Class of 2024: Aitor Irastorza-Fadrique

We’re so proud of our Class of 2024. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Thu 4 Apr 24

Aitor Irastorza

Aitor Irastorza-Fadrique was just getting started on his first PhD chapter when COVID-19 hit and he found himself stuck on campus in the middle of a global pandemic.

Despite it being a very tough time for him, his perseverance won through and he managed to maintain his focus and morale to succeed in completing his PhD in Economics.

Remembering his time at Essex, Aitor said: “I chose Essex for its strong reputation in applied and theoretical labour economics, a field I’m particularly drawn to studying because it embodies what I consider ‘real’ economics – economics that hits home.

“My thesis explores how local areas and individuals adapt to changes, specifically focusing on the effects of industrial robots, trade shocks and changes in labour demand. My experience at Essex was enriched by the supportive faculty and staff, as well as inspiring colleagues.”

Now working as a Research Officer at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), his research agenda aims to study the changing structure of the labour market and its impact on local places and households.

Two particular highlights stand out for Aitor when he thinks back to his time at Essex.

“Teaching undergraduates as an Assistant Lecturer was immensely rewarding and I was deeply touched by their appreciation for my teaching and support,” he said. “I am also proud that, together with some other colleagues, I initiated the successful Essex PhD Conference in Applied Economics.”