BSc, MSc, MRes
Full contact details
Sheffield University Management School
Maria is a quantitative labour economist with rich international experience in academia, including the Geneva School of Business Administration, Switzerland, in European research projects funded by the ESF as well as the non-profit sector (Amnesty International). Throughout her academic and professional career, she has received rigorous training in applied economics and empirical research methods at top universities, such as the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the Universities of Zurich, Lausanne, Bern and Geneva in Switzerland, while her studies were funded with several merit scholarships and fellowships. Importantly, drawing from the devastating experience of losing one parent to mental illness during adolescence, Maria conducts research with a real-world impact for people living with mental health disorders and their families. By incorporating these multifaceted aspects into her research, she employs advanced quantitative methods to explore individual work-health trajectories embedded within wider social structures, producing varied experiences of underemployment and reproducing inequality over time and across space. Maria is a traveller of the world and her ambition is to integrate her rich and diversified knowledge - expanding beyond and above academia - into research praxis.
Prior literature has failed to provide a comprehensive framework for exploring underemployment, its predictors and consequences, as being the outcome of a systematic interconnection between institutional factors, social norms and human agency evolving within dynamic social settings. Using as a departure point the Transitional Labour Markets (TLM) approach - developed within labour market research to study transitions accounting for the interrelationship between public policy and human decision-making - I show how this conceptual framework, can be informed by the life course approach (LCA) and fundamentally assist in our understanding of the role of structures in shaping gendered patterns of underemployment around crucial transitional states as well as its scarring effects on mental health.
My ontological and epistemological stance, derived from the premises of a realist postpositivist perspective, allows placing heterogeneous lives within structures juxtaposed against each other, therefore studying variations in work-health trajectories over the course of life and across gender welfare state regimes. Methodologically, the exploration of the role of structures in shaping individual decisions around crucial transitions calls for a quantitative approach to research design; my research methods involve the rigorous analysis of three main longitudinal designs - birth cohorts, panel household surveys and repeated cross-sections from Europe, the UK and Sweden - using panel data methods and quasi-experimental techniques that treat for unobserved heterogeneity and reverse causality, including fixed and random-effects models, PSM, SEM and pseudo panels.
In effect, I add to the existing knowledge by offering a comparative, a dynamic and a gender-sensitive analysis of the phenomenon of underemployment in Europe. Considering the dramatic changes in the labour markets over the past decades, including the intensification of flexibilisation practices, as well as the devastating social and economic implications of mental health disorders, strong empirical evidence produced by the present research is indispensable to policymakers seeking how to most effectively address the gendered patterns of underemployment and its impact on the mental wellbeing of the most vulnerable workers in the labour market.
The impact of COVID-19
The pandemic has only exposed these enduring inequalities in health and labour market outcomes; the very first evidence from the ILO shows that women and young persons have been disproportionately affected by cuts in employment hours and unemployment. This outcome is far from surprising. Historically, these groups have been overrepresented in industries characterised by high uncertainty and demand fluctuations, such as the service sector. Across the world, women’s overburden with unpaid care work during the COVID-19 lockdown has also brought to the surface once more the discussion around the gender division of labour. It is predicted that any improvements made in this area over the past decades will be lost. In effect, the call for an early intervention has now become more urgent than ever. Which type of intervention would be, however, more effective is still a matter of debate as the mechanisms by which underemployment affects the mental health of employees remain unclear. The present research fills this gap by addressing this timely question.
- MRes Labour Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands (first class)
- MSc Regional Economics, Aristotle University, Greece (first class)
- BSc Economics (Planning & Development), Aristotle University, Greece (first class)
Specialised training (indicative):
- Econometrics in economics of education - University of Zurich, Switzerland
- Survey data analysis- Swiss Household Panel Study, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
- Swiss longitudinal data fair 2017 - University of Bern, Switzerland
- Counterfactual methods for policy impact evaluation 2016 - European Commission, Milan, Italy
- Research interests
- Labour economics
- Health economics
- Welfare states
- Family policy
- PhD Scholarship - Centre for Decent Work, Sheffield University Management School, UK
- VU Fellowship Programme for excellent students - VU University, Netherlands
- NN Future Matters Scholarship - NN Group & EP-Nuffic, The Hague, Netherlands
Winning grants and admissions (indicative):
- DPhil Population Health Admission - Nuffield Dept., University of Oxford (2019)
- PhD Scholarship - Dept. of Economics, University of York, UK (2019)
- PhD Scholarship - CINCH – Health Economics Research Center, RGS, Germany (2019)
- PhD Scholarship - Dept. of Economics, University of Antwerp, Belgium (2018)
- PhD Scholarship - ROA, Maastricht University, the Netherlands (2018)
- Marie-Curie Fellowship - European Training Network IQCE, University of York, UK (2017)
- MRes Scholarship - Social Sciences Research Methods, Russian Ministry of Education, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia (2015)
- Professional activities
- Member of the Economic Chamber of Greece
- Member of the RSA
- Researcher - Geneva School of Business Administration, Geneva, Switzerland
- Researcher/ Programme Manager - General Secretariat for Gender Equality, Hellenic Ministry of the Interior, Athens, Greece
- Economist/ Research Coordinator - Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece
- Intern - Amnesty International