The Political Economy of Redistribution & Why Are US Infrastructure Costs So High?
Faculty Supervisor(s):

Zachary Liscow

Project Description:

Zachary Liscow, Professor at Yale Law School, is seeking an empirical research assistant to assist with research projects. Day-to-day work includes brainstorming, conceptualization of suitable empirical methodologies, collecting and structuring datasets, performing econometric analysis in Stata and interpreting results, undertaking literature reviews, and drafting manuscripts. Work also may include implementing field experiments and conducting surveys.

Professor Liscow works in two areas: First, he studies the political economy of redistribution by understanding the psychology underlying the public’s redistributive attitudes. If we want to tax the super-rich or redistribute to the poor, we need to understand the public’s attitudes to develop policies that are consonant with these attitudes. Professor Liscow combines analysis of these attitudes with economic goals to generate innovative policy prescriptions to address inequality.

Second, a crucial aspect of growth and economic opportunity is transportation infrastructure. However, as Professor Liscow has shown, infrastructure costs have skyrocketed in the US – and these costs are far higher than in other countries. We are working on understanding why by exploiting variation in policies across US states to see where costs are highest and then developing solutions where policies drive up costs with little benefit.

For more information, visit his website,

If you are interested in committing to work for two years (for which we have some preference), please state that in your cover letter.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

• B.A. or M.A. in Economics/Statistics (or equivalent).
• Strong econometrics background and experience programming in Stata.
• Eagerness to take initiative and solve intricate problems.

Special Application Instructions: