The Distributional Impact of the Retail Apocalypse

Faculty sponsor(s):

Judy Chevalier and Kevin Williams

Project Description(s):

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?

Recent papers written by the research team include: "Measuring movement and social contact with smartphone data: a real-time application to COVID-19" and "Distributional Impacts of Retail Vaccine Availability".

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 have experience using Python or R. Exposure to SQL preferred, but not necessary. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Special Application Instructions:

Applicants to this position should submit one or more coding samples.  A coding sample in Python or R must be submitted to be considered for the position. Additional samples in Python, R, Julia, and SQL will be considered. As part of the application review process, finalists will also be asked to complete a training exercise.

Due to the volume of applications, Professors Chevalier and Williams request that you do not contact them about your application status. Thank you for your consideration.