Full time research assistant needed

I am looking for a full time graduate research assistant to work on a NSF funded project on human-computer interactions and economics. The tasks will include literature search and summary, help with running the project experiments, data management, statistical / econometrical analyses, and drafting of papers. For more information on the project and some of the planned work, please see our talk at Google, available on YouTube, or this website (search for HCI or look for the CHI proceedings paper). The ideal candidate would have an interest in labor economics and/or IO, but the main requirement is quantitative skills and familiarity with Stata or other statistical software. Programming experience is preferred, but not require; the Computer Science graduate students on the project will be responsible for the main programming. The hope is that the successful candidate will be able to co-author and/or run experiments for their own research.

The position is for 20 hours a week and includes full tuition. The project is funded until 2014. The initial appointment will be for the next quarter with the possibility of extension if the work is satisfactory and the appointment will start at the beginning of the Winter quarter. The research assistant may be require to work at Seattle University for at least part of the time.

For further information or to submit an application, please contact me at cportner@seattleu.edu or at 206-651-4151. I will be making a decision during the week of the 17th.

CSDE seminar on 6 April

I will be presenting Shamma Alam and my work on shocks and timing of fertility in Tanzania tomorrow (Friday 6 April) at the CSDE seminar series. There is no finished paper yet, but the abstract is below. Income Shocks, Contraceptive Use, and Timing of Fertility

This paper examines the relationship between household income shocks and fertility decisions. Using panel data from Tanzania, we estimate the impact of agricultural shocks on contraception use, pregnancy, and the likelihood of childbirth. To account for unobservable household characteristics that potentially affect both shocks and fertility decisions we employ an fixed effects model. Households significantly increase their contraception use in response to income shocks from crop loss. This comes from an increased use of both traditional contraceptive methods and modern contraceptives. The poorer the household the stronger the effect of income shock on contraceptive use is. Furthermore, pregnancies and childbirth are significantly delayed for households experiencing a crop shock. For both pregnancy and childbirth the likelihood of delay because of shocks increases the poorer the household. We argue that the changes in behavior are the result of deliberate decisions of the households rather than income shocks’ effects on other factors that influence fertility, such as women’s health status, the absence or migration of spouse, and dissolution of partnerships.

Ethiopia family planning paper selected for World Bank research group monthly research highlights for October

My paper on family planning programs in Ethiopia, joint with Kathleen Beegle and Luc Christiaesen, was selected for the October Development Research Group Monthly Research Highlight. The paper is World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5812 and you can find it through SSRN or the World Bank.

Literacy paper out in Economic Development and Cultural Change

Niels-Hugo Blunch and my paper, "Literacy, Skills, and Welfare: Effects of Participation in Adult Literacy Programs," is out in this issue of EDCC, vol 60(1): 17-66. You can find the published version on JSTOR, at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/661219. It is rather long, 50 pages, but worth the read if you are interested in literacy programs.