PhD Traineeships in Directorate General Economics


General Information

Type of contract PhD traineeship

Who can apply? EU nationals eligible for our traineeship programme

Grant The trainee grant is €2,120 per month plus an accommodation allowance (see further information section)

Working time Full time

Place of work Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Closing date 11.02.2022

Your team

You will be part of the Fiscal Policies Division in the Directorate General Economics. Our team of around 25 staff is responsible for assessing the national fiscal policies of Member States of the European Union (EU), analysing the euro area’s aggregate fiscal stance, providing fiscal forecasts and exploring a range of other topics (such as the fiscal response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and its legacy, the dynamics of public debt, the use of fiscal policy to address climate change, and the interplay between monetary policy and fiscal policy). It is also responsible for analysing issues relating to the reform of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) architecture, particularly as regards the EU’s fiscal framework.

The ECB is an inclusive employer and we strive to reflect the diversity of the population we serve. We encourage you to apply irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other characteristics.

Your role

As a PhD trainee, you will:
  • conduct empirical analysis using state-of-the-art economic and econometric models;
  • contribute to the enhancement of analytical, econometric and forecasting tools under the supervision of ECB experts (potentially resulting in papers being submitted for publication in the ECB’s Working Paper Series and academic journals).

More specifically, you will work on one of the following six projects:
  1. Explore the impact that fiscal policies have on the macroeconomy (e.g. through fiscal policy multipliers) on the basis of both empirical and theoretical models (including heterogeneous agent New Keynesian (HANK) models), looking specifically at the effective lower bound and different phases of the business cycle.
  2. Analyse the role of national and aggregate fiscal policies in the COVID-19 crisis, including the composition and possible impact of the Next Generation EU programme; assess the euro area’s aggregate fiscal stance, particularly in view of the trade-off between sustainability and stabilisation; study the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sustainability of public finances; and evaluate debt sustainability risks.
  3. Develop models/tools to assess the interplay between monetary policy, fiscal policy and the financial sector, analysing the effect that fiscal policies have on prices and exploring the interaction between fiscal policies and household/corporate balance sheets.
  4. Develop models with a view to analysing the role that fiscal policies can play in the mitigation of climate change.
  5. Assess proposals for the deepening of EMU, including (i) the reform of EU fiscal rules, (ii) options in terms of a fiscal capacity for the euro area, (iii) risk-sharing mechanisms, (iv) the interplay between fiscal rules and market discipline, and (v) the implications of introducing a “safe asset” for the euro area.
  6. Develop models for forecasting fiscal variables, including models that combine data sampled at different frequencies; evaluate the impact of revisions to fiscal data and differences between real-time and revised data; and assess the determinants of forecasting errors made by international institutions.

Trainees will be expected to complete tasks using their own initiative and will work largely autonomously, under the supervision of an expert. They will have access to the ECB’s library, as well as computing and statistical resources.

This traineeship will offer excellent opportunities to build on your existing skills and competencies as an economist. You will be part of a multicultural team that strives for continuous innovation to make a positive impact on the lives of European citizens.

Qualifications, experience and skills

  • a master’s degree and at least two years of PhD studies in economics, finance, statistics, data science, engineering or a related field;
  • a sound theoretical understanding of macroeconomics and the economic/institutional context in which the ECB fulfils its mandate, including as regards the role of fiscal policies in the euro area;
  • programming skills in respect of quantitative software such as Stata, MATLAB, GAUSS, Python, R, Hadoop or Spark;
  • a good knowledge of the MS Office package;
  • an advanced (C1) command of English and an intermediate (B1) command of at least one other official language of the EU, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • experience of applying structural vector autoregressions (VARs), panel VARs, global VARs, Bayesian VARs, non-linear VARs (time-varying parameters; Markov switching) and co integration analysis;
  • experience of factor models and state space/unobserved component models;
  • experience of applying macroeconomic models (dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, backward-looking or agent-based models, overlapping generation models, etc.), either using Dynare or coding your own procedures;
  • a publication record that covers issues falling within the division’s areas of responsibility.

You are curious and eager to learn, and want to further develop your ability to analyse complex information. You are keen to collaborate with others, pursue team goals and learn from other people’s diverse perspectives. You strive to know and anticipate stakeholder needs, and will signal any need for change and propose alternative solutions.

You are motivated to contribute to the ECB’s mission, to serve the citizens of the EU as a member of a public institution and to work with colleagues from all over Europe. You are keen to be part of our team and to use your skills and competencies to achieve the objectives of this position.

Further information

PhD traineeship of between 3 and 12 months in total.

For additional information on this specific vacancy, you can speak to Jacopo Cimadomo on +49 (0)69 1344 5392.

Application and selection process

Further information on how to join us is available on our website.

The recruitment process for this position will include an online interview via Webex.

If you are not selected for this position but are still considered suitable, you will be placed on a reserve list for 12 months from the closing date for applications, from which you might be considered for similar positions within the ECB.