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Paula López-Peña

Assistant Professor


Paula López-Peña is an Assistant Professor of Business Economics at the Smith School of Business.

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Academic Area

  • Business Economics

Interest Topics

Faculty Details


Full Bio

Paula López-Peña is an Assistant Professor of Business Economics at the Smith School of Business.

Before joining Queen's University, she was a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in Economics at Yale University. Paula studies how noncognitive skills and adverse life events affect health and labor market outcomes. Her current projects focus on entrepreneurship, firm productivity, and the causes and consequences of violence.

Paula received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick and a MSc in Economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, she worked as a research fellow with the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC and Nicaragua.

Academic Degrees

Ph.D. in Economics
University of Warwick (2018)

MSc in Economics
London School of Economics and Political Science (2012)

MA in Applied Economics
Universidad de Oviedo (2008)

BA Business Administration and Management
Universidad de Oviedo (2006)

Academic Experience

Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
Assistant Professor (2021 - Present)

Yale University
Postdoctoral Associate & Lecturer (2019-2021)

Innovations for Poverty Action, Bangladesh
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2018-2019)



“Falling living standards during the COVID-19 crisis: Quantitative evidence from nine developing countries,” with D. Egger, E. Miguel, S. Warren, A. Shenoy, E. Collins, D. Karlan, et al. Science Advances, Feb 5, 2021, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe0997

“How Accurate Is Our Misinformation? A Randomized Comparison of Four Survey Interview Methods to Measure Risk Behavior Among Young Adults in the Dominican Republic,” with S. Vivo, S. McCoy, R. Munoz, M. Larrieu and P. Celhay Development Engineering, 2017

“A Toolkit for the Measurement of Youth Risk Behavior,” with S. Vivo, D. Saric, R. Munoz, S. McCoy, and S. Bautista-Arredondo Washington DC: Inter-American Development Bank, 2013

“Sexual and Reproductive Health for Youth: A Review of Evidence for Prevention,” with S. Vivo and D. Saric Washington DC: Inter-American Development Bank, 2012

Working Papers

“Managing the second shift: The impact of noncognitive skills on female entrepreneurs’ time allocation and mental health”

“The causes and consequences of Myanmar’s internal conflict and the persecution of Rohingya Muslims,” with C.A. Davis, A.M. Mobarak, and J. Wen

“Toxic management, firm productivity, and worker well-being Evidence from Bangladeshi garment factories” with M.K. Mozumder, A. Rabbani, and C. Woodruff

“Prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms, risk factors, and health behaviors in host and refugee communities in Cox’s Bazar: A representative panel study,” with C.A. Davis, A.M. Mobarak, and S. Raihan

“Prevalence and correlates of depression among Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh,” with C.A. Davis, A.M. Mobarak

“Migration and the labor market impacts of COVID-19,” with N. Barker, C.A. Davis, H. Mitchell, A.M. Mobarak, K. Naguib, M.E. Reimao, A. Shenoy, and C. Vernot

“Urban life, employment, and psychological well-being in Bangladesh,” with A. Rabbani, and C. Woodruff

“Willingness to accept preschool incentives in urban Bangladesh,” with A. Rabbani


Ongoing Field Projects

The economics of domestic violence: Evidence from Bangladesh,” with N. Buchmann and A. Rabbani SVRI and World Bank Development Marketplace Award for Innovation on GBV Solutions 2019. Co-funded by Stars in Global Health (Grand Challenges Canada), National Science Foundation, and Weiss Foundation

Cox’s Bazar Panel Survey,” with S. Baird, C.A. Davis, M. Genoni, N. Krishnan, M. Mobarak, and J. Muz. Co-funded by the Yale MacMillan Center Program of Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Humanitarian Responses, GAGE/ODI, IPA’s Peace and Recovery Program, and the World Bank

Improving education through bureaucrat autonomy in Bangladesh,” with A. Haque, A.M. Mobarak, and J. Wen. Funded by J-PAL Post-Primary Education Initiative, DFID Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund, and the World Bank. AEA RCT Registry - AEARCTR-0003513

Research Interests

Development economics; Health economics; Labor, firms, and productivity


Grants & Funding

Sexual and intimate partner violence

• A media experiment to reduce domestic violence in Bangladesh,” with N. Buchmann and A. Rabbani. Sexual Violence Research Initiative and World Bank (USD 99,653), Grand Challenges Canada (CAD 99,932), National Science Foundation (USD 26,000.78), Weiss Fund (USD 20,000)

Mental health and productivity in firms

  • Worker Well-Being and Productivity in the Bangladesh Garment Sector,” with M.K. Mozumder, A. Rabbani, and C. Woodruff. MIT/USI (USD 245,000), International Growth Centre (USD 98,000), MIT/USI (USD 52,000) • Entrepreneur Well-Being and Firm Outcomes in Bangladesh” IPA SME Competitive Fund (USD 29,999)
  • The Effect of Shocks on Worker Well-being and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the Bangladeshi Garment Sector,” with C. Woodruff, R. Macchiavello, A. Rabbani, and A. Ashraf IGC (GBP 41,743)

Public service quality

• Improving Education through Bureaucrat Autonomy in Bangladesh,” with A.M. Mobarak, J. Wen, and A. Haque. Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), World Bank (USD 99,775)

Improving the health and living conditions of refugees and host communities

• Cox’s Bazar Panel Survey. Donors: World Bank (USD 180,000), Yale University (USD 480,000), IPA Peace and Recovery Program (USD 411,000)

Research Awards

ESRC-DTC, Postgraduate Scholarship. 2013-2016

Fundacion La Caixa, Postgraduate Scholarship. 2011-2012

Fundacion Universidad de Oviedo and Cajastur Fellowship. 2007-2008

Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, Collaborative Research Grant. 2005-2006