Research on International Development
Faculty Supervisor(s):

Kevin Donovan

Project Description:

This position is to work with Kevin Donovan on two projects related to international development.

The primary focus of this position is a large-scale randomized controlled trial in Rwanda. Over the next 3 years, we will construct new footbridges designed to connect isolated rural villages to peri-urban markets. We will study the implications on rural livelihoods and economic outcomes, migration, health, and education. The project is a scale-up of earlier work in Nicaragua, a summary of which is available on the Yale Economic Growth Center website:

This position will involve analyzing large-scale primary data collected in Rwanda from multiple waves of surveys conducted with rural households and market traders. These surveys will be conducted across hundreds of locations in Rwanda. It will further involve integrating of satellite data on existing infrastructure in Rwanda. The ultimate goal is to understand how this type of "last mile" infrastructure benefits rural communities, and through what economic mechanisms. The fellow will be exposed to all steps in the research process including:
(a) data quality control, including cleaning and error analysis
(b) interfacing with enumeration team in Rwanda to guarantee continued high-quality data collection
(c) analysis of data to study impact of the intervention
(d) generating figures and tables and helping to write economic research papers and proposals

The secondary project will involve the analysis and maintenance of a of new, large-scale micro-level dataset collected by Professor Donovan and his collaborators on labor market flows. This project will study how individuals move between wage work, self-employment, and unemployment, with a particular focus on how those flows change as countries get richer.

The fellow will:
(a) analyze the data to uncover new trends on how labor markets evolve as countries grow richer
(b) produce statistical analysis to formalize these trends
(c) find and integrate new data from governments (the underlying data is updated monthly or quarterly, depending on countries)
(c) interact with researchers from international organizations, universities, and governments who wish to access the data.

The expectation is that 75% of time will be spent on the primary project with the remaining 25% on the secondary project. The position is offered for one or two years with start date in summer 2022 (exact date depending on applicant availability), with a strong preference for two years.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Successful candidates should:
1. be fluent in R and/or Stata. Proficiency in both is preferred
2. be specifically comfortable with spatial analysis within these programs, such as the use of ArcGIS
3. have a strong quantitative background evidenced by coursework
4. have a long-term interest in pursuing research in economics.

Special Application Instructions:

Please include a coding sample for each language in which you wish to demonstrate fluency.