Italo Lopez Garcia

Photo of Italo Lopez Garcia
Economist; IZA Research Fellow
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University College London; M.Sc. in economics, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona; B.Sc. in industrial engineering, Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile


Italo Lopez Garcia is an economist at the RAND Corporation. As a labor economist, his research focus is the study of the determinants of human capital investments over the life cycle.

Lopez Garcia has studied the role of public and private investments in children. Using randomized control trials, he conduced the impact evaluation of a large-scale group-based parenting intervention in Chile, and most recently, he co-lead a NICHD grant testing different models of delivery of an integrated nutrition education and child stimulation intervention in rural Kenya. In a recent paper, he has written about the importance of the timing of parental income across different stages of childhood for intergenerational mobility.

Lopez Garcia's research interests also focus on the economics of aging. He is the principal investigator of a recently awarded NIA grant studying the heterogeneous effects of retirement on cognition in the United States using a life-cycle structural modeling approach. Also using these models, he has led two studies in South Korea, one that examines marriage and fertility decisions among young females, and another that uncovers the incentives to labor supply and savings from the defined-benefit pension system among individuals near retirement. Lopez Garcia has recently studied how willingness to pay for long-term care insurance policies can explain low insurance take-ups in the United States. 

Lopez Garcia holds a Ph.D. in economics from University College London and a M.Sc. in economics from the University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. 

Recent Projects

  • Heterogeneous Effects of Retirement on Cognition: The Role of Job Demands
  • Testing Means to Scale Early Childhood Development Interventions in Rural Kenya
  • Willingness to Pay for Nursing Home Quality
  • Marriage and Fertility in Korea: A Life-cycle Model of Women's Education, Work, and Family Decision
  • A Dynamic Microsimulation Model of Korean Saving, Work, and Retirement Decisions