Marta is a micro-economist investigating child and youth human development through a micro behavioural lens. She joined the Young Lives team in 2015 where is leading on the quantitative research agenda. She is also a Researcher Fellow with the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Essex (UK) and a Masters in Economics from the University of Leuven (Belgium).

Before joining Young Lives, she worked as an economist at the World Bank (Young Professionals Programme) in the Poverty, Inequality and Gender Unit for the Latin America and Caribbean Region and in the Education Unit for the Africa Region. She worked on several projects, leading policy-relevant research, policy and survey design and impact evaluations.

Her main research interests include labour economics (education and gender), behavioural economics (choice under uncertainty, adolescent risk behaviours), and development economics (poverty, inequality and early childhood development). Her recent work focuses on brain develpment and skills formation, education trajectories and labour market outcomes. In addition, she investigates the role of aspirations and subjective expectations as potential self-enforcing mechanisms underlying poverty and gender inequality.

Marta has analytical and fieldwork experience, and experience of dialogue with public and private institutions (eg national and local governments, academia, research centres, and schools), in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and India.

She joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in August 2012 after attending the 14th IZA Summer School in Labor Economics.