Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow, Taxes and Firm Networks – University of Zurich

Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Two years
Start Date 
March 15, 2020–July 01, 2020

PIs: Dave Donaldson (MIT), Paul Carrillo (GWU), Dina Pomeranz (University of Zurich), Juan Carlos Serrato (Duke University), Monica Singhal (UC Davis) and Gabriel Zucman (UC Berkeley)

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Dave Donaldson (MIT), Paul Carrillo (GWU), Dina Pomeranz (University of Zurich), Juan Carlos Serrato (Duke University), Monica Singhal (UC Davis) and Gabriel Zucman (UC Berkeley) are looking for two full-time research assistant to work on a large project called “Tax Evasion in Developing Countries: the Role of Firm Networks”. The position is based in Zurich, Switzerland, where the RA will join a dynamic team of international pre-docs. The projects involve the analysis of exciting, large-scale network datasets including the transactions between all formal firms in the entire country of Ecuador and tax data on intra-group payments carried out by multinational firms operating in Chile.

The successful candidate will contribute centrally to the data work of these projects. The projects aim to shed light on strategies that firms use to avoid or evade taxes, and the impact of methods aimed at reducing such behavior. In particular, the projects focuse on how evasion happens not only by individual taxpayers, but within international or domestic networks of colluding firms, and on how firm networks affect firms’ productivity.  

What is the research assistant’s role?

We expect to involve the candidate in all stages of research – brainstorming, literature reviews, model building, data analysis in Stata, data processing, data visualization and writing.


The position would be ideal for a recent graduate who is interested in going on to do a PhD in Economics or a related field. The candidate must possess (at the time of starting) a Masters or Bachelor’s degree with excellent grades in Economics or another quantitative field (such as, but not limited to, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics). Candidates need experience with Stata. Knowledge of other statistical programs such as R or Python is welcome.

We are looking for a person who enjoys independent problem-solving and thrives on taking high-level directional advice and then running with this advice as far as possible. The ideal candidate has a desire to understand the social world around them and possesses a thirst for answering research questions about international development, taxation, and or firm behavior.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow - Taxes and Firm Networks – University of Zurich
and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation
letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be

You are able to submit your
application before your references complete their recommendation
letters; however, you must include their contact information before
submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.