PhD Student Position in Labour Economics

ETH Zurich


October 31, 2021


In der aktuellen Covid-19 Situation laufen die Rekrutierungen weiter. Es kann dabei allerdings zu Verzögerungen kommen. Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.


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  • PhD Student Position in Labour Economics

    100%, Zurich, fixed-term

    The KOF Swiss Economic Institute at the Department of Management, Technology and Economics and the Immigration Policy Lab at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zurich , invite applications for a PhD student position in labour economics.

    Project background

    The labour market division at KOF Swiss Economic Institute is a research division that monitors, analyses, and evaluates the effects of policies, institutions and economic forces on jobs, the workforce, and wages, with the aim of establishing quantitative evidence relevant for policy makers and society at large. Core competencies include the analysis of firms' demand for workers, wage setting and wage inequality, discrimination, immigration, unemployment, and digital labour markets. The team uses innovative large datasets and applies rigorous empirical methods to estimate causal effects.

    The Immigration Policy Lab employs field and natural experimental methods to quantify the impacts of immigration and integration policies in Europe and other immigrant receiving regions. The goal of the research program is to generate rigorous empirical evidence about what works and what does not when it comes to immigration and integration, and design better policies to improve the lives of immigrants and host communities.

    Job description

    You will conduct academic research projects within the project “Monitoring Ethnic and Immigrant Discrimination in Hiring Decisions in Times of Crisis”. The project is jointly led by Prof. Dr. Dominik Hangartner (Immigration Policy Lab) and Dr. Michael Siegenthaler (KOF). Using large-scale register data and online data from a recruitment platform, the primary research goals of this project are:

  • to monitor the extent of hiring discrimination faced by ethnic and immigrant minorities in Switzerland during the COVID-19 crisis
  • to analyse how ethnic discrimination interacts with other categories of difference such as gender or legal status to better understand the intersectionality of recruiters' discriminatory behaviour
  • to assess how the COVID-19 crisis, and the economic and technological consequences, such as the spread of home office, spurred by it, moderates or amplifies disparities in hiring
  • to illuminate how labour market tightness and immigration bans interact with ethnicity- and gender-based discrimination
  • to analyse how improving the legal status of a precarised group of migrant workers affects wage and employment discrimination by employers, migrants' economic integration, and geographic and economic mobility, and whether the residency status influences the extent to which migrants bear the burden of job loss during economic crises
  • During the PhD you will be part of the Section Labour market at KOF and the Immigration Policy Lab and participate in regular team meetings of the two groups. You will work closely with the project leaders and other team members.

    We offer the opportunity to pursue a high-quality PhD at renowned institutions and to work in a dynamic and collaborative research environment. ETH Zurich offers internationally competitive working conditions. Gross salary will be in accordance with the regulations of ETH Zurich.

    The optimal starting date for this position is January 2022.

    Your profile

    As the ideal candidate for this position, you

  • are excited about research that aims to solve real-world problems. You finished your degree with excellent grades. You have the potential to conduct high-quality research. You care about having a positive impact with your research
  • are excellent at quantitative reasoning. You understand what data can and cannot tell, can communicate that to others, and know when to apply which method. You have a rigorous statistics training in causal inference (and, ideally, machine learning) and a strong command of Stata and/or R
  • have , at the time of appointment, completed a Master's degree in Economics, Political Science, or Data Science. You have a strong interest in labour market and immigration topics
  • have excellent verbal, written, and visual communication skills. You like to collaborate with others, have a compelling writing style in English and German, and like to use convincing visualisations to communicate statistical insights
  • ETH Zurich

    ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

    Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich Get connected


    We look forward to receiving your online application until October 31, 2021 with the following documents:

  • Cover letter that includes a short description of your research interests
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing samples in German or English (e.g. Master thesis)
  • Complete academic record with undergraduate and graduate courses and grades
  • Copies of certificates
  • Contact information for 2-3 potential referees
  • Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

    Unless a job offer is rejected, candidates who are invited for an interview will be reimbursed for travel expenses.

    Further information about the Institutes KOF Swiss Economic Institute and the Immigration Policy Lab can be found on our websites www. and www. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Mrs Simone Egloff by email (no applications).

    In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit ourEqual Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

    Apply online now

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