Margherita Squarcina

Current Position

Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Goettingen, RTG 2654 Sustainable Food Systems.
Dr. Squarcina's research lies at the intersection of agricultural economics and development economics, focusing on the African continent. Her current research projects involve measuring farmers' resilience and the effects of voluntary sustainability standards on farmers´ socio-economic outcomes. She received her Ph.D. in Development Economics from the Universities of Trento and Florence (Italy), where she conducted research on the effects of COVID-19 on food security and poverty in three African countries. She has worked in several UN organizations, including FAO, IFAD, and UNICEF. She has conducted data collection on coffee farmers in Rwanda and has field experience in Mozambique. Her research interests are agricultural economics, resilience towards sustainable food systems, food security, nutrition, and poverty.

Research Interests

Food Security
Agricultural Economics


  • 2019-2022 Ph.D. in Development Economics and Local Systems, University of Trento and University of Florence, Italy
  • 2013-2016 M.Sc. in Economics and Development, University of Florence, Italy
  • 2010-2013 Bachelor of Science in International Trade, Ca’ Foscari University, Italy

Professional Experience

  • 10/2022-03/2023 Social and Economic Policy Researcher, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  • 06/2021-03/2023 Economist, FAO Governance and Policy Support Unit
  • 03/2022-04/2022 Economist, Development Pathways Ltd
  • 08/2021-03/2022 Consultant, Social and Economic Policy Unit, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  • 11/2020-12/2020 Consultant, Social and Economic Policy Unit, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  • 08/2020-10/2020 Economist, Development Pathways Ltd
  • 04/2020-07/2020 Consultant, UNICEF Regional Office for the MENA region
  • 03/2020-05/2020 Consultant, IIED
  • 01/2019-09/2019 Data Analyst, Operational Policy and Results Division, IFAD
  • 06/2018-12/2018 Research Assistant, Strategy and Knowledge Department , Operational Policy and Results Division, IFAD
  • 07/2017-06/2018 Economist, Agricultural Development Economics Division , FAO



  • Squarcina, M., Romano, D. (2024).Identifying the COVID-19 Transmission Channels on Poverty and Food Security in Refugee-Hosting Districts of Uganda. The Journal of Development Studies. PDF
  • Squarcina, M., Romano, D. (2023). The impact of COVID-19 on household income and participation in the agri-food value chain: Evidence from Ethiopia. Bio-Based and Applied Economics. PDF
  • Benfica, R., Squarcina, M., de la Fuente, A. (2018). Structural transformation and poverty in Malawi: Decomposing the effects of occupational and spatial mobility, IFAD Research Series 25, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome. PDF

Working papers

  • Squarcina, M., Egger, E.-M. 2022. Effects of the COVID-19 crisis on household food consumption and child nutrition in Mozambique. WIDER Working Paper 2022/169. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. PDF
  • Carraro, A., Ferrone, L. and Squarcina, M. 2020. Are COVID-19 containment measures equally effective in different world regions? Working Paper N. 11/2020, University of Florence, Italy. PDF