Predoctoral Fellowship Opportunities
Do you find yourself thinking about about why our economy works the way it does, or how to make it better? Wondering whether a career in economic policy research is right for you? A SIEPR Predoctoral Research Fellowships can help you answer these questions!
The role of government in healthcare markets (Maria Polyakova) - THIS POSITION ADDED OCTOBER 27, 2023
The successful candidate will work on multiple projects in health economics that all tend to focus on evaluating the equity and efficiency of government interventions in healthcare markets, including the markets for health insurance. You can see a selection of specific projects on Prof. Polyakova's home page (https://mpolyak.people.stanford.edu/research). The position will entail working with large restricted administrative datasets, including Medicare, Medicaid, IRS data, SSA data, and US Census Bureau surveys. The main task will be to write programming scripts to analyze and visualize data, create research reports, and actively participate in regular team meetings Qualifications: This position is ideal for a candidate interested in pursuing a PhD in economics, health policy, or public policy. The position requires attention to detail and fluency with Stata, as well as willingness to learn econometrics and institutional details of the US health policy.
Stanford environmental and energy policy analysis center (Hunt Allcott)
Do you want to use economics to help address climate change and make better environmental policy? The Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center (SEEPAC) is recruiting SIEPR predoctoral fellows to work with incoming co-director Hunt Allcott and other collaborators. Projects might include: working with electric utilities on randomized experiments to increase energy efficiency; analyzing electricity market data to quantify the benefits of retiring coal power plants; analyzing many terabytes of data from Nielsen to understand what is driving trends toward more sustainable consumption; working with a large grocer on experiments to measure consumer responses to eco-labeling and carbon-inclusive pricing; modeling and quantifying corporate social and environmental impact; and/or other work that combines the technical rigor of economics with the mission of fighting climate change. Qualifications: Experience in (or demonstrable ability to quickly learn) data analysis programs such as Stata, R, and Python. Clear interest in doing a PhD in economics or a closely related field.
Economics of medical care delivery (Laurence Baker and Eric Sun)
The successful candidate will work on multiple projects related to the economics of health care delivery. Projects may evaluate economic issues related to the size and organization of physician practices, hospital systems and hospital care, the effects of changes in medical practice ownership (e.g. the role of private equity), and the ways that health insurance influences health care delivery. Projects often evaluate the effects of these factors on the ways that medical care is provided, the prices of services, total cost of care, and quality of care. Projects often focus on questions with implications for the design of government policies related to the health care system. The position will entail working with large restricted administrative datasets, particularly claims data from the US Medicare program, but also including data on care for Medicaid patients, privately insured patients, and others. The primary activities associated with the position will be writing computer programs to manage and construct data sets and carry out econometric analyses such as event study models, and models using instrumental variables. Analyses may also include creating reports and visualizing results of analyses. Qualifications: Enthusiasm for research and strong quantitative background are required, with preference given to those with prior coding experience and knowledge of Stata. Interest in the topics being studied is valuable, though prior work in these areas is not required.
Empirical analysis of regulation in credit and healthcare markets (Jose Ignacio Cuesta)
Professor Jose Ignacio Cuesta is working on a set of projects that analyze the regulation of credit and healthcare markets, including the role of screening technology in credit markets, the design of mortgage refinancing policies, quality regulation in pharmaceutical markets, the roles of public procurement and public provision in lowering drug prices, and market design in health insurance markets. The projects use novel large datasets to develop a variety of analyses, that range from exploiting policy variation to study the effects of the policy on market outcomes, to implementing and analyzing field experiments, and to estimating structural models of consumer and firm behavior to study the effects of counterfactual policies and measure welfare effects. The fellow will help the team collect, clean, process, and analyze the data. The fellow will be exposed to a variety of methods commonly used in applied microeconomics, and obtain experience applying them in practice. Qualifications: A strong quantitative background, experience programming in statistical softwares, ability to work independently, and overall enthusiasm for research in economics.
