Dr. Lorena Rivera Leon

Affiliated Researcher

Research group(s):
1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
3. Economic Complexity and Innovation
2. Structural Change and Economic Development

Lorena Rivera León is an Affiliated Researcher at UNU-MERIT. She received her PhD from UNU-MERIT in 2021, and her MA jointly from the Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada and the Université Pierre-Mendès-France. Her research focuses on the study of the economics of science in middle-income-countries (MICs), and she is particularly interested in understanding the determinants of gender productivity gaps in science. She works with Professor Jacques Mairesse and Professor Robin Cowan in the development of an econometric framework to understand the determinants of gender productivity gaps in South Africa and Mexico, as well as in quantifying the economic costs of such gaps.

She was part of the research team consulting the Inter-American Development Bank in understanding the Economic Costs on Science, Technology and Innovation Gender Gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016. Lorena has also worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science; the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Vienna; and the European Commission (Information Society and Media Directorate General).

Lorena has over 14 years of professional experience working as a researcher and consultant on research and innovation policy issues. She has worked as a consultant for international organisations including UNESCO, the OECD and the Inter-American Development Bank. She has been involved in numerous European Union-funded projects including the Innovation Union Scoreboard between 2011 and 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, Lorena was the country expert for Mexico in ERAWATCH International, the European Commission's information platform on research systems and policies.

Research topic: Economics of science, academic collaboration networks, economics of gender, gender productivity gaps

Selected publications by Lorena Rivera Leon

Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Rivera Leon, Lorena, A. Muscio & A. Reid, 2015, An empirical test of the regional innovation paradox: can smart specialisation overcome the paradox in Central and Eastern Europe?, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 18: 153-171, DOI: 10.1080/17487870.2015.1013545, More information

UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Rivera Leon, Lorena, Jacques Mairesse & Robin Cowan, 2016, An econometric investigation of the productivity gender gap in Mexican research, and a simulation study of the effects on scientific performance of policy scenarios to promote gender equality, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2016-072

External working papers
Rivera Leon, Lorena, Kyle Bergquist, Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Ning Xu & Kunihiko Fushimi, 2018, Measuring innovation in energy technologies: green patents as captured by WIPO's International Patent Classification (IPC) green inventory, More information
Mairesse, Jacques & Lorena Rivera Leon, 2017, Gender Gaps and Scientific Productivity in Middle-Income Countries: Evidence from Mexico, Inter-American Development Bank working Paper, More information

Research reports
Hollanders, Hugo, Nordine Es-Sadki, Lorena Rivera Leon, E. Griniece & L. Roman, 2014, Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2014, Commissioned by the European Commission, DG for Enterprise and Industry, More information

Conference contributions
Cowan, Robin & Lorena Rivera Leon, 2017, 3. Formation and persistence of research communities in Middle Income Countries: the case of South Africa, Workshop on Academic Science in South Africa” CREST and STIAS, Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 2016

Rivera Leon, Lorena, 2021, Unveiling the determinants of scientific productivity in middle-income countries: An economics of science perspective, PhD dissertation Maastricht University / United Nations University

Other (editorship, media appearance, keynote, etc.)
Rivera Leon, Lorena (ed.), 2017, El mito de que las mujeres investigadoras le fallan a la ciencia, Puntos sobre la i: un blog del Banco Interamericano del Desarrollo para conversar sobre innovación en América Latina y el Caribe, More information
Rivera Leon, Lorena (ed.), 2017, Women aren’t failing at science — science is failing women, The Conversation UK, More information