Natascha Wagner appointed professor of International Economics

Date of news: 10 February 2022

Starting January 1, 2022, Natascha Wagner has been appointed professor of International Economics at the Nijmegen School of Management at Radboud University.

‘My research interests lie in international economics, development, health and education,’ says Wagner. ‘I’m specifically interested in the data driven social science research in the Radboud University’s spirit of Economics+. Wagner has participated in various impact evaluation projects in Africa and Asia ranging from public health, HIV testing and counseling to support for people living with HIV as well good governance, police integrity and rural infrastructure programs. She applies experimental as well as quasi-experimental impact evaluation techniques to assess program effectiveness.

profileA recurring theme in Wagner’s research is gender and female empowerment, be it in her assessment of bride price payments, polygyny, female genital cutting, gender bias in teaching evaluations or of police officers. Her paper entitled " Female genital cutting and long-term health consequences -- Nationally representative estimates across 13 countries",  published by the Journal of Development Studies, is the first to conduct a large-scale analysis of the harmful traditional practice female genital cutting that does not only consider health consequences but also social aspects such as marriage prospects. The paper won the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize in 2016.

Global Data Lab

At Radboud University she will be in charge of the Global Data Lab, which develops databases and instruments for monitoring and analyzing the status and progress of societies. In its current version the database contains 133 indicators for 131 countries and 1483 sub-national regions. Importantly, the Global Data Lab provides the Subnational Human Development Index that uncovers human development in 1600 regions within 160 countries. Her goal is to further develop the database to contribute to research about global health, wealth and development and the human impacts of climate change, pollution and natural disaster.

About Natascha Wagner

Natascha Wagner (Schwabach, Germany, 1983) studied International Economics at Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany, where she graduated in 2008. During her studies, she participated in the Erasmus exchange program and studied at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where she first picked up Dutch and an affinity for the Benelux. She received her PhD in 2012 at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, with a thesis entitled ‘Three Essays on the Fetters to Development’. Her external examiner was Mark Rosenzweig, who is one of the world's most renowned development economists and has inspired Wagner's research about fertility decisions of African households, household organization and child health.

She continued her research at Erasmus University’s International Institute of Social Studies, becoming an assistant professor in 2014 and an associate professor in 2018. Wagner has been the lead principal investigator of a large scale randomized controlled trial on the impact of information and communication technology in promoting retention and adherence to antiretroviral treatment in Burkina Faso. The intervention that was implemented took aim at the high rates of attrition among HIV patients on antiretroviral regimen and employed an everyday technology, the mobile phone, to promote healthy behaviors. Specifically, the intervention was an SMS support system for randomly selected HIV patients all across Burkina Faso. The project was financed by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation 3ie. Since January 2021, she is also an editor at the European Journal of Development Research.

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  • Radboud University Science Communication, media@ru.nl, 024 361 6000