wijeyesekera, A., Lovegrove, J., Soto-Cáceres, V., Karani, V) (2021) 'Role of Government Financial Support and Vulnerability Characteristics Associated with Food Insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Young Peruvians', Nutrients 13 (10)
Favara, Marta (with G Crivello, C Porter, D Scott, M Penny, E Revathi, A Sánchez, LD Thuc, T Woldehanna, A McKay) (2021) 'Cohort Profile Update: The Young Lives Study', International Journal of Epidemiology
Favara, Marta (with P Lavado, A Sanchez) (2020) 'Understanding teenage fertility, cohabitation, and marriage: the case of Peru', Review of Development Economics
Favara, Marta (with C Porter, T Woldehanna) (2019) 'Smarter through Social Protection? Evaluating the Impact of Ethiopia’s Safety-Net on Child Cognitive Abilities', Oxford Development Studies 47 (1) 79-96
Favara, Marta (2017) 'Maternal Social Participation and Children Nutritional Status In Peru', Review of Development Economics
Favara, Marta (2017) '"Do dreams come true? Aspirations and educational attainments of Ethiopian boys and girls', Journal of African Economies 26 (1) 561-583
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


Favara, Marta (with I Appasamy, G Marito) (2015) 'Nigeria: Education and Skills Policy Notes: Skills For Competitiveness And Employability', The World Bank
Favara, Marta (with Peter Darvas, Gabriela Munares) (2014) 'Demand and Supply of Skills for Agriculture in Bandundu and Bas-Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo', The World Bank

Working papers

Favara, Marta (with C Porter, J Aguero, A Sanchez) (2021) 'Do More School Resources Increase Learning Outcomes? Evidence from an Extended School-Day Reform', IZA Discussion Paper No 14240
Favara, Marta (with D Scott, R Freund, C Porter, A Sánchez) (2021) 'Unpacking the Post-lockdown Employment Recovery of Young Women in the Global South', IZA Discussion Paper No 14829
Favara, Marta (with C Porter, A Sánchez) (2021) 'Stratification of Returns to Higher Education in Peru: The Role of Education Quality and Major Choices', IZA Discussion Paper No 14339
Favara, Marta (with C Porter, P Glewwe, A Sanchez) (2021) 'Expecting better? How young people form their earnings expectations', IZA Discussion Paper No 14289
Favara, Marta (with C Porter, M Mitchell, A Sanchez) (2020) 'Human Capital Development: New Evidence on the Production of Socio-Emotional Skills', IZA Discussion Paper No 13804
Favara, Marta (with M Perez) (2020) 'Maternal Age and Offspring Human Capital in India', CSAE Working Paper WPS/2020­15
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
Favara, Marta (with Alan Sanchez) (2016) 'Socio-emotional competencies and risky behaviors in Peru', Young Lives Working Paper No 154
Favara, Marta (2012) 'The Cost of Acting ‘Girly’: Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices', IZA Discussion Paper No 7037
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 The World Bank
31 May, 2021
New article from Young Lives quantifies increase in domestic violence during lockdown in Peru
23 November, 2020
COVID deepens inequalities for poorest young people in developing countries, research shows
15 June, 2018
Young Lives team runners up in 2018 OxTALENT awards for data visualizations
02 March, 2018
New research programme to explore African governance
18 December, 2017
New article by Marta Favara explores link between mothers' group participation and child development
22 Aug, 2020
'Hunger, lost income and increased anxiety: how coronavirus lockdowns put huge pressure on young people around the world'. Marta Favara, Alan Sanchez, Catherine Porter and Douglas Scott write for the Conversation
Research interests:

Development economics, labour economics, education economics and behavioural economics