Martina Viarengo HD


Associate Professor, International Economics
Spoken languages
English, French, Italian, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Development, cooperation and aid policies
  • Emerging economies
  • Gender, women and public policies
  • Governance, local and international
  • Knowledge, education and aid policies
  • Migration policies and law
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • East Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • North America



PhD, London School of Economics

Martina Viarengo is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Economics. She is faculty associate at the Harvard University, Center for International Development and principal investigator of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research. Prior to joining the Graduate Institute's faculty, Professor Viarengo was an economist at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Professor Viarengo is a specialist in public policy, labor economics and economic development. Her research focuses on labor markets, comparative education policy and international migration. She has examined education policy, gender gaps and labor market outcomes in the OECD and developing countries in trying to better understand how to reduce poverty and inequality. In 2018 Dr. Viarengo was awarded with the Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2013 she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Professor Viarengo was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and she was named Newton International Fellow by the British Academy, Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University.  


Selected publications

  • Viarengo M. (joint with Manea R., P. Piraino)  (2023) “Crime, Inequality and Subsidized Housing: Evidence from South Africa,” World Development, Vol. 168, pp. 106243
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Müller T., P. Pannatier) (2023) “Labor Market Integration, Local Conditions and Inequalities – Evidence from Refugees in Switzerland,” World Development, Vol. 170, pp. 106288
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Lee T., G. Peri) (2022) “The Gender Aspect of Immigrants’ Assimilation in Europe,” Labour Economics, Vol. 78, pp. 102180
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Ganguli I., R. Hausmann) (2020) “Gender Differences in Professional Career Dynamics: New Evidence from a Global Law Firm,” Economica, Vol. 88, pp. 105-128
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Bandiera O. M. Mohnen, I. Rasul) (2019) “Nation-Building through Compulsory Schooling during the Age of Mass Migration,” [LSE-Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Paper No. 057], Economic Journal, Vol. 129, No. 617(1), pp. 62–109
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with McNally S. and Machin S.) (2018), “Changing How Literacy is Taught: Evidence on Synthetic Phonics,” [LSE-Centre for Economic Performance Discussion Paper No. 1425; IZA Discussion Paper No. 9955], American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 217-241
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Gibbons S. and McNally S.) (2017), “Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities,” Journal of the European Economic Association, November
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Cyron L. and Schwerdt G.) (2016) “The Effect of Opposite Sex Siblings on Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills in Early Childhood,” Applied Economics Letters [Asian Development Bank Institute Working Paper No. 2016-627]
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Pritchett L.) (2015), “The State, Socialization and Private Schooling: When will Governments support Alternative Producers?”, Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 51, No. 7, July, pp. 784-807.
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with  Martinez-Fritscher A. and A. Musacchio) (2014), “Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930”, NBER Working Paper No. 20029; Harvard Business School Working Paper No. 10-075, Journal of Economic History, Vol. 74, No. 3, pp.730-766
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Freeman R.B.) (2014) “School and Family Effects on Educational Outcomes across Countries”, Economic Policy, (lead article), Vol. 79, No. 29, July, pp.395-446
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Bandiera O., I. Rasul) (2013), “The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration”, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 7509 Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 102, May, pp. 23-47
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Pritchett L.) (2012), “Why Demographic Suicide? The Puzzles of European Fertility”, Population and Development Review, No. 38, pp.55-71
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Murtin F.) (2011), “The Expansion and Convergence of Compulsory Schooling in Western Europe: 1950-2000”, Economica, Vol.78, No.311, pp.501-522; CEE Discussion Paper 65; Paris School of Economics, Ecole Normale Superieure Working Paper No. 2007-18
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Holmlund H., S. McNally) (2010) “Does Money Matter for Schools?”, Economics of Education Review, Vol.29, pp.1154-1164; IZA Discussion Paper No. 3769; CEE Discussion Paper No. 105
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Pritchett L.) (2010), “Explaining the Cross-National Time-Series Variation in Life Expectancy: Income, Women’s Education, Shifts and What Else?”, Paper published in the Human Development Report 2010 Twentieth Anniversary of the UNDP; UN Human Development Research Paper 2010/31
  • Viarengo M. (joint with Hausmann R., I. Ganguli) (2009), “The Dynamics of the Gender Gap: how do Countries rank in terms of making Marriage and Motherhood compatible with Work?” in the Global Gender Gap Report 2009, Geneva: World Economic Forum Publication
  • Viarengo M. (Joint with Pritchett L.) (2009), “Producing Superstars for the Economic Mundial: The Mexican Predicament with Quality of Education”, Chapter 2 in the Mexico Competitiveness Report 2009, Geneva: World Economic Forum Publication; Harvard’s PEPG Discussion Paper 09-01 
Working papers

Office hours

Personal Website