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Research Assistant

Annual recruitment round

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is the UK’s leading microeconomics and public policy research organisation. From time to time the Institute needs to recruit staff to carry out short-term assignments. To make a contribution to the work of the IFS, we would expect to recruit self-motivated and effective individuals with a record of exceptional success in their academic study or professional experience of economics. In return, we offer our short-term staff excellent opportunities to further develop their data, analytical and research communication skills, and a chance to work with academic leaders and policy experts.

We are currently looking to recruit a temporary part-time research assistant to work with IFS research staff on a recently-started project looking at the likely effects of updating and reforming council tax on local authority finances across England and Wales. We expect this project to have major policy impact – it will feed into a review of local government finance by the Welsh Government, and takes place at a time of major change in the English Local Government Finance System.

The work will involve:

  • Cleaning, matching/merging and using administrative data on housing transactions and stocks in order to estimate hedonic house price models that can be used to estimate the distribution of property values in each local authority;
  • simulating the effects of various options for council tax reform on local authorities’ tax bases and revenue under different assumptions about the local government finance regime and the incidence of tax changes;
  • explaining and presenting the findings internally, and working with colleagues to write up the results into a publishable report.

The successful candidate will have:

  • a good relevant degree;
  • excellent knowledge of Stata and very good knowledge of applied econometrics, preferably with experience of working with large survey and administrative datasets and of hedonic regression analysis;
  • excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • an interest in public finance, especially tax policy and sub-national public finance.

It is hoped that the successful candidate will be able to start as soon as possible. The work is expected to last for 6–9 months, based at the IFS’s offices in central London, and average around 2 days per week (over 9 months) or 3 days per week (over 6 months). However, weekly hours and days of work are negotiable and can be somewhat flexible. The role can therefore be combined with study or other part-time roles.

Anyone eligible to work in the UK may express an interest in this role by sending a CV and covering letter explaining why they are suitable for the position. At a minimum, this covering letter should state what experience you have of using large survey and/or administrative datasets, undertaking econometric analysis using Stata and, if relevant, undertaking analysis of tax and/or sub-national public finance policy. You should also include the details of two referees able to provide confirmation of your technical skills and experience and suitability for the post (such as academics who have supervised or worked with you).

The closing date for receipt of these is Wednesday 27 February 2019. Please email quoting the reference RA2019/1 in the subject line.

Interviews are likely to be held in London on 11 or 12 March.