RA in Development Economics

Title: Research Associate in Development Economics

Description: Seeking applications for motivated RAs interested in field work in Odisha

Professor Shilpa Aggarwal is looking to hire a full-time Research Associate (RA) to lead field work on a project aimed at understanding and arresting distress migration from rural Odisha to urban areas in other parts of the country.

Every year, large numbers of people migrate from rural areas of Odisha during the lean season to find work in urban or semi-urban areas of other states. Though data on the living conditions at their migration destinations is hard to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these migrants end up working in conditions that do not comply with Indian labour laws – wages are often below minimum wages, there are little or no protections for workers, and health risks are substantial. The Government of Odisha (GoO) has initiated various interventions for the safety and welfare of these migrant workers and has sponsored this study to understand and address the issue of distress migration via rigorous policy-relevant research. In this pilot study, the researchers will work with the GoO to document distress migration decisions across various districts with the broader aim of identifying viable interventions that could relieve the pressures of intense seasonal poverty.

In addition to Professor Aggarwal, the research team is comprised of Professor Jeremy Magruder (UC Berkeley), Professor Jonathan Robinson (UC Santa Cruz), and Professor Alan Spearot (UC Santa Cruz).

The position will be based primarily in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, with occasional trips to the field. The hiring for this position will be done by J-PAL South Asia.

Benefits: Salary is competitive, and compensation will be commensurate with experience.

How to apply? Interested candidates should complete this form https://forms.gle/jMKLgtKq63W55tv98 and upload their CVs online. The filename for the CV should be in the following format: lastname_cv.pdf (everything in lower case). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


·         Master’s degree with strong quantitative and programing skills, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

·         Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those skilled at Stata and ODK.

·         Experience with various aspects of fieldwork/randomized control trails such as developing questionnaires, supervising data collection, and conducting data cleaning is desired.

·         The successful candidate will be resourceful, detail oriented and have excellent organization skills with demonstrated ability to multi-task and meet deadlines.


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