Chris Blattman

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Work for me in Ethiopia?

Update: The position has been permanently filled.

The project description is here. The question is simple: “More sweatshops for Africa?”

The project assesses the impact of low-skill, low-wage factory jobs on the worker’s wealth, health and politics (among other things). We also ask: what enriches and empowers people more: self-employment in a micro-enterprise, or formal sector jobs at large firms?

We are working with Ethiopian firms in industries from textiles to beverages to commercial farming. When they need to hire 30 or 50 people, they often get hundreds of qualified applicants. We hold a lottery, where some applicants are selected for the jobs, some are selected to receive funds and training to start a microenterprise, and some are offered neither. We follow all over several years.

We’re looking for a project associate for about two years, to start (ideally) in April, though this is flexible. The person will be responsible for running the project while based in Addis Ababa. This means running surveys, coordinating with factories and partners, and performing data analysis. The job is expected to about a third surveys, a third administration and coordination, and up to a third data analysis. You would work independently under my supervision, from afar. The job could also involve expanding the project to nearby countries (like Kenya).

What we are looking for: a college degree or a MA in quantitative social science (such as economics or quantitative political science, good managerial skills, an independent self-starter, mature and responsible. I will be strongly biased towards people with good statistics skills and experience working with data. Work experience in developing countries, especially research or survey work, is a plus.

The project is fascinating, the people are wonderful, and (south of the Sahara) the climate and food cannot be beat!

The job posting and application instructions are here. (Update: I do not handle initial screening or interviews, and won’t get involved until there is a short list, so please apply at this link rather than to me directly)

16 Responses

  1. Dr Blattman, this position looks very interesting but something I am not ready for quite yet. Out of interest, would it be possible for you to do a follow up blog post on the trials and tribulations of the selection process? I am very interested to learn about the education, experience and other traits that ‘the competition’ possesses.

  2. Kudos for tackling an excellent question. What about holding lotteries for microfinance applicants as well (and giving some of them factory jobs)? Seems like you’d get a much better comparison group.

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