Current Job Postings


Postdoctoral Researcher (2-3 years)

Title: Postdoctoral Researcher (2-3 years)

  • Employer: UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA (DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS & BUSINESS)
  • Location: Spain
  • Position Type: Post-Doc
  • Deadline: Feb 15, 2018

  • Job Description:

    The research project “The Causal Effect of Early Interventions on Child Health and Human Capital” (MISSINGMIDDLE) is recruiting one Postdoctoral researcher with a PhD in Economics. The project will be located at the Department of Economics and Business of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). The position is offered for two years, which can be extended to three, starting between June and September 2018. Two graduate students will also be part of the team.

    The application should include a motivation letter describing the applicant’s own research interests in the field, a full CV, and two writing samples (articles, thesis chapters or manuscripts). Two-three reference letters should also be provided. Applications must be submitted by 15 February 2018 via email to the Principal Investigator, Libertad González (libertad.gonzalez@upf.edu). Reference letters shall also be sent to the same address.

    Project summary: A recent literature in economics on the “fetal origins hypothesis” has documented that a range of early (prenatal and postnatal) shocks and interventions can have substantial effects on long-term human capital formation (e.g. adult health, wages). However, we still know little about the years in between early infancy and adulthood, referred to as the “missing middle”. How do early shocks affect health and human capital formation during childhood? How do the effects of different types of interventions, or shocks at different ages, compare? What are the most cost-effective ways of improving young children’s future outcomes?
    We aim to fill this gap in the literature by taking advantage of several natural experiments in a country, Spain, for which high quality administrative data are available for the past 35 years. State of the art econometric techniques, combined with large sample sizes, will allow us to evaluate credibly and precisely the causal effects of a number of different public policies and shocks on child development.
    We will consider five different early “shocks” in early childhood, affecting: i) Household material resources (an unconditional mother’s allowance); ii) Parental time (subsidized paternity leave); iii) Medical treatments around birth (elective delivery); iv) The availability of family planning services (access to abortion); and v) Aggregate demand shocks to different sectors of the economy.
    We will evaluate their impact on health and cognitive development at ages 0-15, as measured in hospital and primary health care records, school grades, and standardized test scores, among other data sources. We will also study the potential channels linking treatments to child outcomes, including family size (fertility), parental time use and labor market outcomes, expenditure patterns, etc.
    The results will help us understand how shocks in early life can have long-term effects on human capital, with direct policy implications.

  • This position has closed. Applications are no longer accepted.