Emma Aguila

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Adjunct Senior Economist; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in economics, University College London; M.Sc. in economics, University College London; B.A. in economics, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Emma Aguila is an adjunct senior economist at the RAND Corporation, former director of the RAND Center for Latin American Social Policy (CLASP), and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. She is leading a randomized controlled trial analyzing the impact of a noncontributory pension program in the State of Yucatan, Mexico. She previously worked as a researcher in the chief economist team at the UK Department of Work and Pensions, as a consultant on projects for the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, on the staff of the minister at the Mexican Ministry of Finance, and on the Mexican National Population Council. In 2008, Aguila received RAND's Gold Medal Award for her work to advance RAND's mission and business strategy by developing new international projects. Her research on social security systems, pension provision, and retirement behavior has received several prizes. Aguila received her Ph.D. in economics from University College London.

Recent Projects

  • Experimental design of a noncontributory Social Security program
  • Pension reforms and well-being during retirement
  • Aging, income security, wealth, and health
  • Labor market dynamics and immigration behavior

Selected Publications

Aguila, Emma, Arie Kapteyn, and Francisco Perez-Arce, "Consumption Smoothing and Frequency of Benefit Payments of Cash Transfer Programs," American Economic Review (forthcoming)

Aguila, Emma, Arie Kapteyn, and Caroline Tassot, "Designing Cash Transfer Programs for an Older Population: The Mexican Case," Journal of the Economics of Ageing (forthcoming)

Aguila, Emma and Alma Vega, "Social Security Contributions and Return Migration among Older Male Mexican Immigrants," The Gerontologist (forthcoming)

Aguila, Emma, Marco Angrisani, and Luisa R. Blanco, "Ownership of a Bank Account and Health of Older Hispanics," Economics Letters, 144(July):41-44, 2016

Aguila, Emma, Arie Kapteyn, and James P. Smith, "The effects of income supplementation on health of the poor elderly: The case of Mexico," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(1):70-75, 2015

Aguila, Emma, "Male labor force participation and social security in Mexico," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 13(2):145-171, 2014

Aguila, Emma, Orazio Attanasio, and Costas Meghir, "Changes in Consumption at Retirement: Evidence from Panel Data," Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(3):1094-1099, 2011

Aguila, Emma, "Personal Retirement Accounts and Saving," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(4):1-21, 2011

Honors & Awards

  • 2008 Gold Medal Award, RAND Corporation
  • First Prize, Inter-American Award for Research on Social Security, 2007
  • First Prize Award on Pensions, CONSAR, Mexico, 2005



Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Diario del Bajío, Mexico; Diario de Yucatán, Mexico; Financial Times, UK; La Jornada, Mexico; Milenio, Mexico; Periódico a.m., Mexico