The Research Group on Human Capital is composed of six professors from the Department of Economics of UQAM’s School of Management (ESG UQAM): Marie Connolly, the director of the Group, Catherine Haeck, the Group’s scientific director, Nicholas Lawson, Andrei Munteanu, Pierre Lefebvre and Philip Merrigan. Also joining them are Laëtita Renée, from Université de Montréal, and Xavier St-Denis, from INRS. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, of McGill University, is also a collaborator.

Marie Connolly, director

Marie Connolly (Ph.D. 2007, Princeton University) has been a professor at the Department of Economics of UQAM’s School of Management (ESG UQAM) since 2009. She teaches statistics and econometrics to undergraduates and labor economics to graduates students. Her research is primarily empirical and touches upon various topics in labor economics, such as social mobility, the formation of human capital, the gender wage gap, subjective well-being, women’s labor force participation and the evaluation of public policy. Her work as been published in the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the Canadian Journal of Economics, among others.


Catherine Haeck

Catherine Haeck (Ph.D. 2012, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) is a professor in the Department of Economics at the Université du Québec à Montréal’s School of Management since 2012. She is co-director of the Observatory for Children’s Education and Health (OPES, CHU Ste-Justine) and principal investigator for the Compétences axis at CIRANO. She is also a member of the Groupe de recherche sur l’inadaptation psychosociale chez l’enfant (GRIP), a member of the Groupe de recherche sur le capital humain, and a researcher affiliated with the Education Policy Research Initiative. She is also actively involved in the Comité sur les résultats scientifiques en milieu scolaire (CRSMS) of the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec and the Comité sur la prévention de l’obésité of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.

She specializes in the economics of education and labour economics. Her research focuses mainly on the development of human capital of children and youth, and on the intergenerational transmission of income and education. She works primarily with confidential microdata from Statistics Canada and the Institut de la Statistique du Québec. Her research has been published in leading journals, including the prestigious Journal of Labor Economics. As of April 2023, she was ranked in the top 5% of women in economics worldwide according to IDEAS (Last 10 Years Publication).


Nicholas Lawson

Nicholas Lawson (Ph.D. 2013, Princeton University) is a professor at the Department of Economics of Université du Québec à Montréal since 2016. He teaches labour economics to undergraduate and graduate students, and econometrics to graduate students. His research focuses primarily on the evaluation of public policies in the labour market, including university tuition fees, unemployment insurance, taxation, as well as policies relevant to the health and development of children.  His research combines theoretical modelling of welfare and optimal policy with empirical statistics and analysis. His work has been published in American Economic Journal: Economic PolicyLabour EconomicsEconomics & Human Biology, and the Journal of Population Economics, among others.

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Pierre Lefebvre

Pierre Lefebvre (Ph.D. 1976, Université de Montréal) is a retired professor from the Department of Economics of UQAM’s School of Management, where he served on the faculty for 38 years. He tirelessly conducts research on social issues linked to the development of children and youth and the well-being of families. He works with survey microdata to empirically evaluate the effects of public policies, most notably in recent years looking at the impacts of the family policy in Quebec, which includes public subsidies to child care and a bonified parental leave. Devoted to his role as a mentor, he supervised an impressive number of graduate students. His work has been published in the Journal of Human Resources, the Economics of Education Review, the Journal of Labor Economics and Canadian Public Policy, to name but a few.


Philip Merrigan

Philip Merrigan (Ph.D. 1993, Brown University) is a professor at the Department of Economics of UQAM’s School of Management (ESG UQAM) and has been conducting research on the evaluation of public policies for over 20 years. His expertise in econometrics is reflected in the quality of his publications since the beginning of his career (among others in the Journal of Human Resources, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Labor Economics and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization), as well as in the many econometrics courses he taught at UQAM, in foreign universities and at the QICSS over the past 15 years. He received the prize in research excellence from the UQ network in 2001. He was also chair of the Department of Economics at UQAM from 2002 to 2005 and has been the director of the QICSS UQAM branch since 2011. On top of his academic expertise, Merrigan also acquired a vast experience through his implication since 1998 as consultant in statistics and econometrics with the firm Analysis Group. He often appears in the media, among others for his unique expertise in the economics of sports.


Andrei Munteanu

Andrei Munteanu (Ph.D. 2021, McGill University) is an Assistant Professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal’s School of Management’s (ESG UQAM) Department of Economics since 2022. His research is primarily in applied microeconomics with a particular interest in the economics of education and labour economics. More specifically, he studies the effects of public policy on educational inequality, social mobility, poverty persistence and the intergenerational transmission of human capital.


Laëtitia Renée

Laëtitia Renée (Ph.D. 2022, McGill University) has been a professor in the Department of Economics at the Université de Montréal since 2022. She teaches econometrics at the undergraduate level. Her research focuses on socio-economic inequalities in education and gender inequalities in the labor market. Her recent work has focused on the effects of scholarships on inequalities in access to university, and the effects of family policies on income gaps between men and women.

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Xavier St-Denis

Xavier St-Denis is Assistant Professor in social inequalities at the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS), Center Urbanization Culture Société. He is also director of the Social Statistics Study Group (GESS). He previously received his doctorate from McGill University, then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto and as an economist at Statistics Canada. He is particularly interested in socio-economic inequalities in education and employment, the sociology of work and organizations, and social demography. His work focuses on two main axes: first, the transformations of employment and professional trajectories in Canada, the United States and Europe over the last 40 years; second, the factors underlying differences in social mobility between groups of the Canadian population.

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Amélie Quesnel-Vallée

Amélie Quesnel-Vallée (Ph.D. 2004, Duke University) is an Associate Professor at McGill University, where she holds an Arts and Medicine cross-faculty appointment in the Departments of Sociology and of Epidemiology. She is also the founding Director of the International Research Infrastructure on Social inequalities in health (IRIS) and a founding member of the Centre on Population Dynamics at McGill. Funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec en santé, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, her research examines the contribution of social policies to social inequalities in health over the life course and received numerous awards, including the Population Association of America Dorothy Thomas award and the 2005 American Sociological Association Dissertation Award. Her work appeared in a book she co-edited, Le privé dans la santé : Les discours et les faits (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2008), as well as in journals such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the International Journal of Epidemiology and Social Science & Medicine.

She has consulted for Statistics Canada and Health Canada, and she is a member of Statistic Canada’s National Statistics Council. She is President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on the Sociology of Health.