Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in 2005 and joined the Human Development Unit in the Europe and Central Asia Region at the World Bank in August 2005. Currently she is working as a Labor Economist at the Social Protection and Labor Unit of the World Bank.

Her research lies on the intersection of Labor and Development Economics. Among the topics she is currently studying are cognitive/non-cognitive skills and labor outcomes, design/implementation/evaluation of active labor market programs, income mobility in Latin America, informality and labor market segmentation, and the effects of globalization on working conditions.

She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2007.