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Maria is a Lecturer in Economics and Policy at the Department of Political Economy. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Economics Performance at the LSE and at the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University.

Previously, Maria was a Research Officer at the Centre for Economic Performance (LSE) and she holds a PhD from Erasmus University. She works predominantly in policy evaluation and on topics such as inequality, the effects of deprivation and of poor economic experiences, and the well-functioning of labour markets.

For more information, visit Maria’s website here.


  • Labour economics
  • Experimental and behavioural economics
  • Policy evaluation


  • Principles of Economics
  • Applied Econometrics 

PhD supervision

Maria is happy to supervise students interested in applied microeconomics, labour economics, or behavioural economics. 

Some of the topics that Maria is interested in include (but are not limited to):

  • The impact of incentives on behaviour (with a focus on non-pecuniary aspects).
  • The effects of early experiences on behaviour, preferences, and beliefs.
  • Projects on policy evaluation in labour, education, health, and development.
  • Wellbeing Inequality.
  • Immigration and its socio-political consequences.


Cotofan, M., Cassar, L., Dur, R., & Meier, S. (2020). Macroeconomic conditions when young shape job preferences for life. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 1-20.

Cotofan, M. (2021). Learning from praise: Evidence from a field experiment with teachers. Journal of Public Economics, 204, 104540.

Cotofan, M., De Neve, J. E., Golin, M., Kaats, M., & Ward, G. (2021). Work and well-being during COVID-19: Impact, inequalities, resilience, and the future of work. World Happiness Report, 153-190.

Cotofan, M., Diris, R., & Schils, T. (2022). Who benefits from attending the higher track? The effect of track assignment on skill development and the role of relative age. Journal of Human Capital, 16(2), 273-302.