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Yale Tobin Center / Economics Pre-Doctoral Fellows Program 2021

Publish Date: Mar 14, 2021

Deadline: Mar 31, 2021

Thank you for your interest in our program. At this time, we welcome applications for our 2021-22 cohort. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until positions have been filled. 

The Tobin Center / Economics Pre-Doctoral Fellows Program at Yale University supports policy-relevant economics research by providing a high-quality education and training experience for individuals with bachelor’s or master’s degrees who are considering pursuing a Ph.D. in economics or a closely related discipline. The Program works alongside other centers at Yale that support a broad range of data-intensive social science research. 

Pre-doctoral fellows work for one to two years as full-time research assistants for one or more faculty mentors and engage in additional education and training activities, including taking for credit or auditing one course per semester, participating in a weekly professional development seminar, and attending department research seminars. All positions are based on-campus, and most fellows work in common workspaces to foster camaraderie and peer learning.

We invite interested individuals to apply to our 2021-22 cohort and join our vibrant and diverse community of approximately 40 scholars. Our program is strengthened when a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and viewpoints are represented. We encourage members of historically underrepresented groups in economics to apply, including women, LGBTQ, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and first-generation low-income (FGLI) college students, among others.

To apply, please review available positions listed below and complete our common application - https://forms.gle/Xt5BFbABVyB1Muih8, which requests personal and educational background information, a ranking of prospective faculty supervisors, and a single PDF containing a cover letter that includes the contact information for 2-3 references, a resume/CV, a diversity statement (optional), unofficial transcript(s), a writing sample, and a coding sample. Some faculty supervisors also request application materials directly (see Project Descriptions). In this case, please follow their instructions and also submit the common application.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until positions have been filled.  New positions may continue to be posted, and filled positions will be indicated. Short-listed applicants may be asked to complete a data or technical exercise and may be invited to interview. 

Most positions will begin in July to coincide with a multi-day orientation and training, although other start dates may be negotiable. Positions last for one year with an option to renew for a second and final year by mutual agreement by the faculty supervisor(s) and the fellow. Salary will be competitive with similar programs at other institutions, and the position includes standard benefits such as health insurance. The University will sponsor visas for accepted international candidates (unless otherwise indicated in an individual project description).

For more information about the program and our application requirements, please read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Rebecca Toseland at rebecca.toseland@yale.edu.

The Tobin Center for Economic Policy and the Yale Department of Economics are member institutions of Pathways to Research and Doctoral Careers (PREDOC), a consortium of universities and research institutions that aims to foster a talented, diverse, and inclusive population in the quantitative social sciences. To learn more about pre-doctoral positions and find additional opportunities, please visit predoc.org.

Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected veterans, and underrepresented minorities.

Project Descriptions

Economic Policy Research at Yale Law School
Faculty sponsor(s): Ian Ayres

Project Description(s):

Ian Ayres, Deputy Dean and the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School is seeking a full-time research assistant to work with him and his co-authors on a variety of applied microeconomics projects on behavioral economics, corporate finance, lotteries, gun policy, and discrimination.

Day-to-day work includes brainstorming, the conceptualization of suitable empirical methodologies, collecting and structuring datasets, performing econometric analysis in Stata and interpreting results, undertaking literature reviews, and drafting manuscripts. Work also may include implementing field experiments and conducting surveys.

Previous fellows have gone onto attend top law schools, enroll in Ph.D. programs, and win prestigious fellowships.  

Professor Ayres’s recent research has included work on innovation policy, behavioral economics, corporate finance and law, civil rights, and contract law. For more information, visit his website, https://ianayres.yale.edu/    

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have strong STATA skills, an understanding of causal inference strategies (DD, IV, RD, RCT), and the ability to work independently. Please send an example of your STATA code with your application.

