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Research interests

Development economics, labour economics, education economics and behavioural economics

Marta Favara

Director of Research, Young Lives

Marta is Director of Research, Young Lives. She joined the Young Lives team in 2015 and since then she has been leading the 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 and a Researcher Fellow with the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance since 2018.

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.

Research grants - ongoing

  • Wellcome Trust, "Lifetime and Proximate Risk and Protective Factors for Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: Young Lives seventh survey round”, Date: 01/04/2023-31/03/202; Role: PI. Total grant: £600k
  • Old Dart Foundation, “Niños del Milenio” (Young Lives Peru) research and advocacy 2021-2025”. Date: 01/07/2021-30/06/2025; Role: PI. Total grant: £1m
  • Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Accountable Grant: “Young Lives at Work”. Date: 31/12/2019-31/03/2025; Role: PI; Deputy Director. Total grant: £9.4m  
  • National Institute of Health (NIH), Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21): "Foundational cognitive skills in low- and middle-income countries: early-life nutritional, climatic and policy determinants and impacts on adolescent education, socio-emotional competencies and risky behaviors". PI: Jere Behrman (UPenn). Role: Co-PI. Date: 31/01/2019-31/12/2023;Total grant: £278k
  • Medical Research Council, UK - Peru: Relationship between food, Nutrition & Health: “Nutrition, Lifestyle, Genes and Metabolome - A Biosocial Cohort Study of Obesity in Young Adults from Urban Peru”. Date: 01/04/2019-31/03/2021; PI: Vimal Karani (University of Reading). Role: Co- PI. Total grant: £1.1m

Resaerch grants - past

  • ESRC/GCRF Skills and Education 2018, “Inequality of opportunity in Peru: How can young people develop relevant skills and find decent employment in a rapidly changing labour market?”. Date: 01/12/2018-31/03/2021; PI: Catherine Porter, Heriot-Watt University; Role: Co-PI. Total grant: £283k
  • Old Dart Foundation, “Niños del Milenio” (Young Lives Peru) research and advocacy 2018-2021”. Date: 01/07/2018-30/06/2021; Role: Co-PI (Oxford PI). Total grant: £400k
  • Oxford Martin School, “Governing African Transitions”, PIs: S. Dercon, R. Soares de Oliveira, Oxford University. Date: 01/01/2018-01/01/2020. Role: Investigator. Total grant: £655k
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada), “A Comparative Study of Child Marriage and Parenthood in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Zambia”, PI: G. Crivello, Oxford University. Date: 01/01/2018-11/01/2019; Role: Investigator. Total grant: £266k
  • UK Global Challenges Research Fund- Global Mental Health Research; “The influence of Executive Function on Mental Health in vulnerable adolescents: a multi-site LMICs approach”, PI: C.R. Newton, Oxford University. Date: 02/01/2018-02/01-2019 Role: Investigator. Total grant: £267k
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada), “Millennials: Enhancing opportunities for vulnerable youth in Latin America”. Date: 03/01/2017-08/01/2018; Role: PI. Total grant: £28k
  • The World Bank- Early Learning Partnership Programme, “Early Childhood development and Skills development in Ethiopia, India, Peru, Vietnam”. Date: 01/01/2016-12/31/2016, Role: PI. Total grant: £32k
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, “Changing women’s lives in social context: economic growth, cultural norms and the dynamics of gender inequality in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam”. Date: 01/01/2015-09/01/2016, Role: Investigator. Oxford component: £460k
  • Chapters

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

    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
In the media