Reinventing first-responder practices for behavioral health crises (Thomas Dee)
Multiple communities throughout the United States have begun complementing (or replacing) police-only responses to behavioral health crises with mental health staff. Students will assist in building a national database on the design details of these innovations. This landscape analysis will seed quasi-experimental studies of program impact. For more background information click here. RAs will assist in identifying the state and local innovations in first-responder practices (e.g., co-responder and community-responder models) and participate in the structured coding of these data. At a later stage, RAs can also participate in the quasi-experimental evaluation of such programs. Qualifications: The key qualification is simply an energetic attention to detail. However, at a later stage, it would also be useful to have or to quickly develop skill in using Stata.
Transition in the energy markets (Omer Karaduman) and New measures of international capital flows (Chenzi Xu)
This opening is for one predoc position who will work on both projects and who will be co-mentored by both Professors Karaduman and Xu.
Transition in the Energy Markets: Energy markets worldwide are witnessing a paramount transition towards a sustainable, green power ecosystem. This project delves into the multifaceted nuances of this transition, encompassing market design for novel technologies, evaluating the socio-economic and environmental ramifications of energy policies, and probing into mergers, contracting, and competition dynamics in electricity markets. New Measures of International Capital Flows: This project seeks to create new measures of international capital flows from the 1700s onwards. By systematically digitizing historical sources using innovative computer vision techniques, we aim to automate the data creation process fully. This research will illuminate previously unobserved facets of international financial market integration between the 18th and 20th centuries, particularly in traditionally understudied regions like Latin America and Africa. Combined Responsibilities and Qualifications: Collecting, cleaning, and analyzing large volumes of data for the respective projects; assembling vast datasets, conducting econometric and machine learning analyses, and contributing to paper drafts; prior experience with coding and data analysis; strong quantitative and empirical skills with proficiency in statistical software; exceptional communication abilities and keen attention to detail; an inclination towards sustainability/energy topics, international finance, or equality of opportunity is preferred; aspiring to enroll in a PhD program in Economics, Finance, or Operations.
Economics of healthcare and consumer financial markets (Neale Mahoney)
Professor Mahoney is looking for research assistants to work with him on projects examining the U.S. healthcare system, consumer financial markets, and other topics in applied microeconomics. Research assistants work on all aspects of the projects -- from background research and basic data analysis, to causal and structural estimation, to slide preparation and paper writing. Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have (i) a strong quantitative background, (ii) strong computer skills including programming, (iii) an interest in public policy (iv) the ability to work independently to solve problems, and (v) a long-term interest in pursuing research in economics. Background in economics is a plus, but not necessary—I welcome candidates with strong technical backgrounds who are looking for more exposure to economics.
Maternal and child health, and family structure and well-being (Petra Persson and Maya Rossin-Slater)
The position will involve research assistance for several projects on topics related to maternal and child health, and family structure and well-being. The projects use large-scale administrative data sets and deliver implications for current policy debates. The fellow will receive exposure to and training in a broad set of applied microeconomics research methods, and experience analyzing large and complex data sets, working with programs such as Stata, SAS, R, and GIS, and will become knowledgeable about current policies targeting disadvantaged populations. Several of the projects require obtaining Special Sworn Status (SSS) at the U.S. Census Bureau in order to access and work with the data. To be eligible for SSS, you must be either a U.S. citizen, or you must have resided in the United States for the past 36 months. Therefore, predoc applicants will be asked about their eligibility to apply for SSS.
State and local fiscal policy (Josh Rauh)
This research considers the effects of state and local taxation on economic activity, including business formation, employment, and earned income of both individuals and businesses. The work will include econometric analysis of administrative datasets. The researcher will work both with the Hoover Institution’s State and Local Policy group as well as Stanford GSB’s new Stanford GSB's Stanford Initiative for Business, Taxation, and Society (STAX) group, offering the researcher experience with a wide range of fiscal policy research projects. Additional projects may involve analysis of state and local debt and pension liabilities. Qualifications: Strong programming skills in at least one of STATA, R, or Python, and at least some experience with all of these packages. An interest in pursuing a PhD in economics as well as a strong interest in economic policy. Attention to detail and high level of commitment for in-person work.
