Prof. Dr. Carmit Segal

Carmit Segal is a professor for behavioral labor economics in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Zurich. After completing her Doctoral studies in economics in 2005 at the Stanford University, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Business School, and prior to moving to UZH, she was an assistant professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Short interview with Prof. Dr. Carmit Segal

What influenced your career decisions?

I actually started my career as a physicist; however, I discovered that while I liked the rigorous thinking in physics, I find the world of human interaction much more fascinating than the world of particle interaction. After sampling graduate courses in various social sciences, I was lucky enough to find that economics was investigating the questions I found interesting using the rigorous tools I appreciate, and therefore that it is the right profession for me.

What achievement in your life are you particularly proud of?

There is no single achievement that I would say I am most proud of. Rather, I am proud of the fact that one day I will be able to tell my daughter (when she is old enough): “be ambitious, fulfill your potential”, knowing that this is what I did myself. 

Where do you get inspiration from for your work?

The world around us (newspapers, magazines, even movies and TV series) is full of observations about the human relationships and trajectories that raise questions about how society works. I try to answer these questions in a rigorous manner using economic tools.

According to your opinion, what will distinguish our Faculty in five years' time?

Given the ongoing emphasis on excellence in research, I believe that in five years the Faculty will sustain and build on its position as one of the top research faculties in Europe.

Why would you recommend studying at our Faculty to young women holding their Matura (Swiss university entry qualification)?

It’s the same answer I would give to male students: our Faculty is engaged in cutting edge research that gives our students an advantage in today’s competitive labor market.