Caterina Calsamiglia Costa

Caterina Calsamiglia Costa

Institute for Political Economy and Governance

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Research Professor at IPEG and affiliate researcher at IZA and CEPR and member of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity group at the University of Chicago. 2005 Phd in Economics from Yale University. She started her career at UAB, moved to CEMFI in 2015 as a Research Professor. In 2014 she obtained an ERC Starting Grant to work on understanding the importance of the design of school choice procedures for the educational landscape and to develop non cognitive assessment tools. Her leadership in an interdisciplinary group of researchers working on socioemotional learning led the creation of Pentabilities, a method to promote formative assessment for socioemotional learning. In the acedemic year 2022-2023 she led the design and implementation of 4 large scale RCTs in schools in Spain.

Research interests

Her research focuses on Public Economics with an emphasis on school choice, educational policies, affirmative action, measurement of non-cognitive skills and welfare economics in general. Her work includes theoretical, experimental and empirical analysis. She is currently working very closely with the education sector, promoting  the implementation and evaluation of rigurous formative assessment tools for socioemotional learning in primary, secondary, vocational training and college worldwide. 

Selected research activities

Led the design, proposal construction, and implementation of 4 large scale randomized control trials in schools in Catalunya, Andalucia, Ceuta and Melilla. The pilots involve the strong colaboration between science and action, forcing the research team to adapt and assist the implementation team. The whole team was hired directly by the Fundació Bofill, who is implementing three of the projects, and Fundesplai, who is implementing the gourth project. All projects target at-risk populations assisting them in the human capital development using a rich set of policy instruments ranging from personalized mentoring to integrating the development of socioemotional skills in the classroom. The total number of students involved is over 16000 and the amount of funding is almost 16M€.