Associate Professor Maria Racionero


Research School of Economics

Associate Professor
Phone number
+61 2 612 54466
Room 2010, HW Arndt Bld (25A)
Research areas

Public economic theory; Optimal taxation; Political economy; Economics of education; Labour economics.


Maria Racionero is an Associate Professor of Economics.  Her main field of research is public economic theory, with particular interest in optimal taxation, optimal pension and optimal education policies, as well as higher education finance. Maria’s work has been funded by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Program, where she led a team that examined optimal taxation when the allocation of time matters.  The project developed a framework for the analysis of optimal policy that incorporates time allocation features consistent with recent evidence on time use and, in particular, childcare time use in Australia. Maria’s work has been published in top-ranked international journals including European Economic ReviewCanadian Journal of EconomicsEuropean Journal of Political EconomyJournal of Public Economic TheoryOxford Economic Papers and Social Choice and Welfare.

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Research publications

Selected Publications

  • "Labor market effects of reducing the gender gap in parental leave entitlements" (with Elena Del Rey and Jose Silva), forthcoming Labour Economics.
  • "On the effect of parental leave duration on unemployment and wages" (with Elena Del Rey and Jose Silva), Economics Letters 158, September 2017, pp. 14-17.
  • "Harsh occupations, life expenctancy and social security" (with Pierre Pestieau), Economic Modelling 58, November 2016, pp. 194-202.
  • "Harsh occupations, health status and social security" (with Pierre Pestieau), Journal of Economics 117(3), April 2016, pp. 239-257.
  • "Tagging with leisure needs" (with Pierre Pestieau), Social Choice and Welfare 45(4), December 2015, pp. 687-706.
  • "Choosing the Type of Income-Contingent Loan: Risk-Sharing versus Risk-Pooling" (with Elena Del Rey), chapter 8 in Gerard, M. and Ubelmesser, S. (eds), The Mobility of Students and the Highly Skilled: Implications for Education Financing and Economic Policy. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, December 2014.
  • "Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education and Beyond", chapter 19 in Chapman, B., Higgins, T. and Stiglitz, J. (eds), Income Contingent Loans: Theory, Practice and Prospects, Palgrave Macmillan, May 2014.
  • "Voting on income-contingent loans for higher education" (with Elena Del Rey), The Economic Record 88, Special Issue, June 2012, pp. 38-50.
  • "Unequal wages for equal utilities" (with Helmuth Cremer and Pierre Pestieau), International Tax and Public Finance, 18(4), August 2011, pp. 383-398.
  • "Voting on pensions: sex and marriage" (with Marie-Louise Leroux and Pierre Pestieau), European Journal of Political Economy 27(2), June 2011, pp. 281-296.
  • "Financing schemes for higher education" (with Elena Del Rey), European Journal of Political Economy 26(1), March 2010, pp. 104-113.
  • "Optimal redistribution with unobservable disability: welfarist versus non-welfarist social objectives" (with Pierre Pestieau), European Economic Review 53(6), August 2009, pp.636-644.
  • "Fixed wages and bonuses in agency contracts: the case of a continuous state space" (with John Quiggin), Journal of Public Economic Theory 8(5), December 2006, pp. 761-777.
  • "Optimal Redistribution when Different Workers are Indistinguishable" (with Maurice Marchand and Pierre Pestieau), Canadian Journal of Economics 36 (4), November 2003, pp. 911-922 .
  • "Optimal Redistribution with Heterogeneous Preferences for Leisure" (with Robin Boadway, Maurice Marchand and Pierre Pestieau), Journal of Public Economic Theory 4(4), October 2002, pp. 475-498.
  • "Optimal Educational Choice and Redistribution when Parental Education Matters" (with Elena Del Rey), Oxford Economic Papers 54(3), July 2002, pp. 435-448.
  • "Optimal Tax Mix with Merit Goods", Oxford Economic Papers 53(4), October 2001, pp. 628-641.
  • "Optimal Redistribution with Unobservable Preferences for an Observable Merit Good", International Tax and Public Finance Vol. 7 No 4/5, August 2000, pp.479-501.

Research grants and awards


ARC Discovery Project, DP130103580, Optimal taxation when the allocation of time matters, 2013.


2016 ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Policy and Outreach

Research engagement and outreach

Associate Editor, Public Finance Review: 2020 - date

Member of the ACT Branch of the Women in Economics Network: June 2017 - date

Member of the Scientific Committee, Annual Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance: 2017, 2020

Member of the Scientific Committee, Australian Gender Economics Workshop: 2020, 2021; Scientific Committee Co-Chair, Australian Gender Economics Workshop 2022


Current Teaching:

ECON2131 Public Sector Economics (P)

ECON4434 Public Sector Economics (4th year H)

ECON8034 Public Sector Economics (G)