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Maria Padilla-Romo is an assistant professor of economics in the Haslam College of Business at The University of Tennessee. Her research interests include labor economics, development economics, and economics of education. At the core of her research is an interest in improving policy design to reduce inequality and improve the well-being of vulnerable populations. Recent and current work focuses on evaluating the intended and unintended consequences policy changes have on education, labor, crime, and health outcomes.

Before arriving at UT in 2017, Padilla-Romo earned a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University, and an M.A. in economics and a B.A. in mathematics from the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.