Special Application Instructions:

In addition to filling the Tobin common application and including Professor Ayres as one of your choices for faculty supervisor, please send a single PDF containing your CV, cover letter, writing sample, coding sample, and academic transcripts to pranjal.drall@yale.edu Label your file “Last name, First name – Tobin Fellow”

The Disparate Effects of the Retail Apocalypse
Faculty sponsor(s): Judy Chevalier and Kevin Williams

Project Description(s):

Professors Chevalier and Williams are recruiting one Fellow to work on the following projects:

The prospective predoctoral fellow will work on projects studying the retail apocalypse, or the recent trend of mass brick-and-mortar retail exits in the United States. The predoctoral fellow will work with unique location data that tracks the establishment choice and duration of shopping spells for millions of individuals in the United States. This is a big data project – the full sample contains hundreds of billions of observations. Sample tasks the candidate will perform are: What is the average distance an individual travels to reach her retail opportunities; How do individuals combine visits to multiple establishments (trip chaining); Do consumers travel farther to access retail opportunities after local stores exit; Are retail deserts growing?

During the one or two-year fellowship, the successful candidate will develop her/his own research agenda under the supervision of Judy Chevalier and Kevin Williams at the Yale School of Management. The predoctoral fellow will join a small group of research assistants dedicated to faculty at the Yale SOM, but the candidate will also have access to and support of all the resources of the Tobin Center.

This position is intended to provide training in the field of economics research to prepare a candidate for doctoral studies in graduate school. This position presents an opportunity for recent graduates to begin training for a career in research and will serve as a stepping stone to doctoral studies.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Successful candidates should have a well-demonstrated interest in applied microeconomic research, strong communication skills, and must be proficient in SQL and Python or R. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Special Application Instructions:

Applicants to this position should submit two coding samples. The first must be a SQL program. The second can either be in Python or R. As part of the application review process, finalists will also be asked to complete a training exercise.

Research at the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (Y-RISE)
Faculty sponsor(s): Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Project Description(s):

Professor Mobarak, faculty director of the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (Y-RISE), is recruiting multiple Fellows to work as part of his research team:

The position will consist of collaboration on a number of new and ongoing projects related to the Y-RISE - https://yrise.yale.edu/ research agenda on the effects of large-scale development interventions. The focus of this research may include assessing the general equilibrium effects of interventions, the effects of programs on political outcomes, the external validity of initial estimates of program effects in different locations and years, and the implementation challenges that arise when programs scale. Mobarak’s work on seasonal migration - https://voxdev.org/topic/methods-measurement/path-scale-replication-general-equilibrium-effects-and-new-settings is an example of the type of research that fits within this agenda.

Primary responsibilities include planning study design, cleaning and analyzing large datasets, helping to write papers and proposals, generating figures and tables, and supporting quality assurance of ongoing fieldwork.

The position is offered for one year (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis for a preferred start date in Spring/Summer 2021, depending on applicant availability), with a strong preference for a second-year renewal. Fellows will sit in the Y-RISE office at the MacMillan Center, located adjacent to the Yale Economics Department.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will: (i) be detail-oriented with programming experience in statistical software such as Stata, R, Matlab, or Python; (ii) have a strong quantitative background; (iii) be able to work independently to solve problems; and (iv) have a long-term interest in pursuing research in economics. Familiarity with economics and randomized controlled trials is preferred – but we also welcome applicants with strong technical backgrounds who wish to increase their exposure to economics and related fields.

Special Application Instructions:

Please email yrise@yale.edu with the subject “RA Candidate 2021: Lastname, Firstname” and attach a single PDF document named “Lastname_Firstname” containing the following materials:

1.     A cover letter describing:

a.     Your interest in the position

b.     Your familiarity with statistical software and programming languages (e.g. Stata, R Matlab, Python, etc.)

c.     Your prior experience as a research assistant and/or with independent research projects.

d.     Names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of 2-3 references

2.     A CV

3.     Transcripts (unofficial is fine)

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a set of technical exercises. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to contact all applicants.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:


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