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Barcelona GSE #WomenInScience

female professors, students, and alumni

February 11 is International #WomenInScience Day. This year's Economics Nobel Prize was shared by Esther Duflo, who was our first Calvó-Armengol Prize recipient just nine years ago. In interviews following the Nobel announcement, Prof. Duflo said that she hoped to “inspire many, many other women to continue working” in this field.

In that spirit, we asked women in the Barcelona GSE community what inspired them to pursue a scientific career in Economics, Finance, or Data Science, and what topics they are most inspired to work on currently. Here are there responses:

What inspired you to pursue a scientific career in Economics, Finance, and Data Science?

"I was inspired by my professors' and mentors' enthusiasm and determination to better understand the functioning of the economy to make this world a sustainable place with equal access to health, education, safety, and comfort, among other factors that contribute to a higher quality of life." - Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell (PhD, University of Amsterdam), IAE-CSIC and Barcelona GSE Deputy Director for Academic Programs

"I decided to pursue a PhD and an academic career while doing graduate coursework at Northwestern University in the United States. There I was exposed to research for the first time and was blown away by the intellectual challenge that the PhD offered." - Libertad Gonzalez (PhD, Northwestern University), UPF and Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor

"I loved teaching from a young age. During my undergrad I enjoyed some topics and had the opportunity to interact with several professors about these topics and to have some hint about what is doing research in economics. These two facts and the support I received encouraged me to pursue a PhD and an academic career." - Inés Macho-Stadler (PhD, EHESS), UAB and Barcelona GSE Research Professor

group of female researchers
Some of the members of the UAB Unit of Economic Analysis

"I was born and raised in Brazil, one of the most unequal countries in the world. Therefore, I decided to become an economist to help governments shape better policies to promote equitable growth and the populations’ well-being. During my undergraduate years, I learned the importance of research for evidence-based policy making and, then, chose to pursue a graduate career and to become a scientist." - Ursula Mello (PhD, UC3M), IAE-CSIC and Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor

"I was very interested in understanding how the economy works and I also liked numbers and maths, so economics appeared to me as the perfect choice." - Judith Panadés (PhD, UAB), UAB and Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor

"Since I was a little girl, I loved scientific and rigorous topics, such as math. I always had fun while doing my math homework! Economics gave me the opportunity of putting together a topic that is of practical relevance with the mathematical rigor that I always enjoyed." - Barbara Rossi (PhD, Princeton University), ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE Research Professor

"Growing up in Argentina, I experienced a hyperinflation at the age of eight, a severe recession with very high unemployment at the age of 15, and a default, with a large devaluation of our currency and one of the worst financial crises of our history at 18. Studying Economics was a very natural choice for me, but I did not know back then what a scientific career in Economics or Finance meant. I was mainly motivated by the possibility of working in the public sector. The dream, to be the Minister of Economics of Argentina. I did work at the World Bank while doing my masters, and even though I loved my experience there, it only helped me realize how much I wanted to have unlimited time to address questions I found puzzling. That's what led me to pursue a PhD and a career in academia." - Victoria Vanasco (PhD, University of California, Berkeley), CREI, UPF and Barcelona GSE

"I've always loved mathematics and analyzing people's behaviors. I pursued Economics to learn to use rigorous scientific methods to combine the two." - Hanna Wang (PhD, University of Pennsylvania), MOVE-UAB and Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor

"I've always known that I wanted to be involved in the public sector and international organizations and I was passionate about economics and how changes can be made in public policy with economics and quantitative tools." Analía García '19, Master's in International Trade, Finance and Development, Research Assistant at Macroeconomics & Finance at Banc Sabadell

What topics are inspiring you currently in your field?

"I am excited about recent research in labor economics, which suggests that most of the remaining gender gaps in developed countries' labor markets emerge after having children. This does not seem to be due to public policies in place, but to persistent gender norms that dictate a division of labor where mothers specialize in childcare. I am working on a project where we hope to determine the causal effect of parents' behaviors on children's views about gender roles and their subsequent labor market choices and outcomes." - Libertad Gonzalez

group of female researchers
Some of the members of the UPF Department of Economics and Business

"I am working on how incentives affect the partnership formed in a market, and how startups attract financing and the effects of the type of financers in their success." - Inés Macho-Stadler

"Today, in my research, I use applied microeconometrics methods to investigate key issues for education and labor market policies. In particular, I study how different interventions implemented to expand access to higher education affects the composition of the student body, individuals' incentives and choices." - Ursula Mello

"My main research interests are in the area of public economics with special regard to the analysis of the tax evasion compliance. I am also interested in many questions related to the Economics of Education." - Judith Panadés

"I am currently working on developing methods to estimate the effects of monetary policy during the recent financial crisis. During my recent visits at Central banks all over the world, I started worrying that the techniques that are currently used might be limited, and I am working on developing alternative methodologies." - Barbara Rossi

"I am really interested in understanding how information asymmetries may impact the functioning of financial markets and the real economy." - Victoria Vanasco

"My research focuses on understanding the specifics of household decision-making and in particular the different incentives that women and men face." - Hanna Wang

"I'm interested in political economy of concentrated production." - A current Master's student in Economics of Public Policy

Video playlist: Barcelona GSE Women in Science

Featuring research by women in the Barcelona GSE community: Affiliated Professors, members of our Scientific Council, and recipients of the Calvó-Armengol Prize.

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