Georgette Fernandez Laris is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield, supervised by Dr Mark Bryan and Dr. Matthew Rablen. Her research project analyses the social and well-being implications of financial innovation and the financial inclusion agenda primarily in emerging markets. Broadly speaking her project aims to direct policy attention towards the capabilities and skills needed to retool people to best use new financial instruments. At the same time, it seeks to scrutinise the financial inclusion agenda and some of the financial innovations it has relied on in recent years in order to ensure it delivers on its promises becoming, beyond a “financial access at all costs” narrative, a route for enhancing the socioeconomic and subjective well-being of new financial technologies’ adopters. Georgette is a co-convener of SPERI’s Doctoral Researchers Network.

Prior to starting her PhD at the University of Sheffield, Georgette completed a MSc in Economic History (Research) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She also holds an MPhil in International Economics and Development from Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and a BS in Business Economics from Miami University in the US. While her studies have mostly concentrated in developing an in depth understanding of economics, Georgette has also nurtured an interdisciplinary approach throughout her training by choosing multiple courses at the intersection of economics and history, philosophy of economics, economic sociology and on the political economy of development. 

Georgette has experience in economic policy communications, academic and applied research, market analysis and stakeholder engagement in private and public service institutions. She has worked as an intern at the European Central Bank (ECB), industry relations specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, research associate at Euromonitor International Inc., trade assistant intern at the U.S. Commercial Service (Paris Office), and research assistant at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University.

Since 2017 Georgette has collaborated as a Research Fellow at the Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics (SPI) for which she has written blog pieces and articles. She has also contributed to the SPERI blog and has been a member of the Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking since 2015.

Research Interests

Georgette’s research interests include: the governance of financial markets, the development of alternative currencies and inclusive forms of banking, impact investing, the sociology of money and its digital turn, the social implications of financialisation trends, the foundational principles of financial innovations as well as their welfare, behavioural and ethical implications. She is also interested in economic epistemology, philosophy of economics, business ethics, moral and cognitive philosophy.

Key Publications