Research Professional - Kaplan and Mongey

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

40610 Office of the Provost

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

Job Information

Job Summary:

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a Research Professional to work on new and ongoing research projects which span macroeconomics, labor economics and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the distributional consequences of economic policies and economic forces. The Research Professional will work under the guidance of Professors Greg Kaplan and Simon Mongey. They seek a highly skilled and independently motivated research scholar to work for a period of one- or two-years. The research includes the topics of inequality, risk sharing, unemployment, household formation, migration, fiscal policy and monetary policy. The position will demand close collaboration on a number of new and ongoing projects.


  • Develop code that implements numerical algorithms to solve heterogenous agent, incomplete markets economies in discrete and continuous time including HANK (Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian) models. Coding will be done in Matlab, Fortran or Julia; methods for discrete time models will include Euler equation methods, endogenous grid point methods and value function iteration; and methods for continuous time will include application of finite difference methods with upwinding to find viscocity solutions of Hamilton-Jacobi Bellman equations. Also, implements large-scale linearization and model reduction techniques based on Krylov subspace methods and Arnoldi Iteration (20%).
  • Develop code to analyze large micro data sets including the Kilts-Nielsen Retail Scanner Dataset, the Current Population Survey, the Panel Study of Income dynamics as well as several proprietary datasets and large administrative datasets. Coding will be done in Stata, R or equivalent statistical package (20%).
  • Develop code to estimate random parameter and random utility discrete choice models from experimental data. Models include behavioral phenomena such as ambiguity aversion, probability weighting, loss aversion, endowment effects and hyperbolic discounting ? familiarity with these concepts required (20%).
  • Write and implement advanced programs to solve economic problems that include designing, implementing, testing, and comparing algorithms and models; utilize statistical packages to build large scale database that is efficient for computing; and utilize statistical packages to visualize complicated research results into nice format for publications and presentations (20%).
  • Conduct independent problem-solving with high-level directional advice (5%).
  • Test new computing tools to explore better options for computational research (5%).
  • Be fully informed on the latest developments in the relevant research areas; present findings effectively and articulately (5%).
  • Assist faculty to identity, assess and organize information addressing research goals (5%).

  • The ideal candidate will have exceptionally strong computer programming and quantitative skills, experience with a statistical programming language such as Stata, R, or equivalent and familiarity with programming languages such as Fortran, Matlab, Julia, C or Python with interest in coding and a willingness to learn new programs and methods of analysis.
  • Knowledge in relevant scientific field required.
  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods required.
  • Analytical skills required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics, computer science, mathematics or related field required.
  • Advanced degree in economics strongly preferred.

  • The candidate's expertise must be in statistical and economic modeling, programming and the analysis of very large data sets.
  • Minimum two years of active research assistance in this area required.
  • The candidate is welcome to take advantage of immersion in the Chicago Economics community and to attend student and faculty research workshops.

Required Documents:
  • Cover Letter
  • CV

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 11/29/2018
Application Due: 1/10/2019
Work Type: