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Main Direction of Research

Pathways to Abortion

My main research interest lies in the causes and consequences of induced abortions. I aim to promote evidence-based policy-making that aims to support women in their most sensitive periods, around pregnancy and childbearing. 


"The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

(Douglas Adams, my all-time favorite)

Misty Woodland
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Human capital effects of kindergarten and school enrolment timing. Early Childhood Research Quarterly (2023) (with Horn, D.; Lovász, A.; De Witte, K) LINK

Confidence in public institutions is critical in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. World Medical & Health Policy  (2023) (with Adamecz, A.) LINK

Where can childcare expansion increase maternal labor supply? A comparison of quasi-experimental estimates from seven countries. Empirical Economics (with Lovasz, A.) LINK

The Effects of Neonatal Intensive Care on Infant Mortality and Long-Term Health Impairments. American Journal of Health Economics (2023) (with Hajdu, T., Kertesi, G., Kezdi, G.) LINK

Locus of control, educational attainment, and college aspirations: the relative role of effort and expectations. Education Economics (2023) (with Kiss, H. J.) LINK

Competition, Subjective Feedback, and Gender Gaps in Performance. Journal Of Behavioral And Experimental Economics (2023) (with Lovász, A., Bat-Erdene, B., Cukrowska-Torzewska, E., Rigó, M) LINK

Understanding hesitancy with revealed preferences across COVID-19 vaccine types, Scientific Reports (2022) (with Kutasi, K; Koltai, J; Röst, G; Karsai, M; Biró, P; Lengyel, B) LINK

Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback in an Online Game. Journal of Behavioral And Experimental Economics 98 Paper: 101854 , 12 p. (2022) (with Lovász, A., Cukrowska-Torzewska, E., Rigó, M) LINK 

Mass media coverage and vaccination uptake: evidence from the demand for meningococcal vaccinations in Hungary. - European Journal of Health Economics 22 pp. 887-903. , 17 p. (2021) (with Biro A.) LINK

Childcare availability and maternal labor supply in a setting of high potential impact. Empirical Economics 56: 6 pp. 2127-2165. , 39 p. (2019) (with Lovasz, A.) LINK


Adamecz, A.; Prinz, D.; Szabó-Morvai, Á.; Vujić, S: The Labor Market and Fertility Impacts of Decreasing the Compulsory Schooling Age. LINK

Anna Bardits,  Anna Adamecz,  Marta Bisztray, Andrea Weber,  Agnes Szabo-Morvai: Precautionary Fertility: Conceptions, Births, and Abortions around Employment Shocks.  LINK

Work In Progress

Rita Peto, Dzsamila Vonnak, Agnes Szabo-Morvai: Home Office Opportunities, Motherhood and Fertility

Stump Arpad, Szabo-Morvai Agnes: The Effect of Air Pollution on Fertility Outcomes in Europe

Adamecz, A., Gyongyosi, Gy., Karolyi, R., Szabo-Morvai A: Financial distress and abortions

Adamecz, A., Jerim, J., Szabo-Morvai, A.: Mental Health and School Dropout

Adamecz, A., Kis-Katos, K., Szabo-Morvai, A.: The Long-term Effects of Mass Rape in Hungary at the End of the Second World War

Martha Bailey, Rita Peto, Agnes Szabo-Morvai: Access to abortion and contraception

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My Story

I reached a milestone in my career when I defended my doctoral thesis at Central European University and became a professional researcher in 2016 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Additionally, I became a senior scientific consultant at HETFA Research Institute. In 2019 I had the honour to join Health and Population research group. Teaching at Debrecen University proves a great supplement to my research work since 2018. Being part of the Virtual Research Collaboration has became an essential part of my scientific work since 2015. Since then, my research has progressed and evolved into new projects. I invite you to take a look at my publications and ongoing research projects to get a better idea of the fruits of my research work. Feel free to get in touch with me to say hi or for more information about my work.



Focused on High Achievement 24/7.

I’m a Researcher and a Mother of 3. I think I have told you everything.

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Unlocking the Mysteries of Human Talent

Baby Laundry Hanging on a Clothesline

(with: A. Lovasz) We estimate the effect of subsidized childcare availability on Hungarian mothers’ labor supply, using a discontinuity in kindergarten eligibility at age 3 of children. The effect is identified in a setting where policy intervention has a high potential impact, since maternal labor supply is very low under age 3 of children, but high for mothers with older children. We find that access to subsidized childcare increases maternal labor supply by 8.4 percentage points or 17 percent, an impact that is higher than what has been found in previous quasi-experimental studies from most other countries. However, the potential effectiveness of future childcare expansion under age 3 may be constrained by further institutional factors, such as very long parental leave, traditional cultural views, and the lack of flexible work forms, so a comprehensive policy approach is needed to achieve such a high effect.

Baby Sleeping

(with: T. Hajdu, G. Kertesi, G. Kezdi, M. Szabo) We estimate the effects of establishing a Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) system and a newborn emergency transportation system (NETS) on infant mortality. We utilize a setup where such a system was built up gradually during a 45-year long period in Hungary. We identify the effect from longitudinal variation of new NICU establishments and NETS coverage. We handle selection by an instrumental variables strategy using the distance of residence. Our conservative estimates imply that birth in a city with a NICU decreases 0-6-day mortality in 1990-2015 by 174 per 1000 live births for very low birthweight infants and by 30 per 1000 live births for low birth weight infants. The estimated effects are weaker for the earlier time period, potentially due to inferior medical technologies. We find positive effects for NETS, although they are weak, reflecting the substantial risks of transportation. Our results after 1990 are similar for overall infant mortality and 0-6 day mortality, suggesting that lives saved by NICUs in the first six days tend to be lives saved for much longer.

