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Postdoctoral Researchers in Microeconomics Invited to Apply for Open Positions

Posted: July 15, 2014

The NERCRD is currently accepting applications for two Postdoctoral researchers in the area of applied microeconomics beginning August 2014.

The Pennsylvania State University and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) are seeking to fill two postdoctoral research positions in the area of applied microeconomics beginning August 2014.  The positions are for a 12- month appointment with the prospect of a 6 month extension, pending other funding outcomes.  There postdoctoral researchers are expected to conduct research contributing to two ongoing publicly funded research projects.  The first is a multidisciplinary project investigation how food production, distribution and consumption in the Northeastern U.S. can increase the availability of "healthy" and affordable foods to low-income consumers in the Region.  The second includes an assessment of how operating costs and scale economies influence market prices and spatial equilibrium of fresh produce sources from different U.S. and international regions in response to a large scale increase in produce demand.  The research that will be performed in bought of these projects may examine different levels of the food supply chain and require expertise which may range from the estimation of consumer food demand to general equilibrium or mathematical programming modeling.  The analysis of consumer demand will comprise the bulk of the work and focus on the estimation of demand systems for a selected number of food categories amount low-income and non-low income households in the Northeastern United States using large scanner datasets.  The analysis of food supply chains will require the use of mathematical programming optimization models based on information theory, and a spatial equilibrium model of intra-industry trade integrated in an interregional, multimodal commodity flows data system.  These tasks will be performed in collaboration with personnel at Penn State as well as at other partner institutions participation gin the above mentioned projects.  The successful candidates will be asked to initially assist with ongoing research, and then successively to take more of a lead role in shaping the direction of future research in the projects.  Although the work plans for these projects are largely planned out, opportunities for modifying and/or redirecting aspects of these plans will be welcomed.  The positions will provide opportunities to learn and apply advanced empirical quantitative modeling skills, and to write research reports for professional meetings, journal publication, and for official government research reports.  On the job training and technical/database administrative support will be provided.  Research and analysis will be a team activity.  Several important, but not necessarily required skill sets will be beneficial to applicants for the positions.  Those skill sets include knowledge of demand analysis models, familiarity working with large databases, Simulated Maximum Likelihood estimation techniques, economic geography, mixed integer linear and nonlinear mathematical programming, applied general equilibrium modeling, literacy in (some of) the following software packages Matlab, GAMS, STATA, SAS, R, SQL server and the ability to work in team setting and to communicate research findings across disciplines.  Demonstrated familiarity in these areas will be viewed favorably when assessing candidates for the positions.  The successful candidates should have completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, or related field, by the time of employment.  Preliminary interviews will take place at the AAEA meetings in Minneapolis, MN July 27-29, 2014.  To apply, visit psu.jobs.com and search for Postdoctoral Researcher, Job Number: 52112.