Pilar Cuevas Ruiz

About me

I am a Ramón Areces scholar and a PhD candidate in Social Sciences at the University College London Social Research Institute (Institute of Education, IOE). I hold a MSc in Economics and Development and a BA in Economics at the University of Seville. My research interests are on the areas of gender, child development and human capital using advanced quantitative methods. I am currently participating as researcher on Parental Time Investments and Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality and on Parent Capital. Parental Background and Children´s Inequalities projects. I am also a member of the Local Committee of the 2022 annual meeting of the Society of the Economics of the Household (SEHO).Regarding to teaching experience, I am a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) in Economics of Public Policy at IOE (UCL).


On-Going Papers

The impact of Education on health at birth. A quasi-experimental evidence from Spain with Prof. Almudena Sevilla (UCL) and Prof. Cristina Borra (US).

This paper uses a compulsory schooling reform that creates an exogenous shock not only to years of schooling but also to educational track to identify the effect of maternal education on health at birth. The reform only manipulates the years of schooling of those female students at risk of dropping out though it leads to less specialized curricula by extending the general training and reducing the fraction of females having vocational and upper secondary or higher qualification under the age of 25. Absent larger spill over effects on educational attainment, the policy change had no effects on general health at birth on neither fertility patterns, female labor nor mating behaviour. Our heterogeneity analysis suggests negative impacts on gestational age for the group of mothers who had not dropped out of school and followed less specialized curricula. We argue that the null effects on health at birth may be driven by the compensation of the positive effects of increased maternal years of schooling and the adverse effects of the less specialized curricula

Gender Gap Under Pressure: Evidence from Spain’s College Entrance Examination with Prof. Almudena Sevilla (UCL) and Prof. Cristina Borra (US).

We examine gender differences in the response to competitive pressure to using data from the last two years of high school and the Spanish College Entrance Examination in the region of Andalusia (Spain) in 2010-2019. Compared to male students, females underperform on the more competitive and intensive College Entrance Examination, relative to their performance during the last two years of high school. Moreover, female performance suffers more than male´s in response to negative performance shocks in an earlier exam on the same day during the College Entrance Examination. These effects are more pronounced for subgroups of students who compete for admission at the most competitive college programs and for field-specific tests that matter more for college admission. Overall, these findings appear to be best explained by female lower tolerance for competitive pressure.

Treating Dyslexia: The Case of the Change Dyslexia Project. A gender perspective with Prof. Almudena Sevilla (UCL), Prof. Ismael Sanz (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I) and Dr. Luz Rello (Instituto de Empresa).

Around 10% of the people have dyslexia, a reading disability that negatively affects a person’s ability to read and comprehend texts. Dyslexia is generally under-diagnosed and the lower incidence reported in females may be due to differences in the expression of the disorder among boys and girls. This paper studies a computer intervention that targeted primary schools in the region of Madrid (Spain) focused on correcting students ‘reading and writing difficulties derived from dyslexia. This was a low-cost intervention driven by Change Dyslexia project that includes a gender unbiased free screening test of dyslexia in Spanish and video game for the stimulation and improvement of literacy skills or treatment support. By looking at the performance of the whole population of students in Grade 2 and 5 in the region of Madrid across several subjects in the regional standardized testing, we evaluate the pilot and the subsequent calls that extended the coverage.

Can parental gender implicit bias explain gender differences in children´s non-cognitive outcomes? With Prof. (Almudena Sevilla) and Dr. Marina Morales (UCL)

Whether exposure to gender stereotypes in the real world affects the emergence children behavioural problems and/or creates differences by gender remains an empirical question. This paper will test the existence of a relationship between children´s strength and difficulties (SDQ variables) and parental implicit gender bias measured by the Implicit Association Test (IAT) using the survey data on time use collected by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (London) during the COVID-19 Pandemic (23th February-2sd March 2021).



Cuevas-Ruiz, P., Borra, C., & Sevilla, A. (2021). Educación y salud al nacer. Papeles de Economía Española, (166), 185-202.

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Chapter of Books

Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P., & Sanz, I. (2021). Última Evidencia sobre la brecha de género en el rendimiento en matemáticas derivada de la intersección entre la psicología social y la economía. Indicadores del Sistema Educativo Español, 157-165. Editorial Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces S.A.

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Borra, C., & Cuevas-Ruiz, P. (2018). Insiders y Outsiders: La calidad del empleo tras un periodo de desempleo. Pobreza en la Ocupación e Instrumentos de Reacción, 67-81. Ediciones Laborum S.L. 2018. 553.ISBN 978-84-17789-00-8.

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Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P., Sanz, I. & Rello, L. (2021). Educational reinforcement measures in literacy: the case of the Dyslexia Aid program in the Comunidad de Madrid. Cuadernos económicos de ICE, (102), 221-245.

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Transfer of Knowledge

Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P. (March 2022). How can we reduce gender gaps in mathematics?

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Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P., Sanz, I. & Sainz, J. (February 2022). Día Internacional de la Mujer y la Niña en la Ciencia. Más estudiantes hombres universitarios en Matemáticas que mujeres: las diferencias que no había en los 80 y los 90.

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Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P., Sanz, I. & Sainz, J. (November 2021). 10 de noviembre, Día Mundial de la Ciencia para la Paz y el Desarrollo de la UNESCO. La brecha de género en las vocaciones STEM, sus causas y políticas para abordarlo (I).

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Sevilla, A., Cuevas-Ruiz, P., Sanz, I. & Sainz, J. (November 2021). 10 de noviembre, Día Mundial de la Ciencia para la Paz y el Desarrollo de la UNESCO. La brecha de género en las vocaciones STEM, sus causas y políticas para abordarlo (II).

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Awards and Grants


MSc Outstanding Graduation Award at University of Seville Highest final average grade of 2017/2018 MSc Development Economy.

Highest final average grade of 2017/2018 MSc Development Economy.


Ramón Areces Foundation Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies. XXXIV Call for Extension Studies Abroad in Social Sciences (2020/2021-2021/2022)

National merit-based scholarship covering UCL PhD first and second year fees, accommodation and travels.