Duke Economics Welcomes Postdoctoral Associate Fernando Saltiel

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Fernando Saltiel

Duke Economics is excited to welcome Fernando Saltiel as Postdoctoral Associate for the 2019-2020 school year. Saltiel grew up in Argentina, where he lived until he was 14. He then moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where he spent the next 15 years of his life. Saltiel credits his childhood in Argentina as giving him an interest in economics from a young age. “Growing up in Argentina, I unfortunately lived through various economic crises, which piqued my interest in understanding the causes behind these crises,” Saltiel says. He then completed three degrees at the University of Maryland. Saltiel majored in Economics in undergrad but became interested in pursuing a PhD during two years working as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution. This work allowed him to understand the critical role that economists have in shaping public policies.

Saltiel describes his research as focusing on the intersection of labor economics, development economics and applied microeconomics. “My current research agenda centers on understanding how cognitive and non-cognitive skills affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes in developed and developing countries, exploring the importance of firms in determining the wage structure, and understanding the impact of government policies and unexpected shocks on labor market outcomes.” His research informs policymakers who are interested in developing effective policies that help people who are struggling economically.

This year at Duke will be busy for Saltiel but also rewarding. He’s hoping to finish papers related to gender and racial disparities in the labor market, and will be teaching a course on introductory labor economics topics. He’s also looking forward to working with faculty members outside of Econ. Saltiel is enjoying the warm weather in Durham while he can—after this academic year, he will be an Assistant Professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

It’s a lot to pack into a year, but Saltiel is ready to jump in and take advantage of all the opportunities that come from being at Duke. “When I was offered the chance to spend a year in the Econ department, it was an easy decision, as this opportunity offers me an excellent chance to receive important feedback on my research and interact with a great group of faculty members, outside seminar speakers, as well as graduate and undergraduate students.”