Current Position

Sunčica Vujić is an Associate Professor of Applied Econometrics at the University of Antwerp since October 2014 (with tenure).

Research interests

Sunčica is an Applied Econometrician and an Applied Labor Economist with a very broad scope of interests: education, crime, health, gender, and the position of different groups in the labour market, such as: (1) Youth at risk of crime, unemployment, and teen pregnancy; (2) Labour market position of women – gender pay and pension gaps, career progression and glass ceiling, discrimination; (3) Inequality and intergenerational mobility – equalisation of educational attainment of those from different socioeconomic backgrounds as an important tool for improving the equality of opportunity in society.

Her research tackles problems of modern societies and has high economic and societal impact. For example, the article The Crime Reducing Effect of Education, published in the Economic Journal (EJ) in 2011 established a causal link between education and crime by looking at the crime rates of school-leavers that were forced to stay on an extra year in British schools because of a legal change to the school-leaving age. This group of students was less likely to engage in criminal behaviour than the previous year cohort. The paper estimates that the cost of a year’s extra schooling is outweighed by the benefits in terms of less crime.

Methodologically, she uses a rich set of econometric tools applied to multi-source (survey and recorded) and multi-dimensional (cross-sectional, panel, time series) data. Her econometrics toolkit can be best described as program evaluation methods (for example, social experiments, instrumental variables (IV), difference-in-differences (DID), regression discontinuity design (RDD), synthetic control methods, matching methods, econometric selection models, longitudinal methods, etc.), used in order to quantify the (causal) impact of a treatment on an outcome.

Geographic focus of her research has so far been very diverse, such as the USA, Australia, the Western European developed economies (the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium), the transition and emerging market economies in the Western Balkans (Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro), as well as developing countries (Kenya).


The quality of her research is certified by publications in a number of journal articles, which are ranked on the Web of Science (WoS) and are highly cited (for an overview, see her Google Scholar profile: For example, the article The Crime Reducing Effect of Education has more than 400 citations on Google Scholar, and is one of the EJ most downloaded articles of all time. Her other research is published in journals such as the Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Law, Economics & Organisation, the Health Economics, the Economics Letters, the German Economic Review, the Economic Modelling, and the Environment and Planning A, among others. She has also contributed nine papers to the IZA Discussion Paper series, eight of which have been published.

The relevance of her work in the eye of the wider public is also witnessed by coverage of her work in non-academic outlets and media appearances. Examples include The Economist, The Financial Times, Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad, Visie, LSE Business Review, Marginal Revolution, etc. (in total, 30+ newspaper and blog appearances).

Recent publications

  1. Baert, S., Vujić, S., Amez, S., Claeskens, M., Daman, T., Maeckelberghe, A., Omey, E., De Marez, L. (2019). Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship? Kyklos, forthcoming.
  2. Lens, D., Marx, I., and Vujić, S. (2019). Double jeopardy: How refugees fare in one European labor market? IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Forthcoming.
  3. Ranđelović, S., Žarković-Rakić, J., Vladisavljević, M., and Vujić, S. (2019). Labour Supply and Inequality Effects of In-Work Benefits: Evidence from Serbia. Naše gospodarstvo/Our Economy, 65(3), 1–22.
  4. James, J., and Vujić, S. (2019). From High School to the High Chair: Education and Fertility Timing, Economics of Education Review 69: 1-24.

Conference and workshop organisation

Sunčica is also very active in organising research seminars and academic conferences and workshops, and sharing her network of collaborators with the hosting institution. Examples include Economics of Crime Workshop (University of Bath 2014), Belgian Day for Labour Economists (University of Antwerp 2016) as well as the annual conference of the European Association of Population Economists (ESPE) at the University of Antwerp in 2018, with 300+ participants and 270+ presenters (visit: 

Previous posts

  • Before joining the University of Antwerp, Sunčica was a Lecturer in Economics (with tenure) at the University of Bath (2011-2014).
  • Prior to Bath, Sunčica had a two-year University Postdoctural Research Fellowship at the London School of Economics & Political Science (2009-2011).
  • In summer 2011, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) at the University of Amsterdam.
  • In the period 2008-2009, she worked as a Research Economist at ORTEC Finance Consultancy in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
  • In the period 2006-2008, she worked as a Research Economist at the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) in the Hague.
  • During her PhD, she spent one year as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics & Political Science (2004-2005).
  • In addition to the above posts, Sunčica held Adjunct Lectureship positions at the University of Groningen (2009), the University of Freiburg (2008), and the VU University Amsterdam (2006), where she taught applied econometrics, economics of education and statistics courses.
  • In the period 2000-2006, she was a Research and Teaching Assistant at the VU University Amsterdam.

Research grants

Sunčica has received grants and scholarships as a sole recipient, principal  (PI) or co-investigator (CI) (30+ in total). For example, she has received funding from the European Union (FP7, Tempus, Erasmus+); University of Antwerp (BOF); the Flemish Government (VIONA); the EU-UNICEF (Serbia and Macedonia); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Serbia); the Royal Economic Society (UK); the Economic and Social Research Council Grant (ESRC) (UK); the University of Bath and South West Crucible (UK); Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Bath and the Oxford Policy Management (UK); the Open Society Foundation (US); the Global Development Network (GDN) Research Competition; the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Regional Research Promotion Programme Western Balkans; the Serbian Government (Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit); the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya; the World University Service (WUS) Austria; the Dittmer Foundation (the Netherlands); and the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE).

Professional affiliations

  • Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) (2019-present)
  • Research Fellow, Global Labor Organization (GLO) (2018-present)
  • Research Associate, Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy (CASP), University of Bath, UK (2013-present)
  • Research Associate, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), University of Bath, UK (2013-present)
  • Member of the European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE) (2011-present)
  • Research Associate, Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN), Belgrade (2011-present)
  • Member of the LSEE Research Network on Social Cohesion in South Eastern Europe (2011-present)
  • Membership in Scientific Associations: AEA, EEA-ESEM, ESPE, EALE, SOLE, RES (2009-present)

Editorial roles

Sunčica is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Education and Work.


Sunčica completed her doctoral research in economics at the Economics and Econometrics Departments at the VU University in Amsterdam (2009).  Prior to this, she has received an MPhil degree from the Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam (2002).  She has also received an MSc degree from the Economics Department at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest (2000) and a BSc degree from the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade (1997).

Teaching qualifications

In 2013, Sunčica became a UK Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Teaching portfolio

  • Applied Econometrics
  • Labour Economics
  • Economics of Education
  • Stata software