Maria Micaela Sviatschi's current research interests are labor and development economics, with a focus on human capital, gender-violence and crime.
One strand of her research explores how children start a criminal career in drug trafficking and gangs, as well as the consequences of organized crime on economic development and state capacity. In particular, she has studied the development of criminal skills in drug trafficking organizations in Peru and gangs in El Salvador. In addition, Professor Sviatschi studies how criminal organizations such as gangs and drug trafficking groups affect household’s behavior and state presence in the areas they control. She also is working with governments to design and evaluate public policies in narcotraffic and gang-controlled areas analyzing large administrative datasets.
A second strand of Professor Sviatschi's research studies the role of state capacity to deter and improve service-delivery to reduce gender-based violence. In particular, she is studying the effects of women police officers in Peru and India.
In addition to the above, Professor Sviatschi has ongoing collaborative research projects in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Jordan and the US.
Further information on the above research and related publications can be found on Professor Sviatschi's website.