Luca Maria Pesando

Assistant ProfessorLuca Maria Pesando

Stephen Leacock Building, Room 735
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7

Tel.: 514-398-6842
Fax: 514-398-7476
E-mail: lucamaria.pesando [at]

Office Hours: Tuesday 15:00 - 17:00

Research Areas



Courses Taught

Research Areas

Social and Economic Demography; Digital Demography; Family Dynamics; Poverty and Inequality; Social Stratification; Education; Technology adoption; Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Methods



(PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2018; Assistant Professor at McGill since 2019)

Dr. Pesando received his Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Penn Population Studies Center in 2018-2019. His research lies in the areas of social and economic demography, and he is interested in issues of family poverty, inequality, stratification, intra- and inter-generational processes, and interactions between life-cycle events and human capital accumulation. His overarching research aim is to produce better knowledge on the link between family change and different facets of inequality – educational opportunity, gender, health, income, wealth, etc. – in areas where these dynamics are changing rapidly and scant research is available. His work takes an international comparative perspective and focuses on low- and middle-income contexts (mostly sub-Saharan Africa) undergoing social, demographic, and economic transformations.

Theoretically and methodologically, Pesando’s work follows two research streams. First, a more macro-level approach, focusing on countries as units of analysis, grounded in macro-level sociological theories of demographic transition and family change, and aimed at providing population-level explanations of global social phenomena. Second, a more micro-level approach, focusing on individuals and the household circumstances that surround them, and more closely tied to the implementation of public policies and their impact thereof. In light of his prior work experience in the policy world, he has developed an interest and gained expertise in implementing and evaluating randomized and quasi-randomized study designs across low- and middle-income countries such as Ghana, Zambia, and Morocco.



Castro, A. F., Pesando, L. M., Kohler, H. P, and Furstenberg, F. F. (2021). "Family Change and Variation Through the Lens of Family Configurations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries," Population, Space and Place, e2531.

Pesando, L. M., Barban, N., Sironi, M., and Furstenberg, F. F. (2021). "A Sequence-Analysis Approach to the Study of the Transition to Adulthood in Low- and Middle-Income Countries." Population and Development Review, 47(3): 719-747.

Batyra, E., and L. M. Pesando. (2021). "Trends in Child Marriage and New Evidence on the Selective Impact of Changes in Age-at-Marriage Laws on Early Marriage." SSM - Population Health, 14, 100811.

Pesando, L. M. (2021). "A Four-Country Study on the Relationship Between Parental Educational Homogamy and Children's Health from Infancy to Adolescence." Population Research and Policy Review, 10.1007/s11113-020-09627-2.

Pesando, L. M. (2021). "Educational Assortative Mating in Sub-Saharan Africa: Compositional Changes and Implications for Household Wealth Inequality.Demography, 58(2): 571-602.

Pesando, L. M., Rotondi, V., Stranges, M., Kashyap, R., and Billari, F. C. (2021). "The Internetization of International Migration." Population and Development Review, 47(1): 79-111.

Furstenberg, F. F., Harris, L., Pesando, L. M., and Reed, M. N. (2020). "Kinship Practices Among Alternative Family Forms in Western Industrialized Societies." Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(5): 1403-1430. 

Pesando L.M. and V. Rotondi (2020). Mobile Technology and Gender Equality. In: Leal Filho W., Azul A., Brandli L., Lange Salvia A., Wall T. (eds) Gender Equality. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer, Cham.

Pesando, L. M. (2020). Polygyny and Women’s Status: Myths and Evidence. In: Leal Filho W., Azul A., Brandli L., Lange Salvia A., Wall T. (eds) Gender Equality. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer, Cham.

Rotondi, V., R. Kashyap, L. M. Pesando, S. Spinelli, and F. C. Billari (2020) “Leveraging Mobile Phones to Attain Sustainable Development.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(24): 13413-13420.

Pesando, L. M., S. Wolf, J. R. Behrman, and E. Tsinigo (2020) “Are Private Kindergartens Really Better? Examining Preschool Choice, Parental Resources, and Children’s School-Readiness in Ghana.” Comparative Education Review, 64(1): 107-136.

Pesando, L. M. and A. Abufhele (2019). “Household Determinants of Teen Marriage: Sister Effects Across Four Low- and Middle-Income Countries.” Studies in Family Planning, 1-24.

Payne, C. F., Pesando, L. M., and H. P. Kohler (2019). “Up, Down and Reciprocal: The Dynamics of Private Intergenerational Transfers, Family Structure and Health in a sub-Saharan African Low-Income Context.” Population and Development Review, 45 (1): 41-80.

Pesando, L. M. and the GFC team (2019). “Global Family Change: Persistent Diversity with Development.” Population and Development Review, 45 (1): 133-168.

Pesando, L. M. (2019). “Rethinking and Revising Goode’s Contribution to Global Family Change.” Marriage & Family Review, 1-12.

Pesando, L. M. (2019). “Childlessness and Upward Intergenerational Support: Cross-National Evidence from 11 European Countries.”Ageing & Society, 39 (6): 1219-1254.

Pesando, L. M. (2018). “Does Financial Literacy Increase Students’ Perceived Value of Schooling?Education Economics, 26 (5): 488-515.


Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

SOCI 350: Statistics in Social Research

SOCI 441: Education, Mobility, & Inequality

Graduate Seminars:

SOCI 626 Demographic Methods


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