In early 2017, a small exhibition in Luxembourg City highlighted a selection of ‘WiSE – Women in Science and Engineering’. Here we introduce FNR PEARL Chair Conchita D’Ambrosio, economics Professor at the University of Luxembourg, who is also featured in the exhibition.
Conchita D’Ambrosio was appointed Professor of Economics at the University of Luxembourg in 2013 as part of the PEARL programme. Before coming to Luxembourg, D’Ambrosio was Associate Professor of Economics at the Università di Milano-Bicocca.
Her research mainly focuses on income and wealth distributions, deprivation, polarisation and social exclusion. She was awarded an FNR PEARL Chair for a project looking at social inequalities from different perspectives and how these inequalities affect health and social welfare. Together with joint PEARL Chair Prof Louis Chauvel, she founded the PEARL Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality (IRSEI) at the University of Luxembourg.
Research example: Loss of income can feel like a broken heart
One of Conchita D’Ambrosio’s research projects looked at the long-term happiness levels of individuals who become poor due to a severe drop in income.
“It was to be expected that poor people are not as satisfied with their lives as people in a more comfortable position”, says D’Ambrosio and adds “however, we wanted to find out if the happiness returns once the individual has had time to adapt to the situation.”
D’Ambrosio worked together with researchers in Italy and France, and over 45.000 regular interviews were conducted over 9 years with individuals living in Germany.
The study found that the emotions individuals experience this severe loss of income, which naturally comes with severe financial restrictions, in the same way that we experience the ending of a relationship.
Overall, the study concluded that becoming poor leads to immediate unhappiness, due to the loss of income and status – and that this unhappiness does not wither or pass after years of time to adapt.
Find out more about Conchita d’Ambrosio’s research
“Inequality and…?” Lectures
In addition to her research work, Conchita d’Ambrosio is also heavily involved in organising the current lecture series “Inequality and …?“, which is supported by the FNR’s RESCOM programme. The aim of the lecture series is to provide a forum where the research community, the private and public sectors and the general public in Luxembourg can gather around the general theme of income studies.
WiSE women exhibition
Find out more about the WiSE women exhibition (20 January to 11 February 2017, Luxembourg City)