Denisa Sologon

Denisa Sologon

Ms.

  • 11, Porte des Sciences, Maison des Sciences Humaines

    L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette/Belval

    Luxembourg

20102021

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Personal profile

Research summary

Personal Statement

I hold the position of Senior Research Economist at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). My research programme involves quantitative approaches to welfare economics, in particular income inequality, income distribution dynamics, taxation, social policy and social protection, social mobility, environmental policy and health, with a special focus on the role of social, economic and policy drivers of inequality.

My main interests are in the development and application of policy microsimulation models and the quantitative analysis of large data sources (administrative, survey) to aid the design, evaluation and improvement of public policy. Through an international partnership with colleagues from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), University of Canberra and LISER, I have developed a cutting-edge modelling capacity to understand the drivers of distributional outcomes (e.g. inequality). The focus of this developmental research has been building a scalable modelling infrastructure. Over time, this modelling framework has generated a rich seam of research with applications across countries, time and policy areas (heath, environment). Most recently, we developed a microsimulation-nowcasting model to help understand and predict the income distribution implications of the COVID-19 emergency in “near-real” time with immediate use to policy makers in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Personal details

I received my PhD in Economics in 2010 from Maastricht University, The Netherlands, funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship. During my PhD, I had a Visiting Research Fellowship at Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School of Government, The Wiener Center for Social Policy. I was awarded the Marie Curie Post-Doc Fellowship in 2010 to fund my research agenda on earnings dynamics and microsimulation. I joined LISER as a Research Economist in 2013, after having worked as an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. I was appointed the Head of the "Income, Wealth, and Poverty" Unit in the Living Conditions Department in 2017 and the Interim Director of the Living Conditions Department between October 2018 and February 2019.  Between 2013 and 2016, I became the mother of two sons.

I have published over 25 academic articles, book chapters and policy briefs and supervised over 19 Master and 6 PhD students (1 completed, 5 ongoing) at Maastricht University, Tilburg University and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). I have extensive teaching experience at Maastricht University and University of Mauritius. I obtained a "Full Authorization" to supervise PhD projects at University of Luxembourg in 2017. I was member of 3 PhD Evaluation Committees at Maastricht University and NUIG; starting in 2017, I became the co-director of the NUIG PhD Policy Lab. I was part of the Advisory Board of the UNICEF Report Card 12 “Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries in 2015. I am Member of the Selection Committee of the Aldi Hagenaars Memorial Award and Member and Treasurer of the Board of the International Microsimulation Association.

Key outputs, contributions, and achievements:

In the early stages of my academic career, I was awarded several grants to fund my research agenda. My PhD research was funded by a Marie Curie PhD Fellowship (2005-2008) and an AFR PHD Grant from the National Research Fund in Luxembourg (2008-2010), whereas my Post-Doc research was funded by a Marie Curie Post-Doc Research Fellowship (2010-2012).

In LISER, I have been leading several projects focused on developing a cutting-edge modelling capacity to understand the drivers of distributional outcomes such as inequality. This research is build upon a decade of developmental research conducted in international partnership with colleagues from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG, Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue) and University of Canberra and funded by various sources, including the National Research Fund in Luxembourg (FNR). The focus of this developmental research has been building a scalable modelling infrastructure. This infrastructure has been initially applied to understand the drivers of differences in household disposable income inequality between countries in an FNR funded project (“Tax-benefit systems, employment structures and cross-country differences in income inequality in Europe: a micro-simulation approach”). Over time, our modelling framework has generated a rich seam of research with applications across countries (EU, MENA, India, China, Indonesia), across time (EU, Australia, China,) and across policy areas (heath, environment). This resulted in a strong international team composed of collaborators with different seniority levels from 9 countries and 3 continents. In co-supervision with Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue, I have developed 5 PhD projects over the past 9 years building upon our infrastructure.

The emergence of the COVID-19 crisis put our expertise and the flexibility of our microsimulation infrastructure to the test. We were confronted with a sudden asymmetric shock and a lack of timely data to evaluate its likely impacts on household incomes. As we have been developing capacity over a decade, we were able to built swiftly on our existing infrastructure and deliver a tool for policy monitoring in times of crisis. We developed a microsimulation-nowcasting model to help understand and predict the income distribution implications of the COVID-19 emergency in “near-real” time with immediate use to policy makers. Our research was funded by the Health Research Board in Ireland and the FNR (“Modeling the macroeconomic and distributional effects of Covid-19 and restarting scenarios”). Our methodology relies on a dynamic microsimulation approach that combines a household income generation model of markets at an individual level, estimated on the latest survey data with novel nowcasting techniques to calibrate the simulations using external macro controls reflecting the macroeconomic climate during the crisis. Our COVID work resulted in over 13 published articles, policy briefs and working papers (under review). Our work is having global impact, with the World Health Organization interested in using the framework to assist in understanding the social determinants of health, particularly in the post COVID-19 environment. Our results were showcased to the WHO Global Webinar and to the UN Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

Together with Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue, I have developed a series of initiatives to contribute to the wider research community on inequality and microsimulation tools. One initiative is the Microsimulation and Inequality Global Webinar Series, which we co-organize as part of the joint initiative between LISER, NUIG and the International Microsimulation Association (IMA). This series of seminars aims to bring together the latest research using microsimulation techniques or addressing social inequalities. It provides a forum for networking, for discussing current research and for getting feedback from peers in the field in a friendly and supportive environment. It is targeted both at academics and public policy analysists. Another initiative is the National University of Ireland Galway Policy Lab, an online brown-bag research seminar for the PhD students in our network.

I am the country team leader for Luxembourg in the ESFRI 2021 Roadmap Project  “Growing Up In Digital Europe: EuroCohort” (GUIDE), which was selected among the research infrastructures to benefit from a €4.1 billion investment. GUIDE is Europe’s first comparative birth cohort survey, aiming to support the development of social policies for the enhancement of the wellbeing of children, young people and their families across Europe.

 

PhD Supervision at University of Ireland Galway, Maastricht University and Tilburg University:

     Graduated:

  • A. Muttaqien, “Differences in income/expenditure distributions inequality and polarization: theory and
    empirical analysis in developing countries in Asia”, Maastricht University (2014-2019 defended with success); co-supervision with Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue. 

     Ongoing:

  • J. Linden “Assessing the Impact of Environmental Policy on Consumption Behaviour, Greehouse Gas Emissions and Income Distribution” (2021-  ); co-supervision with Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue.
  • C. Gong, "Technologiocal change, labour market and inequality: evidence from China and Germany" (2019-present); co-supervision with Prof. Pierre Mohnen and Dr. Zina Nimeh (Maastricht University)
  • G. Mazeikaite, “Drivers of health inequality: evidence from European countries”, Maastricht University (2014-present); co-supervision with Prof. Cathal O’Donoghue.
  • N. Ramful, “Multidimensional Poverty in Developing Countries: a Gender perspective”, Tilburg University (2018-present); co-supervision with Prof. Chris de Neubourg.
  • J. Karpati “Demystifying Children's Deprivations: Manifestations, Origins and Cures”, Tilburg University (2018-present); co-supervision with Prof. Chris de Neubourg.

 

 

 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD

External positions

Board Member / Tresurer of the International Microsimulation Association

Network

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