Sofie Cairo, PhD

Sofie Cairo   

Postdoctoral Fellow at D^3Harvard Business School


Research fields:  

Methods:  Applied microeconometrics and experimental methods.

Data : Survey, experimental, bibliometrics, registers.

Programs: R, Stata, SAS and some python.

Introduction: My name is Sofie Cairo and I am a postdoc at Harvard Business School. 

I am currently engaged in research on health shocks and the direction of science. We link key words of scientific publications in PubMed to ICD-10 disease codes used in death and diagnosis registers to study if a scientist's exposure to a family health shock changes his or her direction of science. Another on-going project concerns the design of a lab-in-the field experiement to investigate gender gaps in promotions. 

Before joining D^3, I worked at CBS as postdoc for PI Valentina Tartari. We uncovered the motherhood penalty on female scientists in STEM relative to male peers. Not surprisingly, the average annual penalty is large at 25 percentage points as long as children are below school age. Mitigating factors are academic partners,  access to informal help and gender equal household norms, while lack of flexibility at work, e.g. fields that require laboratory presence, exacerbate motherhood penalties 

My 2021 PhD dissertation in Economics from University of Copenhagen focused on UI and welfare benefit recipients. My team and I collaborated with the Ministry of Employment to conduct two large online field experiments.  We are in the process of finding homes for the resulting working papers.

My last PhD paper links individual fertility preferences of young women to their life-time career outcomes. I find that desiring a large family is associated with annual wage losses of 8% relative to  desiring a smaller family of two children or less. Wage losses incurred after birth reflect selection into self-employment.