Marian Vidal-Fernandez

Welcome to my website! I am an Associate Professor at The University of Sydney, an IZA Research Fellow, an ARC Life Course Centre Researcher in Human Capital and a Charles Perkins Centre Affiliate.

I am an applied human capital economist interested in learning what prevents disadvantaged populations to achieve their full potential.

For instance, I have studied how setting minimum academic requirements to enroll into athletic activities or obtaining a driving license can improve high school graduation and crime rates, the increasing relevance of grandmothers as childcare givers, the birth order effect, how personality traits affect productivity, and the dynamic and heterogeneous impacts of experiencing the death of a sibling.

I also love teaching, learning innovations, public engagement, and talking in general, so don't hesitate e-mailing me at m.vidal-fdez at or follow me on Twitter @MVidalfdez. If you want to know more, check my CV and papers below or these Q&A.

Selected Papers

The Early Origins of Birth Order Differences in Children's Outcomes and Parental Behaviour. (w. Jee K. Lehmann and Ana Nuevo-Chiquero). Early Career Researcher Award prize, AHES. Journal of Human Resources, Summer 2018 53(3). Most read paper of the journal since 2018.

Do Personality Traits affect Productivity? Evidence from the Laboratory, 2016. (w. Cubel M., Sanchez-Pages S. and Nuevo-Chiquero A.). The Economic Journal.

Wheeling into School and Out of Crime: Evidence from Conditioning Driving Licenses to Minimum Academic Requirements. (w. Rashmi Barua). Interview at the 2017 ASSA Meetings.

Are Labor Supply Decisions Consistent with Neoclassical Preferences? Evidence from Indian Boat Owners. (w. X. Giné and M. Martinez-Bravo). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, July 2017.

In the Media

Birth Order Effect: The Conversation, American Scientist, ABC News, Weekend Sunrise and ABC Radio.

Daily Mail, The Conversation (re-published by SBS and with more than 100k readers) on Big Five and Productivity.

No Pass, No Drive: Forbes Blog and Senate's Committee of Education of Nevada.

Grandparents': Featured at the Huffington Post.

On the effect of maternal employment on children in a Spanish Newspaper (La Vanguardia).



Complete CV in PDF

Google Scholar Profile

Room 503, A02 SSB, University of Sydney, 2006
E-mail: m.vidal-fdez at



IZA Newsroom
Cheap Talk
Nada es Gratis (Spanish)
Project Syndicate
VOX (Europe)



Teaching Statistics

Great simulations of CLT and Confidence Intervals:

Maths in movies:
Some videos seen in class:
Rain Man Qantas never crashed
My cousin Vinny
Polio and ice-cream
Announcement of the Sydney Olympics

About Guiness and the T-distribution

The Central Limit Theorem






Judo around the world:

Gym Valles (Cerdanyola)
Tohoku (Boston)
UNSW (Sydney)
Warwick and Coventry

My thoughest opponent

NGO's runned by great people:
ANKAY (Education for disadvantaged teens in Peru)
BDMHDOW (Shelter for old women and free clinic in Guwahati, India)