Dr. Gustafsson-Wright has been a Senior Researcher with the Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID) in the Netherlands and a Guest Researcher at Brookings Institution since 2006. Her research encompasses several components of human development and links education, social protection and health.
She is currently principal investigator for an impact evaluation of an early childhood development program aimed at improving the cognitive and social-emotional development of disadvantaged children from birth to age three in the Caribbean. Her current work also includes quantitative impact evaluations of health programs that implement and subsidize private health insurance schemes that cover treatment for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to low-income groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. This research includes the design of household surveys and studies on associated topics such as health risk, health care utilization, demand and willingness to pay for health insurance. Additional work in this area includes in-depth analysis linking health and education with a focus on school attendance, child labor and school quality choice. Among other current research, she is a senior advisor for a two-year study synthesizing the results of development impact evaluations of over 30 bilateral-aid projects across different sectors including education and health in 7 developing countries.
Her previous professional experience includes consulting at the World Bank’s Human Development Network and in the Latin American Region of the World Bank. During her 3 years consulting for the World Bank, her work focused on education and child labor, conditional cash transfer programs and risk and vulnerability in Latin America. In this capacity, she focused on economic impact analyses of poverty-targeted and education programs in Brazil as well as aided in the design of quantitative and qualitative surveys for these analyses. Her research contributed to technical assistance to government counterparts for the implementation of projects by examining the determinants of child labor, its relationship with education and poverty, and the effects of shocks to households on these variables. Her work at the World Bank also included contributions to poverty assessments with analysis of vulnerability to poverty and safety nets in Guatemala. In addition to her work at the World Bank, she consulted for the Innocenti Research Center in a joint project with ILO, World Bank and UNICEF.
Dr. Gustafsson-Wright received her Ph.D. in Economics in 2007 from The Tinbergen Institute at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Her doctoral work analyzed the impacts of social capital on vulnerability to poverty and primary education and malnutrition in Guatemala. Prior to her doctoral studies, she received a Master’s of Science in Applied Economics and Finance from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She also has Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz where she graduated with Highest Honors in the Major and College Honors.
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