Elisabetta De Cao

Research Fellow

University of Bologna

Elisabetta De Cao is a Senior Assistant Professor in Economics at the University of Bologna in the Department of Economics. She is also a Visiting Fellow at LSE, an Associate Member of MiSoC at the University of Essex, and a Dondena (Center for Research and Social Dynamics) Research Affiliate at Bocconi University.

The main focus of her research is understanding the determinants and long-term consequences of children’s health and wellbeing. Her work complements the existing economic research on early childhood development, by looking at what are the main biological (genetic) and behavioural mechanisms through which a shock experienced while in-utero or in the first few years of life influences health and development throughout the life cycle. She also investigates the reporting and the main socio-economic drivers of violence against children, from child abuse or neglect to female genital cutting. Finally, she is interested in the interplay between the environment and genetic in influencing fertility behaviour. At the early stage of her career she did some work on statistical modelling of infectious diseases and on the evaluation of vaccination programs. To investigate her research questions she uses micro-data from across developed (mainly US and UK) and developing countries (mainly Africa).

Elisabetta De Cao joined IZA as a Research Fellow in May 2020.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 13653
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2021, 34: 367-400
IZA Discussion Paper No. 12568
published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2022, 83, 102601.
IZA Discussion Paper No. 12563
revised version published as 'The effect of education on spousal education: A genetic approach' in: Labour Economics, 2021, Volume 71, 102023. Open access: [Link to the published version]