Sharing Student

(with: D. Horn, A. Lovasz, K. de Witte) Using instrumental variables approach this paper studies the effect of kindergarten starting age jointly with that of school starting age. We show that estimating the effect of kindergarten or school enrolment timing on later human capital outcomes separately, without taking their inter-relatedness into account, may confound the two effects and produce endogenous results. The instruments originate from exogenous birthdate-related enrolment cutoffs in kindergarten and school admissions. Using a rich Hungarian database, we show that both earlier kindergarten enrolment and later school enrolment have a significant and nonnegligible positive effect on standardised test scores in grade 6, 8, and 10, class marks given by the teacher, aspirations for higher education, and track choice. These effects tend to decrease over time and are heterogeneous across mother’s education, as earlier kindergarten enrolment age seems to matter only for the children of low educated mothers.

Father and daughter at computer

(with: E. Cukrowska-Torzewska, A. Lovasz, M. Rigo, A. Kiss) The effect of objective feedback on performance is often studied, while subjective feedback is largely neglected in the economics literature. We estimate the impact of positive subjective feedback - encouragement and praise - on effort and performance, and compare the effect by gender. We use a computer game, during which players are randomly chosen to be given either no feedback (control) or positive subjective feedback (treatment), and analyze the treatment effect on effort (clicks) and performance (score). Based on previous economic and psychology theories, we test the pathways through which subjective feedback can have an impact: on (1) effort, due to the updating of expected performance or direct (dis)utility from the feedback, or (2) marginal productivity. The results point to significant differences in the mean effects of subjective feedback by gender. For women, encouragement has a significant positive effect while praise has a significant negative effect on performance, while men are less responsive to subjective feedback in general. Gender differences are mostly explained by different confidence distributions, while there are no gender differences in treatment effects if confidence level is held fixed. The effects are mostly realized through changes in effort. These results suggest that better targeted supervisory communication in schools or workplaces can improve the performance of lower-confidence individuals and thereby decrease the gender gap in performance.

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Young Girl with Freckles

(with: H.J. Kiss) We investigate the formation and stability of locus of control by analyzing a rich Hungarian sample of adolescents and young adults of age 15 through 18. We analyze mean-level changes of locus of control in our sample and also the distribution of the changes broken down by gender. Similarly to the previous literature, we study what factors and life events affect the levels and changes of locus of control. To gain insight on the effect of locus of control, we explore its effect on the intention of pursuing tertiary education.

Children Playing


(with: E. Cukrowska-Torzewska, A. Lovasz, M. Rigo) The research provides new evidence on gender differences in response to competition, and test whether positive subjective feedback affects these gender differences. A differential response by gender means subjective feedback can counteract the negative effect of competition on females, leading to a lower gender gap in the choice to compete and in performance under competitive settings. We utilize simple experiments using online games, where players are randomly assigned to four groups where they receive information on their relative performance or not, and receive subjective feedback (encouragement and praise) or do not.


(as editor, with K. Fazekas) We investigate the factors leading to current status of females on the Hungarian labor market.


(with: A. Biro) Immunisation has key role in stopping the spread of diseases. Refusal of vaccinations is an important public health issue all around the world. Our aim is to extend our knowledge on the determinants of vaccination demand, focusing on the influence of media on vaccination uptake. Our main focus is not on the refusal of mandatory vaccinations, but on the uptake of elective vaccinations.

A Toddler and a Baby

(with: K. Bördős; G. Balás; B. Herczeg) In this analysis, we measure the effect of various economic factors and family policies on fertility in Hungary. In general, previous literature suggests that fertility decisions are affected primarily by employment, income and housing prospects. Our results clearly show that those elements of the family benefit system which target these areas have slight but significant fertility effect. We find that factors related to reemployment probability after childbearing, i.e. current female employment, nursery school availability and flexible work possibilities significantly increase birth probabilities. Also, the increase of disposable income due to family tax credit, as well as the better availability of housing due to home ownership support have a positive impact on fertility. The results of the macro model including 19 European countries support these findings with the key message that favourable economic and employment circumstances and deteriorating old-age dependency positively affect total fertility rate while cash benefits altogether have no significant effect on fertility.


(with: Anna Adamecz) In this analysis, we use machine learning algorithms to examine the relationship between confidence in state institutions (the government, the parliament, the press, the political parties, the courts and the police) and the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, conditional on a rich set of country-level characteristics including economic and political development measures, demographics, health, social distancing policy, mobility and culture. The ordinary least squares regressions indicate that a one standard deviation higher lack of confidence is significantly associated with No. of deaths per a million population.

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People with Masks


Me and my great co-authors have received a research grant of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary.
Our research topics for the period 2019-2022:

Dealer Counting Money
Image by Ivan Vranić
Image by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlba




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Introduction to Economics



International Economics

Machine Learning for Business and Economics


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I am truly indebted to CERGE-EI Foundation Teaching Fellows Program for the tremendous support it provided me to become a better lecturer and to keep on teaching. 

Teacher Writing a Formula on a Blackboar


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