International Economics
25 February 2021

PhD Research Day

PhD candidates from the Graduate Institute and the Institute of Economics and Econometrics presented their research during the Economics PhD Research Day, held online on the 11th February.

The 2021 Economics PhD Research Day, moderated by Professor Aleksey Tetenov and Professor Lore Vandewalle, was held online on the 11th February. It was co-organized by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics within the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute, allowing eight PhD candidates from both institutes to present their research and receive feedback from faculty and fellow students.

Student Impressions

The PhD Day was a unique opportunity to get feedback on my research from colleagues and professors in the region which is especially challenging in times of Covid. I really enjoyed presenting in such a vibrant community. My research hugely benefited from the comments I received and I am super grateful to Prof. Vandewalle and Prof. Tetenov for organising this for us. I look forward to the next time we can discuss in person and enjoy a few drinks together!


Laura Nowzohour

The PhD Day was a great conference, well organised and all students presented very interesting, high-level research. It was very useful to get an idea of how my cohort of students was moving forward in their research and preparing for the Job Market. In addition, it was also insightful to get the chance of presenting my last paper titled "The Regional Impact of the FED in the Era of Quantitative Easing" to an audience with such a diverse academic background. I received very insightful, cross-field comments from both professors and students, which I would not have thought of myself or received from an audience specialising only in monetary policy.

Edoardo Chiarotti

The topics that PhD candidates presented greatly varied, allowing for enriching discussions and idea sharing.

Laura Nowzohour's presentation "Heard the News? Environmental Policy and Investments in Clean Technologies" lies at the intersection of environmental economics, macroeconomics and finance. Positioned in a totally different field, Roxana Elena Manea's presentation was titled "Heterogeneous impacts of school fee elimination in Tanzania: Gender and colonial infrastructure". The paper she presented is co-authored with Pedro Naso, a recent PhD alumnus of the Graduate Institute.

Here is what Roxana shared about her research:

The persistence of historical events and their impacts on current socio-economic outcomes is well documented. However, the evidence regarding the interaction between historical institutions and contemporary reforms is limited. The paper I presented at the workshop investigates the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. My co-author and I explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. Our results show that the benefits of fee removal have been significantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries. This means that females who have been disadvantaged by historically poor investments in their districts have continued to benefit less from educational reforms relative to females residing in districts with a stronger legacy of missionary and colonial schools. We argue that policymakers should design policies such that these spatial inequalities are addressed.