Research Interests

My main passion is applied economics with an open mind in approaching quantitive methodology (from econometrics, machine learning to networks).  The topics of which I am currently pursuing in my doctoral studies are:

  1. Economic complexity/capabilities and growth
  2. Industry skill diversity and wages
  3. Economic structure and inequality

A core research interest of mine is understanding income determinants from a country level (macro) to an individual level (micro).

A friend of mine once asked me, “If you had to convince a young adult why they should study economics, what would you tell them?” I responded, “If they are curious about the world then study economics – become a worldy philosopher – as Robert Heilbroner coined it.” Similarly, my interests follow this spirit of curiosity.


About Mary Kaltenberg

Profile Pic

I am currently a PhD Fellow at UNU-MERIT working on issues on economic complexity, income inequality, labor markets and international trade. My advisors are Bart Verspagen at UNU-MERIT and Cesar Hidalgo at the Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab. In 2016, I was a visiting student and research assistant at the MIT Media Lab.

Previously, I worked at UNICEF on resource mobilization and research on accessibility to health care. I received my Masters and Bachelors degree in Economics from The New School for Social Research in New York City.

Check out my Github for code and data from previous papers (currently updating), and code for tutorials for previously taught short courses.

More details about my experience can be found on my cv.

I work on other personal projects/passions:

  • Cookbook, From Siberia to Texas: An Immigrant’s Collected Recipes
    Listen to my PechaKucha talk about it (currently writing a draft)
  • Cookie a week project
    Every week I bake a different cookie recipe and post them on instagram
    Follow my instagram account @sumthingabout to see my weekly cookies
  • Divine Feminists Philosophy Book Club
    Bi-monthly book club on re-defining and imagining a new left philosophy
    Current Book: Bell Hooks’s Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
    Previous Books: David Graeber’s Utopia of Rules, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Rosa Luxemburg’s Mass Strike
  • Economaster Chef (2015)
    Cook an appetizer, main course and dessert together with one “master” chef per item teaching the others (each person is from a different country). We switch chefs and recipes every meeting. Check out our recipe collection from the year here


Jun, B., Kaltenberg, M. and Won-Sik, H. 2017, How Inequality Hurts Growth: Revisiting the Galor-Zeira model using the Korean Case. pre-print.

Hartmann, D., Jara-Figueroa, C. and Kaltenberg, M., 2016, The Brazilian Industry-Occupation Space: Structural Heterogeneity and the regional skills demand. IADB Technical Report.

Verspagen, B. & Kaltenberg, M., 2015, Catching-up in a globalised context: Technological change as a driver of growth, UNU-MERIT Working Paper
Download it here


Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Experience

Maastricht School of Governance, Master of Science in Public Policy

Introduction to Statistics (Fall 2014), TA

Introduction to Data Science (Fall 2015)
Feel free to request the syllabus and Do-Files (Stata)

Introduction to Econometrics (Fall 2014 and 2015), TA

Intermediate Econometrics (Parallel Course to Intro to Econometrics) (Fall 2015), TA

Maastricht School of Governance, GPAC (PhD Program)

Intuition to Panel Data (Short Course 2017)
You can find the syllabus here
Feel free to request the Do-Files (Stata)

Introduction to Stata (Short Course 2017)
You can check out the do-files based on the course on my Github here

UNU-MERIT, (PhD Program)

Introduction to Python for Economists (Short Course 2017)
For jupytr notebook with the Python code, see my Github here

I am happy to provide teacher evaluations for all courses when available/applicable



kaltenberg [at] merit [dot] unu [dot] edu
mkaltenb [at] mit [dot] edu
mary.kaltenberg [at] maastrichtuniversity [dot] nl


University Address

Boschstraat 24 Room 0.06
6211 AX Maastricht
The Netherlands