13 June 2018

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. André Decoster, tel.: +32 16 32 68 23, mail: or Mr. Toon Vanheukelom, tel : +32 16 37 62 93, mail :

You can apply for this job no later than July 03, 2018 via the online application tool.

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Apply before 03 July 2018

The Public Economics research group is part of the Department of Economics of the KU Leuven, and conducts both theoretical and applied research on issues such as social security and taxes, microsimulation, health care, public finances, education, and normative welfare economics and decisions of the household.

The research group is an active player in economic research using both arithmetic and behavioural microsimulation models. We conduct research on the effects of both policy and a changing socio-demographic and economic environment on income and well-being of individuals and households, on public finances and on labour market reactions. Besides our contributions in the academic field, we are working closely with other international research institutions and government partners, such as the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Seville), UNU WIDER (Helsinki), ISER (Institute for Socio-Economic Research of the university of Essex), the Belgian Federal Public Service of Finance (the federal ministry of Finance), and the Flemish Ministry for Finance and Budget.

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Over the course of the next two years, our group aims at investing in two axes, data and models, to create new tools and capabilities for academic and policy-oriented research.

(1) Data: recent advancements at the level of statistical agencies have made it possible to work increasingly with administrative data, reducing sampling and measurement error. Also the availability of (relatively) new survey data, such as the ECB’s survey on income and wealth (HFCS), but also e.g. the Flemish survey on housing, will be exploited to fill in important gaps in the current line of research and policy analysis. We will also explore developments of Distributional National Accounting (DINA), as advocated by Piketty and Zucman, and the OECD.

(2) Models: we will expand and improve our existing economic models, which include arithmetic microsimulation models for the Belgian tax and benefit policies, and behavioural models of labour market behaviour (mainly labour supply) linked to this. We will enlarge the scope of our arithmetical and behavioural models, by a) exploiting the expanded data from (1), b) introducing new policies previously not modelled due to lack of data, c) expanding the models with the possibility to project input and outcomes over the medium term by translating macro-projections into the micro-based models.

We are looking for (possibly two) positions to execute the above activities, in collaboration with an experienced and dynamic team of academics. As a member of the euromod consortium (see:, you will have the opportunity to collaborate in international projects, to participate in seminars and to present your own research both at the national and international stage.

  • You hold a master degree or PhD in Economics; (Business) Engineering; Social sciences; Statistics or an equivalent quantitative degree. A Masters in Advanced Studies in Economics (MSc in Economics) is a plus. Also Master students graduating in the Summer of 2018 can apply;
  • You have a keen interest in public policies and distributional analysis;
  • You are fluent in English, knowing Dutch is an asset;
  • Experience with microdata and statistical software (Stata, R, Matlab, …) is an asset.
  • An appointment as a research assistant for one year, starting on September, 1st (or earlier if possible), with a possible extension for a second year;
  • A full time gross monthly salary ranging from €3,327 (research assistant with no experience) to €4,414 (post-doctoral researcher);