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About Gema Zamarro

Gema Zamarro (Ph.D. Economics, CEMFI & UNED, Madrid (Spain), 2006) is a Professor in Education Reform and Economics at the University of Arkansas and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality at the Department of Education Reform. Dr. Zamarro is also adjunct Senior Economist at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR). Prior to joining the University of Arkansas, Zamarro was a Senior Economist at CESR (2013-2014), an Economist at the RAND Corporation (2007-2013; Adjunct Economist 2013-2016) and Professor of Econometrics at the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy (2007-2013), as well as, assistant professor in the Department of Econometrics at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and a junior research fellow at NETSPAR (Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging, and Retirement) (2005-2007). Dr. Zamarro's research is motivated by policy-relevant questions and the use of rigorous methods to help inform policy, with a focus on education policy. A second strand of her research focuses on methodological challenges to answer policy-relevant questions and the innovative uses of data to measure difficult concepts.  Dr. Zamarro has performed research on applied econometrics in the areas of education and labor economics. She has completed studies on heterogeneity in returns to education, the relationship between teacher quality and student performance, the effect of school closing policies on student outcomes, on the properties of value-added methods for estimating teacher quality, on the effect of dual-language immersion programs on student outcomes, and on the causal effect of retirement on health, among others. Her current research focuses on the measurement and development of character skills, determinants of gender gaps in STEM, the study of teacher labor markets and teacher pensions, and gender and education impacts of the current COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Zamarro’s work has been featured numerous times in the media including Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post of Chicago, Chalkbeat, NPR, Scientific American, CBS news, 4029News, Telemundo, KUAF radio, KTLA news, Kqed, EL Pais, Oregorian, and Arkansas Democrat Gazette, among others.


Present Adjunct Senior Economist, University of Southern California, Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)
Present Professor of Education Reform and Economics & 21st Century Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Department of Education Reform

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

219-B Graduate Education Building
Department of Education Reform
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701


Economics of Education (27)