GWE Lunch with Professor Alessandra Voena

Many people attended the faculty panels last semester hosted by Grad Women in Econ, and enjoyed getting perspective from female economists on their careers and gender in the profession. In order to continue these conversations, GWE has arranged for small-group lunch meetings with the awesome female presenters at the new Economics of Social Policy seminar at HKS. The first is with Professor Alessandra Voena.

If you’d like to join, please reach out to Isabel Harbaugh Macdonald (

From Professor Voena’s research statement,

I am an applied microeconomist, working primarily in labor and also in development economics. My research examines how economic decisions – made by individuals and families – are shaped by the policy and institutional environment. In my work, I combine data from a wide range of sources with economic models, which often feature a quantitative component, to study questions that are relevant for policy in developed and in developing countries. In addition to the more widely-used surveys, my research uses historical data, gathered from archival sources, survey and administrative data, which I collected in the field in Zambia and India, and administrative data, accessed on-site at the statistical agency of the Italian government.

Within the fields of labor and development economics, I focus on two broadly-defined areas. The first and main area is the economics of the family, and studies how the policies and the institutions that regulate family relations affect economic behavior. The second area is the economics of science and innovation, and examines what policies help workers to produce new inventions.

You can also attend the speaker’s research presentation from 12pm-1pm in the same room. The meetings will be casual, but please come prepared with a question or two to ask the speaker.

Finally, if you’d like to help arrange similar meetings with presenters at your own favorite seminar, please reach out to Isabel ( to discuss!