Job Title: Research Associate
Contact Details: Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
Oxford Department of International Development
Queen Elizabeth House (QEH), University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB.
Tel: 01865 271915


Maria Emma is a Research Officer at OPHI and a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Argentina. Her research interests include the measurement and analysis of chronic and multidimensional poverty, the quality of education, its determinants, and its role for poverty persistence. She is particularly interested in Latin American countries.

Areas of Expertise

  • Chronic and multidimensional poverty
  • Inequality measurement
  • Quality of Education


2008 Doctor in Economics, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Thesis: Poverty and Education in Argentina: Theoretical-Empirical Analysis

2005 M.A. in Economic Development, Vanderbilt University, USA

2004 Teaching Degree in Economics for Secondary School, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

2002 Licenciate in Economics, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Selected Publications


Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: A Counting Approach,” with Paola Ballon, James Foster, Jose Manuel Roche, Maria Emma Santos, and Suman Seth, Oxford University Press, 2015).

“A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America,” with Pablo Villatoro, Xavier Mancero and Pascual Gerstenfeld. OPHI Working Paper 79, 2015.

“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 4 – Counting Approaches: Definitions, Origins, and Implementations,” with Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon. OPHI Working Paper 85, 2015.

“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 3 – Overview of Methods for Multidimensional Poverty Assessment,” with Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon. OPHI Working Paper 84, 2015.

“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 2 – The Framework,” with Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon. OPHI Working Paper 83, 2015.


“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 1 – Introduction,” with Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Jose Manuel Roche, and Paola Ballon. OPHI Working Paper 82, 2014.

“Composite indices of development,” with G. Santos. In: B. Currie-Alder et al. (forthcoming, expected in 2014) International development: Ideas, experience and prospects. Oxford, OUP, ch. 5.

“Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America: Previous Experience and the Way Forward.” (2014). OPHI Working Paper 66.

“Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index”. World Development, 59 (2014) 251-274. An earlier, working paper version is published as  OPHI Working Paper 59.


“Multidimensional poverty measurement: motivation, approaches, methodological issues and axiomatic indices.” In Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) : Quality of Human Resources. Developmed under the auspices of the UNESCO. EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK, 2013.

“Poor and dissatisfied? Income poverty, poverty transitions and life satisfaction in Chile,” with E. Samman. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 21(1) 2013, pp. 19-31.

“Tracking poverty reduction on Bhutan: Income deprivation alongside deprivation in other sources of happiness. Social Indicators Research, 112(2) 2013, pp. 259-290.

“Multidimensional approach: Poverty measurement and beyond,” with S. Alkire. Social Indicators Research 112(2) 2013, pp. 239-257.

“Income and beyond: Multidimensional poverty in six Latin American countries,” with D. Battiston, G. Cruces, L. F. Lopez Calca and M. A. Lungo. Social Indicators Research, 112(2) 2013, pp. 291-314.

“Measuring Chronic Poverty,” with J. E. Foster, in Poverty and Social Exclusion: New Methods of Analysis, (G. Betti and A. Lemmi eds.), Routledge 2013, ch. 8; also published as OPHI WP 52.


“Where did identification go?”, The Journal of Economic Inequality, September 2011, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 501-505; also published as OPHI Working Paper 43b.

“Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A new index for developing countries,” with Sabina Alkire. OPHI Working Paper 38, UNDP HDRO Background Paper 2010/11

“Human Capital and the Quality of Education in a Poverty Trap Model.” Oxford Development Studies 39(1) 2011, 25-47. Also published as OPHI Working Paper 30.


“Is the Multidimensional Poverty Index robust to different weights?,” with  Sabina Alkire, Suman Seth and Gaston Yalonetzky. OPHI Research in Progress 22a, 2010.


“Income and Beyond: Multidimensional Poverty in Six Latin American Countries,” with Diego Battiston Guillermo Cruces, Luis Felipe Lopez Calva and Maria Ana Lugo. OPHI Working Paper 17, 2009.

“Agencia de los padres y logros de los hijos: Explorando el caso de America Latina,” with Emma Samman and Gaston Yalonetzky. OPHI Research in Progress 12a, 2009.

“Agency and Empowerment: A review of concepts, indicators and empirical evidence,” with Emma Samman. OPHI Research in Progress 10a, 2009.


“Gross National Happiness and Poverty in Bhutan: Applying the GNH Index Methodology to explore Poverty,” with Sabina Alkire and Karma Ura. OPHI Research in Progress 4a, 2008.

“Multidimensional Poverty in Bhutan: Estimates and Policy Implications”, with Karma Ura. OPHI Working Paper 14, 2008.


“Factors influencing income inequality across urban Argentina (1998-2003),” in S. Klasen and F. Nowak-Lehmann (Eds.) (2007), Analysis of Poverty, Inequality, and Migration in Latin America, Chap. 5: p. 155-1980. Also as Discussion Paper Series, Paper No. 126,


“Quality of Education in Argentina: Determinants and Distribution using PISA 2000 test scores,” Wellbeing and Social Policy3:1, p. 93-119, 1st semester, 1997.


Curriculum Vitae

Santos CV

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