Cristina Bélles-Obrero Can Legal Reforms Effectively Combat the Negative Consequences of Child Marriage?

Cristina Bellés-Obrerois a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Mannheim and a Research Affiliate at the IZA Institute for Labor Economics. Previously a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Girona, Bellés-Obrero’s work focuses on the economics of education, health economics and labor economics. Her research has received awards and support from institutions including Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona), Banc Sabadell and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

Area of Research


since 2018

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim) (more details)

Department of Economics


Visiting Assistant Professor

Universitat de Girona, Department of Economics

since 2019

Research Affiliate

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

since 2017

Research Fellow

Centre for Research in Health and Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Ph.D. in Economics

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Master of Research in Economics

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Master in Economics

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics


Licentiate in Economics

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Licentiate in Law

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

- Health Economics

- Review of Public Economics

- Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

- Economics and Human Biology

- Empirical Economics


- Prize “Concurso de Investigación" CAF (2019- 2020)

- Merit based fund to support research, Banc Sabadell, 2015-2016

- Project ECO2017-82350-R, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2018-2020)

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

Mannheim, Germany

For generations, the University of Mannheim has been preparing students to take on leadership roles in business, academia, and society. One of the university’s strengths in this task is its profile, which is characterized by the economic and social sciences. It is in these fields that the University of Mannheim has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top 20 European research institutions. Key focuses of Mannheim researchers include decision-making processes and elections, governance, regulation, competition and innovation, migration and multilingualism, and the culture of change. The campus surrounding Mannheim’s baroque palace is a place where bright minds from across the globe come together to learn, discuss, research, and prepare to make their mark on the world.


The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) TR 224 – EPoS

The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) TR 224 – EPoS is a cooperation between the University of Bonn and the University of Mannheim. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), it aims to analyze and provide policy proposals that address three key societal challenges: how to promote equality of opportunity; how to regulate markets in light of the internationalization and digitalization of economic activity; and how to safeguard the stability of the financial system.


With proven detrimental impacts on women and their offspring, preventing child marriage is an important aspect of the struggle to reduce global poverty.In this video, CRISTINA BELLÉS-OBRERO analyzes the effectiveness of legislative measures designed to combat child marriage in Mexico since 2014. Taking advantage of the fact that the laws were implemented gradually by the different Mexican states, applying a ‘difference in difference’ model alongside data on births, marriages and school attendance, Bellés-Obrero shows that the reforms had no impact on factors including girls’ educational attainment or the health of their babies at the moment of delivery. Because informal unions offer an attractive alternative to formal marriage in Mexico, the reforms have not had the desired effects. Further research will explore whether the inferior legal status of girls in informal unions compared to their formally married peers actually exacerbates the negative effects associated with child marriage.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Will You Marry Me, Later? Age-of-Marriage Laws and Child Marriage in Mexico

  • Cristina Bellés-Obrero and Marıa Lombardi
  • Published in 2019
Cristina Bellés-Obrero and Marıa Lombardi. "Will You Marry Me, Later? Age-of-Marriage Laws and Child Marriage in Mexico." (2019).