• KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

1. Formation of, and returns to, general and specific human capital.
2. Labour market returns to specific features of educational curricula or education systems.
3. Horizontal education-occupation mismatch, or mismatch between individual comparative advantage and occupation tasks.
4. I am also happy to supervise students who are working with, or have recently worked with, education or development organisations, and wish to carry out doctoral-level research which includes impact evaluations of ongoing projects or interventions. I am open to discussing projects of this type around a broader range of topics including, but not limited to, education.

Personal profile


Dr Margaret Leighton joined the University of St Andrews in 2015, after receiving her PhD from the Toulouse School of Economics. Originally from Canada, she completed her undergraduates studies at Mount Allison University in Economics.

Research overview

Margaret uses data to answer questions and to test economic hypotheses. While education is her primary field of interest, she has also worked on projects in development economics and labour economics. In recent research, she has gathered and analysed data to better understand how education policies shape students’ school choices and performance, and how those choices determine important later outcomes such as occupations, wages, and career satisfaction.


Personal website

Curriculum vitae

Google scholar

Research interests

Education systems; labour market return to education; educational achievement in developing countries; higher education; human capital specificity.

Other expertise

In addition to teaching in the School of Economics, Margaret is academic lead and contributing lecturer for the Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies’ MSc in International Development Practice.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Dive into the research topics where Margaret Alice Leighton is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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