Margherita Fort is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna (Italy) since Sept 2014, where she was previously hired as Assistant Professor in October 2007. While PhD student, she was Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER, University of Essex, UK). After she received her PhD in Statistics Applied to Economics from the Department of Statistics, University of Padua (Italy), she was ECASS Visiting Fellow at ISER and Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Italy).

Her general research interest are in applied microeconometrics with particular focus on treatment effect identification and specifically to approaches that allow heterogeneity in the treatment parameters (e.g. quantile regression). Her main research interest are in the fields of labour economics, population economics and health economics.

She was the local coordinator of the Bologna Research Unit for the project "The Policy Implications of Demographic Ageing" funded from the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research (MIUR, FIRB 2008 call) and she was member of research teams of other projects funded from the EUI (project "La meglio infanzia", 2015), the Fondazione Rodolfo De Benedetti (project "La meglio infanzia", 2014), Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna (project "La meglio infanzia", 2014), the Institute of Advaced Studies (ISA 2013 call, single winner, project "La meglio infanzia"), the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (2011 call, project "Childcare, Grandparents or Nannies? What is Best for Children When Parents are Away"), MIUR (PRIN 2009 call, project "Problems and solutions for the evaluation of performance in the Public Administration"), CARIPARO Foundation (Progetti di Eccellenza, 2008 call, project "The Effect of Early Life Conditions and Outcomes on Economic Wellbeing and Health Later in Life").

Her research has been published in the Economic Journal, in the Journal of Labour Economics, Games and Economic Behavior, Health Economics, Economic Policy The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. She joined IZA as Research Fellow in March 2012 and CESifo in November 2013.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9756

Exploiting admission thresholds in a Regression Discontinuity Design, we study the causal effects of daycare at age 0–2 on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes at age 8–14. One additional month in daycare reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.5% of a standard deviation). Effects for conscientiousness are small and imprecisely estimated. Psychologists suggest...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8732
Rosario Maria Ballatore, Margherita Fort, Andrea Ichino
revised version forthcoming in. Journal of Labor Economics, 2018 October

We exploit rules of class formation to identify the causal effect of increasing the number of immigrants in a classroom on natives test scores, keeping class size constant (Pure Composition Effect). We explain why this is a relevant policy parameter although it has been neglected so far. We show that...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7533

In the large empirical literature that investigates the causal effects of education on outcomes such as health, wages and crime, it is customary to measure education with years of schooling, and to identify these effects using the exogenous variation provided by school reforms increasing compulsory education and minimum school leaving...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7125
revised version published in: Games and Economic Behavior, 2013, 81, 192-214

This paper presents an experiment on learning in repeated games, which complements the analysis of players' actual choices with data on the information acquisition process they follow. Subjects play a repeated Cournot oligopoly, with limited a priori information. The econometrics hinges on a model built upon Experience Weighted Attraction learning,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6989
revised version published in: Economic Policy Volume 31 (88), 743-782 DOI:

We investigate the causal effect of financial literacy on financial assets, exploiting banks information policies for identification. In Italy, banks who belong to the PattiChiari consortium have implemented policies aimed at increasing transparency and procedural simplification. These policies may affect individuals' financial literacy without involving any direct cost for clients...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6015
substantially revised version published 'Is Education Always Reducing Fertility? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms' in: Economic Journal, 2016, 126 (595), 1823–1855

We study the relationship between education and fertility, exploiting compulsory schooling reforms in Europe as source of exogenous variation in education. Using data from 8 European countries, we assess the causal effect of education on the number of biological kids and the incidence of childlessness. We find that more education...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5944
published in: Health Economics, 2016, 25 (3), 314-336

In this paper we investigate the contribution of health related behaviors to the education gradient, using an empirical approach that addresses the endogeneity of both education and behaviors in the health production function. We apply this approach to a multi-country data set, which includes 12 European countries and has information...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5844
revised version "Cooperation or Competition? A Field Experiment on Non-Monetary Learning Incentives" published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 2015, 15 (4), 1753-1792 [ DOI: 10.1515/bejeap-2014-0109 ]

This paper assesses the effect of two stylized and antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes on students’ effort. We collect data from a field experiment where incentives are exogenously imposed, performance is monitored and individual characteristics are observed. Students are randomly assigned to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between coupled students,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4667
published as 'The Causal effect of education on body mass: evidence from Europe' in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2013, 31(1), 195-223

We use the compulsory school reforms implemented in European countries after the II World War to investigate the causal effect of education on the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the incidence of overweight and obesity among European females. Our IV estimates suggest that years of schooling have a protective effect...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3102
published as 'Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe' in: Economic Journal, 2009, 119 (536), 516 - 539

Using data from 12 European countries and the variation across countries and over time in the changes of minimum school leaving age, we study the effects of the quantity of education on the distribution of earnings. We find that compulsory school reforms significantly affect educational attainment, especially among individuals belonging...