Research Assistant - Women, Entrepreneurship and Institutions - The Marshall Institute

Other advanced degree
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Less than one year
Start Date 
February 03, 2019

Professor Nava Ashraf (LSE) and Professor Edward Glaeser (Harvard) are hiring a Research Assistant to manage field activities in Zambia. The project is part of a long-term research agenda on the barriers to female entrepreneurship in developing countries cities. There are two main venues of this agenda: the impact of legal institutions and contract enforcement, on the one hand, and the complex relationship between intra-household dynamics and business. Activities will be based in Lusaka, one of Africa’s most dynamic cities. The research so far has provided evidence that expanding access to legal institutions – even in a gender-blind way – benefits female entrepreneurs disproportionately. This project aims to provide new evidence to expand upon these findings. In particular, a deeper understanding of the interplay between rule of law and female entrepreneurship, as well as an exploration of the effects of increasing access to financial services for female entrepreneurs on intra-household decision-making.

The Research Assistant will organize and manage new data collection at a major local legal institution in Lusaka, develop relationships with new financial institution partners, and co-ordinate a future new field experiment. This role will require both management and research skills, as well as flexibility and organization. Management responsibilities will include overseeing staff, maintaining a relationship with the partner organization, and data systems management. Research responsibilities will include planning and running field operations related to survey collection, ensuring adherence to the research design, monitoring data quality, and supporting data analysis as needed. The Research Assistant must balance strong leadership to keep the project moving forward, while also monitoring the progress through data analysis and checks. Close attention to detail and perseverance are required when facing the dynamic challenges that may arise as the study progresses. Project-related decisions often need to be made in a timely and independent manner. The successful Research Assistant will think through such decisions carefully, but then decisively move forward with a plan of action.


  • A Bachelor's / Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or other related social sciences, with substantial quantitative work.
  • Strong quantitative skills, demonstrated familiarity with dataset management, meticulous attention to detail, and very good knowledge of Stata.
  • Familiarity with quantitative research methods used in behavioral and development economics, particularly randomized controlled trials and laboratory experiments.
  • Fluency in written and oral English.
  • Strong organizational skills, and ability to communicate effectively at all levels and to different audiences, as well as to convey complex technical information in a clear and accurate manner.
  • Experience in developing countries, particularly working on research field-work, is a strong plus.

How to Apply

If interested, please fill in the J-PAL/IPA Common Application (required documents: Cover Letter, CV, and Transcripts) AND email [email protected] with subject “RA Field Candidate: Lastname Firstname” and attach a single PDF document named “Lastname_Firstname” containing CV, Cover Letter and Transcripts.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at [email protected].