Maria Rita Testa is senior researcher at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is FWF-Stipendiatin (Elise-Richter-Stelle) since 2014 and holds the title "Privatdozentin" since December 2015.
Her research interests include family demography, reproductive decision-making, fertility, multilevel models, panel data analysis, climate change, inter-marriage. Maria Rita studies how fertility intentions affect reproductive behaviour and vice versa, and the way socio demographic factors including age, gender, education and employment are related to the intended and unintended birth transitions in the individuals’ life course. Explaining why these relationships vary among societies and change over time is another aim of her research. More generally, Maria Rita's research interests concern: fertility, family demography, reproductive decision-making, gender, social sustainability, life course analysis, and multilevel models. Maria Rita is keen to supervise Msc/Mphil and Dphil students on these and related social demographic topics.

Maria Rita Testa  earned her degree in Political Science from "Sapienza" University of Rome and received her PhD in Demography from University of Florence. She has held positions at "Sapienza" University of Rome (1996-1997; lectureship), University of Florence (1997-1999; doctoral student), and University of Milan Bicocca (2000-2001; assistant professor). Her research findings have been published, inter alia, in: Population and Development Review, European Journal of Population, Demographic Research, Population, Population Research and Policy Review, and Population & Environment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Family Demography
  • Fertility
  • Reproductive Decision-making
  • Gender
  • Social Sustainability
  • Life Course Analysis
  • Multilevel Models

Research Areas

Curriculum Vitae

View online CV


Affiliation: VID/ÖAW, WU
E-Mail: maria.rita.testa@wu.ac.at; maria.rita.testa@oeaw.ac.at
Phone: +431313364175

The Wittgenstein Centre aspires to be a world leader in the advancement of demographic methods and their application to the analysis of human capital and population dynamics. It is a collaboration among the World Population Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (VID/ÖAW) and the Demography Group and the Research Institute on Human Capital and Development of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).

Wittgenstein Centre Partner: WU Wittgenstein Centre Partner: OEAW Wittgenstein Centre Partner: IIASA