Maria Prados

I am an Economist at the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR). I am a member of the USC Center for the Changing Family and I teach Health Economics at the USC Economics Department.

My research interests have to do with inequality, determinants of health, gender, labor economics, and household dynamics.

I received my PhD in Economics from Columbia University. I was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and a RCMAR Scholar for the Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center at USC.

Google Scholar profile
SSRN author page


Publications (peer-reviewed)

Association of Place With Adolescent Obesity (with A. Datar, N. Nicosia, A. Mahler, and M. Ghosh-Dastidar), JAMA Pediatr. 2023.

Impact of Built, Social, and Economic Environments on Adolescent Obesity and Related Health Behaviors (with Ashlesha Datar and Nancy Nicosia), Obesity (Silver Spring). 2023; 31( 4): 1085 1094. Press: The Obesity Society

Do Sheriff-Coroners Underreport Officer-Involved Homicides? (Prados, Baker, Beck, Burghart, Johnson, Klinger, Thomas, Finch), Academic Forensic Pathology, 2022.

Projecting the Long-Term Societal Value of a Disease-Modifying Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States (with Ying Liu, Hankyung Jun, Jenny Lam, and Soeren Mattke), Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2022.

Gender Differences in Couples’ Division of Childcare, Work and Mental Health During COVID-19 (with Gema Zamarro), Review of Economics of the Household2021
Evidence Base blogpost] Press and media: Los Angeles TimesWashington PostNew York TimesKTLANBC, NBCLA interview, CBS News, Daily NewsUSA TodayThe Brookings Institution.

The Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate: A Literature Review (with Francisco Pérez-Arce), Journal of Economic Surveys2020.

Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (with Jorge L. Garcia, James J. Heckman and Duncan Leaf), Journal of Political Economy, 128(7), 2020
[NBER WP] [VoxEU column] Press: The New York TimesThe Washington Post 1 and 2NPRThe AtlanticDallas NewsThe Seattle TimesChristian Science MonitorThe Florida Times-Union

Gender and Dynamic Agency: Theory and Evidence on the Compensation of Top Executives (with Stefania Albanesi and Claudia Olivetti)
Research in Labor Economics, 42:1-60, 2015
[VoxEU column] – Press: Bloomberg BusinessWashington PostSlate.

Working Papers

Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Economic and Retirement Security (with Jeremy Burke) MRDRC WP 2022-447

The Slowing of Women’s Labor Force Participation: The Role of Rising Income Inequality (with Stefania Albanesi) NBER WP 29675 CEPR WP DP16920
Press: ReutersBloomberg and The National Law Journal

Social Security Around the World: The Experiences of China, Mexico and India (with Francisco Pérez-Arce, Erik Meijer and Jinkook Lee) MRDRC WP 2021-439 

Expansion of the Totalization Program Using Simplified Agreements to Eliminate Dual Taxation (with Dongwook Kim) MRDRC WP 2021-431

A Framework for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Totalization Agreements (with Erik Meijer and Francisco Perez-Arce) MRDRC WP 2020-410

Macroeconomic Effects of Social Security Totalization Agreements (with Erik Meijer and Francisco Pérez-Arce) MRDRC WP 2019-407
Social Security Expansions in Developing Countries: The cases of China and Mexico (with Francisco Pérez-Arce and Erik Meijer) MRRC WP 2018-395

Subjective Expectations and Optimal Retirement Savings (with Arie Kapteyn), MRDRC WP 2019-405
Press: ForbesForbes interviewPBS Next AvenueASPPA, InfoTrak (podcast) [Squared Away Blog]

Health and Earnings Inequality over the Life Cycle: The Redistributive Potential of Health Policies

Work in Progress

“COVID-19 Pandemic and the Developmental Screening Outcomes of Infants and Toddlers in a Home Visitation Program.” (with Dorian Traube)

“School Reopenings, Childcare and Labor Outcomes during COVD-19” (with Gema Zamarro)

“Medium-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender gaps in parental mental health”

“Education as a Health Disparities Intervention” (with Julie Zissimopoulos and Dana Goldman)

“Gender Gap in Earnings Dynamics”


Dauterive Hall (VPD) St 505
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089