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 2021 semester, there are openings on the forecast group, economic journalists, and there may be openings for research assistants. 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 economic journalists, forecast team members, research assistants, and research group team members through an application and interview process. Apply on Handshake.
Application Deadline: February 5, 2021 5:00 pm PT
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 20-21, Lowe Student Analysts will be paid as follows:
- Incoming: $14.00/hour
- FG leaders: $16.00/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.
- Apply on Handshake – job posting #4335422
Specific Roles at the Lowe Institute:
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 weekly Friday mid-day meeting with the entire group is mandatory. There will also be occasional smaller Monday lunch meetings. 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 2-3 Economic Journalists]
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.
[We expect to hire 2-4 Forecast Team Members.]
Research Assistants [RA] will work one-on-one with a professor on one of the professor’s research papers. 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.]
Research Group Members [RG] will work in small groups with a professor on early stage research. Activities will be varied but may include reading papers, refining the research question, finding data, analyzing data, writing up findings, preparing graphics and other materials for presentation. There will be mandatory meetings on at least a biweekly basis with the professor. Groups are expected to produce a poster to be presented to the Director. One group will be selected to present their findings to the Lowe Board of Governors at the spring meeting in late April 2021. The other groups’ posters will be displayed both at the meeting and outside the Lowe Institute offices during the following year.
This role is a good fit for students who wish to learn about the research process while working in a team. By comparison with the RA position, the RG position affords a wider scope of research activities and a team setting while being less likely to be as close to the academic forefront as the RG projects are more early-stage exploratory ventures. It remains excellent preparation for grad school or white collar data analysis and the opportunity to develop a valuable letter of recommendation should duties be performed with initiative and distinction.
[We expect to hire 2-4 research group members.]
Social Media Managers [SM] 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. (Send an email to Kelly Alexander kalexander @ cmc to apply directly for this position.)
[We expect to hire 1-2 Social Media Managers.]