Pre-Doctoral Research Opportunities

The Fall recruiting cycle has opened, with all applications due by November 4, 2022.

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School.

Please join us on October 6 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT for an information session about all pre-doctoral research positions and the Fall 2022 hiring process. Register using the following link.

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  • EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Magne Mogstad, The Gary S. Becker Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics; Director of BFI Ronzetti Initiative for the Study of Labor Markets; Manasi Deshpande, Assistant Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics; Evan Rose, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire multiple full-time Research Professionals to work with Professors Manasi Deshpande, Magne Mogstad, and Evan Rose on ongoing and new research projects related to applied econometrics, labor and public economics. Applicants must be available to begin work in July 2023.

    Successful candidates will work directly with Professors Manasi Deshpande, Magne Mogstad, and/or Evan Rose and co-authors as part of BFI’s Ronzetti Initiative for the Study of Labor Markets and BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). The position entails collaboration on new and ongoing research projects, with specialization in using applied microeconometric techniques to analyze labor markets and social policy in developed economies, including (but not limited to) 1) understanding changes in labor demand (e.g., international competition and trade, regulation and firm dynamics), 2) understanding labor supply (e.g., household labor supply, barriers to geographical and occupational mobility), 3) understanding the determination of the labor market equilibrium, and the role of policy and institutions (e.g., the insurance and incentive effects of social insurance and safety net programs, quantifying monopsony power and implications), and 4) interactions between labor markets and the criminal justice system (e.g., effects of economic shocks on crime and recidivism).

    The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in empirical economics. Former Research Professionals have been admitted to PhD programs at the highest ranked economics programs in the US.

    Applicants must have completed a Bachelors degree by June 2023 and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, R, Julia, Python, or Matlab. The ideal candidate would begin on July 1, 2023, and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Write programs in Stata or other languages to analyze large datasets
    • Construct maps, figures, and tables for economics papers
    • Identify new data sources
    • Conduct background research
    • Edit papers
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Desired (but not required) skills include advanced familiarity with numerical optimization and package development in R and/or Python, and the ability to use Stata to manage and analyze large datasets. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

     Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.  Background in economics is a plus, but not necessary — we welcome candidates with strong technical backgrounds and strong analytical skills who are looking for more exposure to economics.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience as a research assistant (especially with data).

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of R, Julia and/or Python preferred
    • Knowledge of STATA preferred

     Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • EXPECTED START DATE: SUMMER 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Rodrigo Adão, Associate Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business; Rohan Kekre, Associate Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business; Guido Lorenzoni, Joseph Sondheimer Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business

    The Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) is seeking a Research Professional (RP) to work on new and ongoing research projects in and related to macro and international economics. The Research Professional will work under the guidance of Professors Rodrigo Adao, Rohan Kekre, and Guido Lorenzoni. The research professional will be responsible for the construction of new datasets, the implementation of estimation methodologies, data analysis, and the revision and extension of theoretical results.

    This position will be most desirable to candidates considering or planning to apply for graduate school during the second year of their RP role. Previous RPs have attended PhD programs at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, UCLA, Princeton and Penn State, among others. The ideal candidate would begin on July 1, 2023 and work for BFI for two years. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    In addition to the frequent interaction with Professors Adao, Kekre, and Lorenzoni, the RP will benefit from interacting with other peers as part of the large BFI Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). As a member of the Chicago academic community, the RP will be able to take advantage of a rich set of programming and can attend seminars and workshops. To learn more about what the BFI environment has to offer, please visit: https://bfi.uchicago.edu/info-for/prep/.

    Responsibilities

    • Cleans and analyzes data.
    • Writes or finalizes replicable data files or scripts for publication.
    • Assists with writing data analysis plans and contributes to preparing study registration documents.
    • Maintains technical and administrative support for a research project.
    • Analyzes and maintains data. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Preferred Qualifications

     Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, or a related field.
    • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or a related field.

    Experience:

    • Experience in econometrics.
    • Working as a research assistant.
    • Analyzing large data sets, applying econometrics methods.
    • Machine learning techniques in data analysis.

     Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Knowledge of Stata, Python, Matlab, Julia, or R required
    • Knowledge of LaTeX preferred

    Preferred Competencies

    • Advanced knowledge of research technique and methods in relevant scientific field.
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
    • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines.
    • Work both independently and as a team member.
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

    Application Documents

    • Resume/CV
    • Cover Letter (include earliest available start date)
    • Writing Sample (optional)
    • Transcript (unofficial is ok)
    • Three Professional References (required)

    About the Department
    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu.

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics and PCL Faculty Scholar, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Deputy Director of BFI Development Economics Center; Erik Hurst, Frank P. and Marianne R. Diassi Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow, Chicago Booth; Deputy Director, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Professors Chang-Tai Hsieh and Erik Hurst on ongoing and new research projects related to global innovation, China’s economic growth, and technological revolution in the US service sector. Applicants must be available to begin work in July 2021.

    Successful candidates will work directly with Professors Chang-Tai Hsieh and Erik Hurst as part of BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in empirical economics. Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree by June 2021 and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in programming and numerical optimization software. The ideal candidate would begin on July 1, 2021 and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

     Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Write programs in Stata to analyze large datasets
    • Construct maps, figures, and tables for economics papers
    • Identify new data sources

     Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Desired (but not required) skills include advanced familiarity with numerical optimization and package development in Matlab (or similar program), and the ability to use Stata to manage and analyze large datasets. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

     Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience as a research assistant.

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of Matlab and Stata preferred

    Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)

     About the Unit:

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/programs/macro-finance-research-program/ .

