Dr Isabel Ruiz


Isabel Ruiz is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, where she is also Director of Studies in Economics at the Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE). Isabel is an official Fellow of Kellogg College and an associate member of the Department of Economics, the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) and the Latin American Centre (LAC) at the University.

Isabel’s current research focuses on the economics of migration. Her current research agenda focuses on two main themes. First, she has studied the impacts of hosting refugees on the economic outcomes of natives and the economic consequences of refugee repatriation. Her recent work looks at the case of the Great Lakes region of Africa with emphasis on the cases of Burundi and Tanzania. Second, she has been working on understanding the labour market outcomes of refugees in the United Kingdom. This last area of work is part of a larger project on the Labour Market Integration of Refugees in the UK, financed by the Nuffield Foundation. As a concluding part of the project, Isabel helped organise (together with Carlos Vargas-Silva, Francesco Fasani and Tomasso Frattini) a conference on ”Forced Displacement, Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Economics Aspects and Policy Issues” held at Queen Mary University, London on March 18-19, 2019.

Isabel is one of the coordinators of the Economics of Forced Migration Project (ECONFORCED). She has also previously worked on research projects on the economics of migrants' remittances and the determinants of capital flows to developing countries and has worked on projects with UNU-Wider, the Agence Française de Développement, and the World Bank.

Before joining OUDCE, Isabel was a Governing Body Fellow at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, where she was also the Tutorial Fellow in Economics (2011-2018). At Harris Mancghester, she taught and coordinated the economics teaching for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), Economics and Management (E&M) and History and Economics (H&E) students. She taught courses on Micro and Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods and the Economics of Developing Countries. In 2018, Isabel was elected Vice-Principal of the College. Before coming to the UK, Isabel was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Sam Houston State University in the USA.

Research Interests

Political economy, Development and Labour economics, Applied economics and the Economics of migration.


Isabel is Director of Studies in Economics at OUDCE. She contributes with lectures in graduate courses for the MSc Migration Studies at the Department of International Development as well as undergraduate courses in the Economics of Developing Countries (for PPE, E&M and H&E) in the Department of Economics and the Political Economy of Refugee Migration in the Duke in Oxford Summer School programme.

DPhil and MPhil Students

Binta Diop, DPhil in Economics, 2018 - present.

Moritz Poll, MPhil in Economics, 2017

Selected Recent Publications

Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2018. Differences in labour market outcomes between natives, refugees and other migrants in the UK. Journal of Economic Geography, 18(4): 855-885. Download

Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2018. The impact of hosting refugees on the intra-household allocation of tasks: A gender perspective. Review of Development Economics, 22: 1461-1488. Download

Giuntella, O., Kone, Z., Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2018. Reason for immigration and immigrant’s health. Public Health, 158: 102-109. Download.

Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2017. The economic consequences of forced migration for host communities in Africa. Revue d'Economie du Developpement, 25(3): 135-154. Download

Fransen, S., Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2017. Return migration and economic outcomes in the conflict context. World Development, 95: 196-210. Download

Ruiz, I., and C. Vargas-Silva. 2017. Are refugees’ labour market outcomes different from those of other migrants? Evidence from the United Kingdom in the 2005 – 2007 Period. Population, Space and Place, 23(6): 1-15. Download

Ruiz, I., and C. Vargas-Silva. 2016. The labor market consequences of hosting refugees. Journal of Economic Geography, 16(3): 667-694. Download

Ruiz, I., and C. Vargas-Silva. 2015. The labor market impacts of forced migration. American Economic Review, P&P, 105(5): 581-586. Download

Ruiz, I., Siegel, M. and C. Vargas-Silva. 2015. Forced Up or Down? The Impact of Forced Migration on Social Status. Journal of Refugee Studies, 8(2): 183-201. Download

Ruiz, I., and C. Vargas-Silva.  2013. The economics of forced migration. Journal of Developing Studies, 49(6): 772-784. Download

L. Blanco and I. Ruiz. 2013. The impact of crime and insecurity on trust in democracy and institutions. American Economic Review, P&P, 103(3): 284–288. Download

Selected Research Reports

“Guidelines for Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement,” (with R. Zetter, C. Vargas-Silva and E. Fiddian), World Bank Report, 2012

“Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement A Mixed Methods Approach (with R. Zetter, C. Vargas-Silva and E. Fiddian), World Bank Report, 2012

“Study on Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement: State of the Art Literature Review,” (with R. Zetter, C. Vargas-Silva and E. Fiddian), World Bank Report, 2012.