Our New PhD Students

Publicerad: 2022-11-28

Two new PhD students joined the Department of Economic History this fall. Below, they introduce themselves.

Our new PhD students: Fátima de Arriba Moreno and Peter Holmström.

This fall, the Department of Economic History had the pleasure to welcome two new PhD students into our ranks – Fátima de Arriba Moreno and Peter Holmström. Now that they have had a chance to settle in and get comfortable at the Department, we asked them a few questions to get to know them better.

First off is Fátima:

What is your (academic) background?

I received my bachelor’s degree in Economics at Carlos III University in Madrid. During the bachelor, I particularly enjoyed the focus on economic growth and its dynamics in less developed countries. This led me to pursue a two-year master programme in Economic Growth and Development (MEDEG), organized jointly between Carlos III University and Lund University. The programme not only gave me the opportunity to study in Sweden during the second year, but also to obtain a more research-oriented specialization in development topics such as inequality and migration, the latter being the focus of my PhD dissertation.

Which research project are you linked to?

I will work in the project Migration policy, migrant selection and labor market outcomes in Sweden and Denmark, 1986-2017 with Jonas Helgertz and Anna Tegunimataka. Using individual register data, the project will evaluate how recent integration policies and self-selection in migration have affected the labour outcomes of immigrants. For that, we will focus on two countries that have followed opposite paths in their migration policy: Sweden and Denmark.

What are your expectations for your PhD studies?

I expect to acquire a deep understanding of my PhD topic and work on my quantitative and qualitative skills, becoming a more professional researcher. By the end of my studies, I hope to have created a dissertation that I can be proud of. At the same time, I hope that I will be able to learn about a wide variety of topics from many different perspectives, given the wide range of research the Department of Economic History engages in. The friendly and academic environment of the Department will surely be a valuable part of my studies.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I was so much into reading fantasy books during my teenage years that I wrote one when I was 14.

And next, Peter:

What is your (academic) background?

I was born and raised in Uppsala, the somewhat paler version of Lund. On the seventh day after finishing high school, I asked myself, what to do in life? I left Sweden to widen my horizon and moved to Oslo. As a half-Norwegian, I tried to find myself there, but realized after a couple of months that I had to search further away from the safety of my childhood. For some years, I pursued the typical Swedes-leaving-home-and-growing-up-journey, travelling to many places including Australia, New Zeeland, India, and Southeast Asia. During these years, I also spent a few winters in the Austrian Alps and hitchhiked through Europe several times – on one occasion, all the way to Morocco in northern Africa. When I still couldn’t find the full-potential-grown-up version of myself, I thought that perhaps the answer was to be found when returning home, at the doorstep of my childhood, as in the book The Alchemist (and about 50% of all other stories).

But this what not the case.

Back in Sweden, I exchanged these long and environmentally damaging trips and moved to Gothenburg (by train). There, a journey inside took place through my studies of economics, and I slowly started to understand the meaning of life. In economics, I loved that it is okay to use words such as unreasonable and fair/reasonable to describe events and inferences. As a student, I cultivated an interest in quantitative methods and econometrics. I developed a general interest in behavioural economics and a certain fascination with gender differences in preferences and psychological traits. I immersed myself in differences in risk-taking and willingness to compete, two explanatory variables explored in the literature to understand gender inequality in terms of a gender gap in occupation and salary. In my master's thesis, I investigated if gender differences in confidence among adolescents in Sweden influenced educational choice and labour market outcomes. The interest was to see if there was a significant change in the explanatory variable gender when another explanatory variable/mediator was included, in this case, confidence.

Which research project are you linked to?

At the department of Economic History in Lund, I will further investigate gender differences concerning how family and domestic responsibilities affect men and women differently in terms of career achievements. As a PhD-student, I will work with Olof Ejermo’s research project Women in Science and Technology (WINST). The first steps in my research will be to investigate gender differences regarding the effect of parental leave on scientific output.

What are your expectations for your PhD studies?

The inner and outer journeys have brought me to EKH at Lund University. I look forward to discussing exciting topics, listening to intelligent reasoning, and getting to know many bright colleagues. Beyond that, I view the PhD-years as an opportunity to evolve as a person and hope that I somehow will contribute to my field of research.

Thank you very much Fatima and Peter for these interesting accounts of your journey to Lund and your expectations for the future! We hope that we can help you along on your journeys and that you will have a great time at the Department! We also wish you the best of luck for your research projects and cannot wait to follow along, from first results to the final product!