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Mariana Laverde

Pearson Scholar and PhD Candidate

Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago

Mariana Laverde is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She is exploring the consequences of segregation - by race, skill and religious affiliation - on the choices and outcomes of minorities and disadvantaged populations. She is interested in understanding how a society can overcome the barriers to residential and economic integration across the mentioned dimensions, and in doing so, alleviate frictions that lead to confrontation, inequality, and in some cases, conflict within nations. 

Laverde is also working on understanding how civilian and insurgent strategies vary as economic conditions change during a civil conflict, and how these strategies ultimately shape the types of violence used by insurgents. She is studying this question using data on the description of millions of violent attacks carried out in Colombia, that are analyzed and classified using machine learning techniques.

In her native Colombia, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Economico (CEDE), a center affiliated with the Universidad de los Andes, where she earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in economics. Mariana has taught microeconomics, game theory, and mathematical economics both at Universidad de los Andes and at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Chicago, she also worked as an economist at Colombia’s Central Bank.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.