Personal Information

  • Name: Laura Montenegro Helfer
  • Date and place of birth: 12.19.1989. Oxford, Great Britain.
  • Citizenships: Colombian & Swiss

Academic Formation

  • 2017-present: PhD Candidate (Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago).
  • 2017: MA in Economics (Universidad de los Andes).
  • 2015: BA in History (Universidad de los Andes).
  • 2013: BA in Economics (Universidad de los Andes).
  • 2007: Bachillerato Colombiano (Colegio Helvetia Bogotá).
  • 2007: Maturité Suisse/Schweizer Matura (Canton de Berne/Kanton Bern).


  • 2021/2022-Winter: TA for “Business in Historical Perspective” (Booth School of Business). Instructor: Richard Hornbeck.
  • 2021-Fall/2021-Spring: TA for “How to Change the World: Science of Policymaking in International Policy and Development” / “Capstone in International Policy and Development” (Harris School of Public Policy). Instructor: Chris Blattman.
  • 2019/2020-Fall: TA for “Weak States and International Relations” (Harris Shool of Public Policy). Instructors: Roger Myerson and Michael Miklaucic.
  • 2015 (January to May): TA for “Economy of Institutions and Decisions” (Universidad de los Andes). Instructor: Juan Camilo Cárdenas.

Research Experience

  • 2016-2017: Research Assistant for James Robinson (University Professor at University of Chicago).
  • Summer 2016 (June to August): Fieldwork Research Assistant for Nathan Nunn (Professor at Harvard University) and James Robinson (University Professor at University of Chicago).
  • 2013 (July)- 2016 (May): Research Assistant for Ana María Ibáñez (Professor at Universidad de los Andes).
  • 2014 (September) and 2015 (February-March): Fieldwork Research Assistant for Juan Camilo Cárdenas (Dean of the Economics Department and Professor at Universidad de los Andes).

Fellowships & Research Grants

  • 2022: Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund.
  • 2022: EHA Graduate Fellowship.
  • 2021: Nicholson Graduate Digital Archival Research Grant.
  • 2021: Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund.
  • 2020: EHA Exploratory Travel and Data Grant.
  • 2020: BFI New Data Acquisition Grant.
  • 2020: Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund.
  • 2019: BFI Summer Research Grant.
  • 2017: Pearson Scholar Research Grant.
  • 2017-present: Pearson Scholarship.


  • Spanish: First language.
  • English: First language. CAE C1 and TOEFL (British Consulate, ETS).
  • French: Fluent. Maturité Suisse (Main language) and DALF C1 (Colegio Helvetia Bogotá, Alianza Colombo Francesa).
  • German: Fluent. Maturité Suisse (Secondary language) and Sprachdiplom I (Colegio Helvetia Bogotá, Deutsche Schule Bogotá).
  • Russian: Intermediate. A1+ (basic) level (Academia León Tolstoi Bogotá, Liden & Denz Saint Petersburg).


  • Ibáñez, Ana María; Montenegro, Laura ¿Qué pasó en las áreas rurales entre 2010 y 2013?: Contribución del acceso a tierras, choques negativos y programas estatales dirigidos al bienestar de los hogares [What happened in the rural areas between 2010 and 2013?: The contribution of land access, negative shocks, and state programs on household welfare]. In: Colombia en movimiento 2010-2013. Los cambios en la vida de los hogares a través de la Encuesta Longitudinal Colombiana de la Universidad de los Andes [Colombia in Motion 2010-2013: Changes in household living standards based on the Colombian Longitudinal Survey by the Universidad de los Andes]. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes, 2014.

Working Papers

  • Ibáñez, Ana María; Montenegro, Laura. “Is Migration Welfare-Enhancing? The Impacts of Economic and Forced Migration amid Conflict”.
  • Arjona, Ana María; Ibáñez, Ana María; Cárdenas, Juan Camilo; Justino, Patricia; Montenegro, Laura. “Examining Forced Displacement beyond Violence: The Effect of Violence and Control of Armed Actors in Colombia”. 2015.
  • Montenegro, Laura. “Forming State through Land Reform Policy: The Dynamics of Baldío Allocation in Peripheral Colombia”. 2016.
  • Montenegro, Laura. “Pensando el Campo Colombiano: La política del desarrollo, las tierras, y la vida del campesino en el diseño de la Reforma Social Agraria (1960-1961)” [“Reflecting on the Colombian Rural Areas: Policies of development, land, and the life of rural workers in the designing of the Social Agrarian Reform (1960-1961)”]. 2014.


  • Montenegro, Laura. Is migration welfare-enhancing? The impacts of economic and forced migration. January 2016, Puebla, Mexico. Presented at the RIMISP International Conference of Territorial Inequality and Development.

Summer Courses Abroad

  • 2015 (July 13 to July 23): Conflict and Political Violence. Olympia Summer Academy. European International Studies Association. Nafplio, Greece.

Skills (Systems)

  • GIS (ArcGIS, QGIS)
  • GeoODK

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