Catherine Porter is the Director of Young Lives and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Lancaster University, UK. Her research interests are in applied microeconomics, often using panel or longitudinal datasets. Her focus is on the impact of unexpected events (shocks) on various outcomes such as nutrition, education and parental investments, how inequality develops through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood, and the effectiveness of policy in remediating such inequalities. Her reserach includes work the impact of the Productive Safety Net Programme in Ethiopia on child outcomes (health, nutrition, cognition), as well as the effects of shocks on child outcomes in the long and short term.
She worked with Young Lives in 2008-2010 as a research officer, co-ordinating the third round of the quantitative surveys, and has been involved since then as a research associate, working mainly on Ethiopia and Peru. She became the Director of Young Lives in October 2021.