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • EXPECTED START DATE: JANUARY 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Eric Zwick, Associate Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow, Booth School of Business

    The work is intended for someone looking to gain research experience prior to applying for graduate school in economics or finance. We are working on several projects that combine quasi-experimental program evaluations of fiscal policy with quantitative heterogeneous agent models in which individuals and firms face financial and other frictions. We also hope to study the impact of fiscal support during the COVID-19 recovery on durables goods markets and the contribution of these policies to inflation as the US emerged from the pandemic. The person will work closely with Professor Zwick and his coauthors on these projects to develop the theory and empirics.

    Additional Responsibilities

    • Collects and cleans data.
    • Analyzes data, using reduced form and structural methods.
    • Prepares literature reviews.
    • Prepares tables and figures for papers and presentations.
    • Writes, proofreads, and fact checks papers, reports, and presentations.
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Unit-preferred Competencies

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
    • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines required.
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail required.
    • Excellent data visualization ability preferred.
    • Ability to work both independently and as a team member required. 

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education

    The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree or above in economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, statistics, or physics. Some basic knowledge of economic dynamics is preferred.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience, especially with data, preferred
    • Experience with computational macro models a big plus

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of Stata, JULIA, Python, MATLAB, and/or R required
    • Knowledge of LaTeX preferred
    • Knowledge of software productivity tools, e.g., github, task management a plus

    Required Documents

    • Resume/CV
    • Cover Letter
    • Transcript (unofficial is ok)
    • Writing Sample (optional) 

    About the Unit:

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/programs/macro-finance-research-program/ .

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • START DATE: JULY 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Carolin Pflueger, Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Professor Carolin Pflueger on ongoing and new research projects related to the interaction of monetary policy with financial markets. Even though financial markets are clearly an important source of information for central bankers, the analyses of financial markets data on the one hand and inflation and unemployment on the other often proceed separately, limiting their joint potential. The RP will be involved in studying questions such as: Can high-frequency financial data can tell us whether monetary policy is still effective when interest rates are bounded below by the zero-lower-bound? What do financial markets tell us about the drivers of the post-Covid rise in inflation? The RP will also take the lead in developing a user-friendly computational toolbox that will allow other researchers to model risk discounts in stocks and bonds from their own structural macroeconomic models, thereby increasing the usefulness of financial markets data to test which channels drive the macroeconomy.

    Applicants must be available to begin work in July 2023, though earlier start dates will be considered. Successful candidates will work directly with Professor Pflueger as part of BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school in economics. Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree by June 2023 and have strong quantitative and programming skills. The ideal candidate would begin on July 1, 2023 and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Develop, test, and maintain macro-finance computational toolbox
    • Develop and maintain toolbox website
    • Construct maps, figures, and tables for economics papers
    • Identify new data sources
    • Editing tasks
    • Other duties as assigned.

     Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Strong programming skills, especially MATLAB. Other programming languages, such as C or FORTRAN, are a plus. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one programming language is required.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, or related STEM fields.

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of MATLAB and STATA preferred.

    Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Coding sample
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)
    • Contact information for two references

     About the Unit:

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/programs/macro-finance-research-program/ .

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • EXPECTED START DATE: MARCH 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Lars Peter Hansen, The David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and Statistics, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the Booth School of Business; Director of BFI's Macro Finance Research Program

    The Macro Finance Research (MFR) Program under the auspices of the Becker Friedman Institute is seeking a highly skilled and independently motivated early career scholar for the Macro Finance Research Program (MFR) led by Professor Lars Peter Hansen. The research professional will be expected to:

    • Conduct independent problem-solving with high-level directional advice;
    • Be fully informed on the latest developments in the relevant research areas;
    • Assist Professor Hansen to identify, assess and organize information for research from academic institutions worldwide and other organizations addressing similar research goals;
    • Collaborate with the MFR research team to create and strengthen a digital platform accessible to the community of researchers whose aim is to strengthen dynamic models in macroeconomics and finance;
    • Present findings effectively and articulately at internal staff meetings and seminars/conferences;
    • Contribute essential technical content relevant to grant proposals and reports in support of the initiative.

    The candidate will be required to independently identify and interpret research data, develop conclusions, and communicate findings through effective oral and written communication on a bi-weekly basis.

    The ideal candidate will have strong computer programming and quantitative skills, experience with a statistical programming language such as MATLAB, JULIA, Stata, or R, and familiarity with lower-level programming languages such as C, C++, or Python with interest in coding and a willingness to learn new programs and methods of analysis.

    Additional Responsibilities

    • Collects and cleans data.
    • Analyzes data, using reduced form and structural methods.
    • Prepares literature reviews.
    • Prepares tables and figures for papers and presentations.
    • Writes, proofreads, and fact checks papers, reports, and presentations.
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Unit-preferred Competencies

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
    • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines required.
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail required.
    • Excellent data visualization ability preferred.
    • Ability to work both independently and as a team member required.

     Preferred Qualifications

    Education

    The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree or above in applied mathematics and computation, statistics, economics or a closely connected field. Some basic knowledge of economic dynamics is preferred.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience, especially with data, preferred Technical Knowledge/Skills
    • Knowledge of Python, MATLAB, Stata, JULIA and/or R required
    • Knowledge of LaTeX preferred

    Required Documents

    • Resume/CV
    • Cover Letter (include earliest available start date)
    • Writing Sample (optional)
    • Transcript (unofficial is ok)
    • Recommendation Letters (minimum of 2)

     About the Unit:

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/programs/macro-finance-research-program/ .

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.