Alejandra Mizala

Alejandra Mizala
Alejandra Mizala
Professor Center of Applied Economics, Department of Industrial Engineering
Academic Director Center for Advanced Research in Education
University of Chile

Bio and Research Interest

Alejandra Mizala holds an economics degree from the University of Chile and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. She is Professor at the University of Chile with the Centro de Economía Aplicada (Center of Applied Economics), Department of Industrial Engineering. 

At present she is Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Education at the University of Chile. Between 2011 and 2015 she was Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering.

She is member of the Board of Directors of the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and fellow of the International Academy of Education. She has been member of the Latin America and the Caribbean Economic Association’s Executive Committee (2011-15), President of the Chilean Economic Association (2004-05), and between 2006 and 2009 member of the Science Council of the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT).

She served as a commissioner on the Minimum Wage Committee (2010-11), the Presidential Labor and Equity Council (2007-08), the Presidential Pension Reform Council (2006) and the Presidential Education Reform Council (2006).

She has written articles, chapters in books and two books on a wide range of education topics. Her research interests include: Impact of institutional arrangements on the outcomes of the Chilean school choice system, the effects of the Chilean school choice system on students’ achievement and the socioeconomic distribution of achievement, trade-offs in the generation of school quality information, schools’ and teachers’ performance evaluation, the introduction of incentives in the educational sector, and gender equality in education.

She has also worked as a consultant of international organizations (World Bank, IADB, and ECLAC), foreign governments and the Chilean public sector, mainly the Education Ministry.

Recent Positions and honors

Chair Department Industrial Engineering (2011-2015)

Award ENEL 2017 for her contribution to education

Award Amanda Labarca Prize 2015 for her contribution to the university and the country

Award ComunidadMujer 2015 in recognition for her research on gender gaps in mathematics and actions to encourage more women in STEM field majors

Award Economist of the year, given by the School of Economics, University of Chile, 2014.

Graduate Teacher of the Year 2009. Master in Management and Public Policy, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Chile.

Undergraduate Teacher of the Year 2008. School of Engineering, University of Chile.

100 Female Leaders Award, years 2005, 2006 and 2008. Given by El Mercurio and Mujeres Empresarias.

Mujer Generación Siglo XXI (Woman of the Twenty-first Century Generation) Award, University of Chile, 2004.



PhD in Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1985.


“The effect of making a school voucher means-tested on test scores: Evidence from Chile’s universal voucher system”.  Forthcoming ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, with F. Torche.

“Measuring the Relative Pay of School Teachers in Latin America 1997-2007” International Journal of Educational Development 47, 2016: 20-32, with H. Ñopo.

“Pre-service Elementary School Teachers’ Expectations about Student Performance: How their Beliefs are affected by their Mathematics Anxiety and Student’s Gender”. Teaching and Teacher Education 50, 2015: 70-78, with S. Martinez and F. Martinez

"Negotiating Education Reform: Teacher Evaluations and Incentives in Chile (1990-2010)" Governance vol 27(1): 87-109, 2014, with  B. Schneider.

“School markets:  The impact of information approximating schools’ effectiveness” Journal of Development Economics 103: 313-335, 2013, with M. Urquiola.

“Bringing the schools back in: the stratification of educational achievement in the Chilean voucher system”. International Journal of Educational Development 32, 2012: 132-144, with F. Torche.

 “Effective Schools do Exist: Low Income Children’s Academic Performance in Chile”. Applied Economic Letters 19(5), 2012: 445-451, with B. Lara and A. Repetto. 

“Public-Private Wage Gap in Latin America (1992-2007): A Matching Approach.”  Labour Economics 18, 2011: 115-131, with P. Romaguera and S. Gallegos

“The Effectiveness of Private Voucher Education: Evidence from Structural School Switches”. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 33(2), 2011: 119-137. with B. Lara and A. Repetto.

“Using School Scholarships to Estimate the Effect of Private Education on the Academic Achievement of Low Income Students in Chile”. Economic of Education Review 28(3), 2009: 370-381, with A. Repetto and  P. Anand.

“Socioeconomic status or noise?  Tradeoffs in the generation of school quality information”. Journal of Development Economics 84, 2007: 61-75, with P. Romaguera and M. Urquiola.


Contact Information

Centro de Economía Aplicada
Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad de Chile
Casilla 86-D Santiago Chile
Telephone: (56-2) 2978-4034/Fax: (56-2) 2978-4011

back to top