Marcos A. Rangel

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics



I am an applied microeconomist specializing in development economics and population economics, with particular focus on human capital and related public policy topics


A nice summary of what I do: 

"Economists study all human behavior, from a person's decision to lease a new sports car, to the speed the new driver chooses as she rounds a hairpin corner, to her decision not to wear a seat belt. These are all choices, and they are all fair game for economists. And they are not all directly related to money. Choice - not money - is the unifying feature of all the things economists study."

from D. Acemoglu, D. Laibson and J. List (2014), Microeconomics, Pearson.


A nice motivation for research in my areas:

"Economists find it difficult to comprehend the preferences and scarcity constraints that determine the choices poor people make. We all know most of the world's people are poor, that they earn a pittance for their labor, that half and more of their meager income is spent on food, that they reside predominantly in low-income countries, and that most of them earn their livelihood in agriculture. What many economists fail to understand is that poor people are no less concerned about improving their lot and that of their children than rich people are. (...) The decisive factors of production in improving the welfare of poor people are not space, energy, and cropland, the decisive factors are (...) child care, home and work experience, the acquisition of information and skills, and other investments in health and schooling (that) can improve population quality."

from T. W. Schultz (1980), Investing in People - The economics of population quality, The University of California Press.



Rubenstein Hall, Office 194
302 Towerview Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0239
marcos.rangel at