Elira Kuka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at SMU. She received her PhD in economics from the University of California at Davis in 2015.

Her research focuses on understanding how government policy affects individual behavior and wellbeing, the extent to which it provides social insurance during times of need, and its effectiveness in alleviation of poverty and inequality. Her current research topics include the potential benefits of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the protective power of the U.S. safety net during recessions and various issues in academic achievement.

Elira joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in May 2016 and became an IZA Fellow in November 2021.