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Sylke V. Schnepf is working in the Competence Centre on Microeconomic Evaluation of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. She is also an IZA Research Fellow.

Sylke obtained a Master in political sciences, psychology and law in 1999 and a PhD in Economics in 2005. Previously, she worked as a consultant for the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy and as an Associate Professor in Social Statistics at the University of Southampton, UK.

Sylke provides scientific expertise and methodological support for counterfactual impact evaluation. Her main methodological research interests focus on impact evaluation methods and survey design. She examines the subject areas of fairness and social inequality focusing mainly on education cross-nationally.


  • 2014–present
    Senior Researcher, European Commission
  • 2015–2018
    Associate Professor in Social Statistics, University of Southampton
  • 2007–2015
    Lecturer in Social Statistics, University of Southampton
  • 2003–2007
    Research fellow, Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, University of Southampton
  • 2001–2003
    Part-time consultant, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy


  • 2005 
    Department of Economics, University of Hamburg, Germany, PhD
  • 1999 
    College of Europe, University Hamburg, Post-graduate certificate in European Integration


  • 2019
    Like (Grand)Parent, Like Child? Multigenerational Mobility Across the EU, IZA Discussion Paper
  • 2019
    Studying abroad - benefits and unequal uptake, JRC Policy Brief
  • 2018
    Unequal uptake of higher education mobility in the UK: the importance of social segregation in universities and subject areas, JRC Working Paper
  • 2018
    Insights into survey errors of large scale educational achievement surveys, JRC Working Paper
  • 2018
    International mobility of students in Italy and the UK: does it pay off and for whom?, IZA Discussion Paper
  • 2017
    Do PISA data justify PISA-based education policy?, International Journal of Comparative Education and Development
  • 2017
    Do Tertiary Dropout Students Really Not Succeed in European Labour Markets?, Higher Education Quarterly
  • 2017
    What makes a fair society? Insights and evidence, coauthored JRC report
  • 2017
    'PISA and the Future of Global Educational Governance, Volante, L, (ed), The PISA Effect on Global Educational Governance, New York: Routledge
  • 2017
    Which schools and pupils respond to educational achievement surveys? A focus on the English PISA sample, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A
  • 2017
    Something from nothing: Estimating consumption rates using propensity scores, with application to emissions reduction policies, PLOS ONE
  • 2016
    Does living in a community with more educated mothers enhance children’s school attendance? Evidence from Sierra Leone, International Journal of Educational Development
  • 2014
    Unequal emissions – unequal policy impacts: how do different areas of CO2 emissions compare?, Fitzpatrick, T. (ed), International Handbook on Social Policy and the Environment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • 2013
    Who emits most? An analysis of UK households' CO2 emissions and their association with socio-economic factors, Ecological Economics
  • 2012
    Peer effects and measurement error: the impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA), Economics of Education Review
  • 2012
    Charitable giving for overseas development: UK trends over a quarter century, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A
  • 2012
    Non-response biases in surveys of school children: the case of the English PISA samples, Micklewright, J., Schnepf, S. V. and Skinner, C., Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A
  • 2010
    How reliable are income data collected with a single question?, Journal of hte Royal Statistical Society Series A
  • 2007
    Women in Central and Eastern Europe. Measuring Gender Inequality Differently, Saarbruecken: VDM
  • 2007
    Chapter: Inequalities in Learning in Industrialised Countries’, Poverty and Inequality re-examined, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Professional Memberships

  • IZA Research Fellow