The impact of health care organizations on competition, costs, and outcomes (Daniel Kessler) - FILLED
This project seeks to identify what factors determine how physicians and hospitals choose to organize, and the consequences of those organizational choices for market competitiveness and the cost and quality of care. It uses individual-level health care claims data from Medicare and commercial insurers, matched with data on hospital systems, physician practices, and state laws and regulations. Qualifications: Experience with statistical programming languages, particularly Stata and/or R, is required. A background in economics is preferred, as is knowledge of (or interest in learning about) the US healthcare system.
Global health (Grant Miller) - FILLED
The project will involve close collaboration on a variety of research projects at the intersection of applied microeconomics, global health, and human rights (in particular, human trafficking). The two major themes of the research are 1) What are the major causes of population health improvement around the world and over time? and 2) What are the behavioral underpinnings of the major determinants of population health improvement? Qualifications: Strong quantitative background. Strong programming skills. Long-term interest in pursuing research in the social sciences. Excellent academic record. Prior experience as a research assistant in the social sciences is a plus but not required.
Competition in health care markets and patient health (Natalia Serna Borrero) - FILLED
This position will contribute to the understanding of insurer and hospital competition on patient health outcomes and social welfare. Contributions will span two particular lines of research: (1) the scope for insurer competition in hospital networks in the context of free, basic universal health insurance systems and (2) the potentially ambiguous impacts of government policies designed to increase health insurance take-up in systems without universal coverage.
The candidate will work with large health care claims, enrollment, and hospital networks datasets. The candidate is expected to conduct background research, write programming code, produce statistical analyses, and participate in regular meetings. Qualifications: the ideal candidate is someone interested in conducting economics research, with a focus on big data and econometrics in health care markets. Proficiency in Stata is required, knowledge of R is optional but preferred.
The role of technology and regulation in shaping consumer finance (Amit Seru) - FILLED
Professor Seru researches several topics in household/consumer finance and financial intermediation, including the rising role of fintech and bigtech firms, role of banking regulation and regulators in financial stability as well as consumer welfare and role of technological innovation in shaping the intermediation sector and beyond. These projects will use large-scale data sets primarily from the United States, and the analysis will generate research and scholarship that is policy relevant. The fellow will help the team clean, process, analyze and present the data towards these goals using programs such as Stata, R or Python. Qualifications: The ideal candidate brings both enthusiasm for research and strong coding experience, with preference given to those with prior knowledge of either Stata, R, or Python.
Empirical market design for transforming marketplaces (Shoshana Vasserman) - FILLED
This is a predoctoral fellow position to work on ongoing research projects involving the empirical evaluation and design of policies for changing marketplaces. Possible project topics include congestion pricing for urban roads, infrastructure investment decisions for road and maritime port networks and supply & demand pressures for local news. All projects will likely involve empirical work to develop and analyze never-before-seen data from large-scale ongoing experiments.Results from the research are of policy relevance and are likely to be of interest to general media (e.g. The Economist or Wall Street Journal). While the research fellow’s focus will primarily be on learning and producing academic research, there may also be opportunities to interface with policy institutions, produce publicly available statistics and graphical interfaces that help communicate the research to the broader public. As part of the research process, the fellow will also interact with Professor Vasserman’s co-authors, PhD students (research assistants and/or co-authors), and other students involved in the research projects at Stanford or other universities. Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, a strong quantitative background, comfort with programming (in some language) and a serious interest in pursuing research in economics. A background in economics is helpful, but not necessary. Previous research experience is a plus. Intellectual curiosity, attention to detail and a desire to learn how to do things well can compensate for most technical qualifications.