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 agenda. 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 in 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 foundational skills formation and young people's behaviour (transition to the labour market, fertility decision and schooling enrolment). In addition, she investigates the role of aspirations and subjective expectations as potential self-enforcing mechanisms underlying poverty and gender inequality.

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


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, 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 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 (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
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
Research interests:

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