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The NBER, with the generous support of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, is accepting applications for a one-year post-doctoral fellowship program on long-term fiscal policy. This fellowship program will enable up to two outstanding early-career economists to visit the NBER’s Cambridge office for one year of intensive research.  Applications from researchers who are just completing their PhD, as well as from junior faculty members who may be able to combine this fellowship with an early career leave, are welcome. The subject matter of research may be any aspect of long-term fiscal policy, including but not limited to:

  • Analysis of how the level of government debt affects economic growth and of the feedback loops between the debt-to-GDP ratio and the growth rate of spending and taxes.
  • Investigation of the role of reforms to entitlement spending, other government programs, and tax reform in addressing long-run structural deficits in the U.S or other nations. 
  • Exploration of the links between tax policy and economic growth, with particular emphasis on the way different tax instruments impact an economy’s long-term growth.
  • Research on the fiscal consequences of an aging population, including the effect of changing age mix on the level and composition of government spending, on the domestic demand for government debt, and on labor markets. 
  • Study of fiscal institutions and fiscal rules to learn whether certain institutional structures, such as balanced-budget rules, are associated with lower structural deficits. 
  • Consideration of the interplay between federal and state fiscal policy in the United States and the role of intergovernmental transfers of revenue authority and program responsibility in affecting measured federal or state fiscal positions. 

Up to two fellowships will be awarded for academic year 2021-2022.  Each fellowship consists of a stipend of $87,500, reimbursement for health insurance, a travel and research allowance, and an office at the NBER. Fellows will be expected to spend the academic year at the NBER. Fellowship related activities are expected to represent the fellow’s primary responsibility during the year. By June 15, 2023, fellows must deliver at least one research paper on long-term fiscal policy that is the result of research during the fellowship year.

The fellowship selection committee will be chaired by James Poterba (MIT and NBER), and will include NBER Research Associates Alan Auerbach (University of California – Berkeley), Valerie Ramey (University of California – San Diego), and Kent Smetters (University of Pennsylvania).  Fellows will be selected based on the committee’s assessment of their potential to make an important contribution to the understanding of long-term fiscal policy.  Fellowship awards will be announced in January, 2022. 

Applicants must have completed their PhD in Economics by June, 2022. Applications from early-career researchers who received their Ph.Ds. in earlier years are also welcome.  NBER strongly encourages applications from groups that have historically been under-represented in the economics profession, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. The NBER may be able to sponsor fellowship recipients for a J-1 visa under its research scholars program.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vita, a recommendation letter, and a research proposal of no more than three pages of text, two pages of tables/graphs, and one page of references, double-spaced, by 11.59pm (EST) on December 9, 2021.  To apply, please visit