The Lowe Institute of Political Economy sponsors quantitative research in economics and adjacent fields of social science including political science, history, and psychology. We match students and faculty to work together on year-long projects. Research methodologies typically combine conceptual approaches learned in the classroom with data analysis and econometric testing. Students working at the Institute learn a variety of software packages including STATA, R, Excel, and Tableau. Research sponsored by the Institute is regularly published in top academic journals, is presented at academic conferences and in public forums, informs newspaper articles written by affiliated faculty, and is quoted in local and national newspapers.
In the spring 2022 semester, there are openings on the forecast group. Students and faculty frequently form their own partnerships prior to applying to the Lowe Institute for support. However, we also take applications and match students to projects in need. The Lowe Institute plans to hire forecast team members through an application and interview process. [Link to application]
All Student Analyst roles at the Lowe Institute of Political Economy:
- Duration: academic semester or year. Except those selected for leadership positions on the forecast team, Lowe Student Analysts must reapply each year. New opportunities may arise mid-year, but this is not guaranteed. We plan to accept applications only in the fall.
- Positions are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the 5Cs.
- The Lowe Institute is an equal opportunity employer with no preference as to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or political views. Applications will be judged solely on the expected ability of the applicant to perform the job as defined below.
- Compensation: For AY 21-22, Lowe Student Analysts will be paid as follows:
- Incoming: $15.00/hour
- FG leaders: $17.00/hour
- Skill with software and programming languages useful for data organization and analysis (e.g. Excel, Stata, R, Python) is highly valued but not strictly required. Completion of Econ 50 is expected. Completion of Econ 120 is extremely useful.
- Entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic are critical. Each role involves pursuing open-ended tasks for which the successful path is not obvious. Lowe RAs must have the initiative and optimism to run down the best available leads without guarantee of success and must have the determination to continue to do so until the goal is met.
- Lowe RAs must also understand when to ask for help and when to keep at it. That means being capable of working on open-ended tasks and finding answers for yourself, yet asking for help rather than continuing to waste time hitting your head against a wall should the task prove unexpectedly difficult.
- Lowe RAs must be responsible about meeting deadlines and communicating effectively with fellow team members and supervising faculty and staff.
- Submit this application to the student manager or Kelly Alexander, the Program Coordinator. [Link to application]
Forecasting Team Members [FT] will work in a team with the Associate Director (AD) to generate macro-economic forecasts for the Inland Empire. This involves accessing, organizing, and analyzing macroeconomic data; writing reports about several cities in the Inland Empire; preparing slides and graphics; and doing other work to prepare the forecast book. The forecast will be produced quarterly, with two extensive forecast books produced in early October and early March. The approach to a deadline is often a time of long hours and stress in this group.
In the “off-season”, FGs will work with the Associate Director to produce white papers on topics chosen by the AD.
These topics will likely have been suggested by discoveries and puzzles unearthed in prior forecasting work. They will be posted on the website and promoted via social media and other channels.
This role is a good fit for students who wish to work in a team, who wish to see intermediate macro and forecasting in action, and who want to understand the economics of cities within a region and think about associated policy issues. It is excellent preparation for jobs in either public policy or white collar data analysis such as consulting. Several past members have gone on to work at the Federal Reserve.