FALL 2022 – UPDATED 8/31/2022
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 fall 2022 semester, there are openings for research assistants, forecast analysts, economic journalists and social media coordinator. 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 through an application and interview process. Apply on Handshake.
Applications Due: Thursday, September 8, 2022 11:55 p.m.
All Student Analyst roles at the Lowe Institute of Political Economy:
- Duration: one 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 22-23, Lowe Student Analysts will be paid as follows:
- Incoming: $16.00/hour
- Student Managers: $18.00/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 for all roles. 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.
- 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.
- Must be responsible about meeting deadlines and communicating effectively with fellow team members and supervising faculty and staff.
- Apply on Handshake
Accepting Applications for the following roles:
Economic Journalists [EJ] will work in a team with the Director and Program Coordinator to develop content for the Lowe Institute’s blog and social media accounts. Content will be defined by a characteristic Lowe brand of data-driven economic analysis. EJs will need to be entrepreneurial in helping to generate ideas, pursue and analyze data, and write content. A weeklymeeting with the entire group is mandatory. There will be deadlines.
This role is a good fit for those interested in public intellectualism, journalism, and the intersection of academia and the public. This is a young and expanding program and EJs will be expected to provide energy and ideas in helping expand the program. This is likely to be an exciting but challenging mixture of entrepreneurialism while taking editorial direction and an interesting mix of data analysis and writing.
[We expect to hire 8-12 Economic Journalists.]
Forecasting Analysts [FA] will work in a team with the Associate Director to generate macro-economic forecasts for the Inland Empire. This involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing macroeconomic data, writing reports about cities in the Inland Empire, preparing slides and graphics, and completing other work to prepare the forecast book. The forecast will be produced quarterly, with two extensive forecast reports produced in early October and early March.
This role is a good fit for students who wish to work in a team, see statistics and forecasting in action, understand the economics of cities within a region, think about associated policy issues, and gain hands-on working experience in a professional environment. It is excellent preparation for jobs in many fields, including public policy, economic research, and white collar data analysis. Several past members have gone on to work at the Federal Reserve.
The FTs will be split into two divisions: Forecast team and Data Automation team. The Forecast team will be responsible for report writing and graph interpretation as described above. Forecast team members are expected to interpret graphs and data tables as well as have basic Excel knowledge (e.g., pivot tables, basic transformations). Excellent writing and analytical skills are also needed for this position. The Data Automation team will be responsible for building a data pipeline–that is, pulling and scraping data from specific sources via their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) used within the reports, and generating graphs with that data. After this is completed, this team will move towards quantitative research using programmatic tools (e.g., Python and R). Data Automation team members are expected to be proficient in Python and/or R, specifically working knowledge of dataframes, plotting libraries, and generating requests to APIs, as well as working knowledge of Git and Github.
Data Automation Team:
- Proficient in Python, R. Specifically, working knowledge of dataframes, plotting libraries, and generating requests to APIs.
- Working knowledge of Git and GitHub
- Strong at reading, interpreting, and analyzing graphs/data tables; able to make economic inferences based on this data
- Basic Excel skills (graph creation and design, pivot tables, functions, basic transformations)
[We expect to hire 5-7 Forecast Analysts.]
Research Assistants [RA] will work one-on-one with a professor on one of the professor’s research papers through the Lowe Faculty Student Research Program. The professor will outline tasks for the RA, which will likely include finding, generating, cleaning, and manipulating data and may also include data analysis and generation of figures, tables, and graphs. RAs will learn about the specific research project and the general process of research through regular discussions with the professor. The project will produce a research paper by the end of the year.
This role is a good fit for students interested in academia or white-collar data analysis. It affords the opportunity to build a close relationship with a professor while developing the skills of data acquisition, organization, and analysis that are the foundation of entry-level data analyst positions. It also affords a close look at academic research and a potentially valuable letter of recommendation should duties be performed with initiative and distinction.
[We expect to hire 2-4 research assistants.]
Social Media Co-coodinator [SC] will work with the EJs, the Director, and the Program Coordinator to promote the content on the Lowe Institute’s blog and social media accounts. The goal is to increase exposure and develop a readership. Prior experience with social media promotion is strongly preferred.
This role is a good fit for those interested in brand management and promotion. This is likely to require a great deal of entrepreneurialism as there is relatively little current expertise in this area.
[We expect to hire 1 Social Media Co-coordinator.]