PhD Traineeships in the Directorate General Economics

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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 21.02.2023

Your team

You will be part of the Business Cycle Analysis Division in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s Directorate General Economics. Our Division comprises a team of approximately 30 experts responsible for analysing and forecasting macroeconomic developments in the euro area. Our current analytical activities focus on understanding the implications of the energy crisis, high inflation and monetary policy normalisation for business cycle dynamics. Our work also includes developing nowcasting tools for economic activity using state-of-the-art text mining and machine learning tools, the investigation of the role of household and firm heterogeneity in driving aggregate fluctuations, the long-term impact of the pandemic on households and firms’ behaviour, and the macroeconomic impact of fiscal policies and climate change.

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 and theoretical analyses using state-of-the-art economic and econometric models;
  • contribute to enhancing analytical, econometric and forecasting tools under the supervision of ECB experts; 
  • submit papers for publication in the ECB’s Working Paper Series and academic journals.

We are looking for several PhD trainees, who will work on one of the following projects: 

A: assessing the impact of the energy price shock, high inflation, uncertainty, and monetary policy tightening on the business cycle through structural macroeconometric models, including potential non-linearities in the transmission mechanism;
B: investigating the presence and the implications for monetary policy of business cycle asymmetries, through structural empirical and quantitative models, incorporating interactions among institutional and industrial sectors;
C: analysing the drivers of business investment using firm-level and/or aggregate data, distinguishing between tangible and intangible investment, including the underlying financial factors and firms’ balance sheet conditions;
D: using micro-level survey data to assess the implications of monetary policy tightening on households’ spending and saving decisions, using state-of-the-art methods (e.g. propensity score matching, regression discontinuity design, difference in differences);
E: developing heterogeneous agent New Keynesian models to investigate the impact of monetary policy on households’ spending decisions and on their income and wealth distributions.

Trainees will be expected to complete their tasks using their own initiative and to work largely autonomously under the supervision of an expert. Successful candidates will have access to the ECB’s library, as well as to computing and statistical resources. They will also have access to most ECB-organised conferences and internal seminars.

The position offers you excellent opportunities to build on your skills using state-of-the-art modelling and econometric techniques and to contribute to policy work of the highest relevance for the economic assessments of the Directorate General Economics. 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 understanding of, and theoretical background in, macroeconomics and the economic and institutional context in which the ECB fulfils its mandate;
  • excellent knowledge of and a track record in state-of-the-art modelling tools and econometric techniques or data analytics;
  • programming skills in one or more software packages, such as MATLAB, Stata, Python, R, or Julia;
  • 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 in handling micro data and microeconometric methods and models; 
  • experience in working with macro data and macroeconometric methods and models; 
  • experience in solving heterogeneous agent models.

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 aims of this position.

Further information

PhD traineeship of between 3 and 12 months in total.

Other details on the conditions applicable to traineeships at the ECB can be found on our website.

Application and selection process

Further information on how to apply is available on our website.

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

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 other positions within the ECB.