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About Gema Zamarro

Gema Zamarro (Ph.D. CEMFI & UNED, Madrid (Spain), 2006) is an Associate Professor (tenured) and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Zamarro also directs Charassein: the Character Assessment Initiative, a research group for the study of measures and development of character skills. She is also adjunct Senior Economist at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) and adjunct Economist at the RAND Corporation. Prior to joining the University of Arkansas, Zamarro was a Senior Economist at CESR (2013-2014), an Economist at the RAND Corporation (2007-2013) 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 has performed research on applied econometrics in the areas of education, health, and labor. She has completed studies on heterogeneity in returns to education, on the relationship between teacher quality and student performance, on the effect of school closing policies on student outcomes, and on the causal effect of retirement on health, among others. Her current education research focuses on analyzing the effects of dual-language immersion (DLI) on student outcomes taking advantage of the lottery mechanism, used to enter these programs, to estimate causal effects. In addition, she is researching the properties of value-added methods for estimating teacher quality, the use and comparability of student self-reports on teacher performance and the measurement and development of character skills. Finally, in a different line of research, Dr. Zamarro is also studying possible pathways to better health in retirement. Dr. Zamarro’s work has been featured several times in the media including The New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post of Chicago, and the Oregorian.


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

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

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


Economics of Education (7)

Health and Retirement (5)

Financial Literacy (2)

Working Papers (10)