3 Questions to Ana Costa-Ramón

Ana Costa-Ramón joined our Faculty at the beginning of September 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Economics of Child and Youth Development. Dr. Costa-Ramón has been a Research Fellow at the Center for Research in Health and Economics at the University of Pompeu Fabra since 2014. Her area of expertise is applied microeconomics and her research focuses on health, labor and gender issues.

What do you focus on in your research?

My research focuses on understanding the effect of children's health shocks on children's and family's well-being. To do so, I exploit rich administrative data sources and apply cutting-edge econometric techniques that allow me to contribute to previous literature by providing credible causal estimates of the impact of health shocks during childbirth, and from childhood to teenage years. In particular, I have analyzed the impact of being born by cesarean section on neonatal and infant health. In my latest work, I study the effect of children's adverse health events, such as a severe hospitalization, on parental labor outcomes.

What would you like to convey to your students?

I would like to show my students that economics provides you with a set of tools that can be very useful to work with data and get real-world findings that can be relevant from a social and political perspective. 

In the Spring semester, I will teach a new course on Gender Economics. We will use our economics knowledge to delve into questions such as gender differences in labor market outcomes and education, family economics (children, fertility, contraception, abortion...), the historical roots of gender norms, gender bias and discrimination, parental leave policies, gender quotas, among others. We will do an overview of the state-of-the-art literature on gender economics, largely building upon empirical studies. We will also analyze and discuss policy interventions and potential solutions.

What were the decisive factors for you to join the University of Zurich?

Two things: the great Faculty at the Department of Economics, and the outstanding multidisciplinary work and team involved at the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development.