Natalia Emanuel studied economics at Yale, largely focusing on issues of domestic policy. Her thesis explored foster care's effect on maltreated children. She has worked in the Commissioner's Office at the NYC Department of Correction and taught inmates in a New Haven jail. During her 2011-2012 gap year, she worked for Professor Jeffrey Liebman, implementing Social Impact Bonds for Massachusetts aimed at reducing youth recidivism. Following graduation, she worked for Professors Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, exploring the emergence of the gender-based wage gap over the career trajectory.