Open Position: Economist
Humane League Labs is seeking a motivated individual trained in economics to help guide farm animal advocacy through observational and experimental research. The Economist will work at the intersection of behavioral economics, agricultural economics and econometrics to plan, design, and conduct studies assessing the feasibility, impact, costs and benefits of advocacy options.
Humane League Labs is the research arm of The Humane League, a growing international non-profit dedicated to farm animal advocacy. Our mission is to inform advocacy strategies through actionable research on their effectiveness. Humane League Labs is committed to impactful quantitative research based on animal-centric metrics and a statistically sound approach to data gathering and analysis. We are also committed to a policy of unprecedented transparency through the entire life-cycle of our research projects.
The Economist will work with and report to the Director of Humane League Labs. The individual will also work closely with other researchers at Humane League Labs and a diverse team of activists at The Humane League. Primary responsibilities and duties will include:
- Use observational data, econometric modeling, and insights from agricultural economics to develop forecasts of the impact of campaigns for improved animal welfare policies at corporations and perform counterfactual analyses.
- Use or develop insights from behavioral economics to generate viable hypotheses, and plan, design and conduct experiments to test them against animal-centric metrics.
- Devise and implement procedures for acquiring and analyzing data, and develop robust methodologies and metrics for feasibility, impact and cost-benefit analyses relevant to the assessment of options in farm animal advocacy.
- Keep up-to-date with current progress on advocacy campaigns for improved treatment of animals in agriculture and maintain a running scientific assessment, founded in sound economic theory and meaningful animal-centric metrics, of their effectiveness.
- Recommend campaign strategies based on a game-theoretic understanding of the animal agriculture industry, the market for animal products, public opinion, current laws on animal protection and known relative strengths of advocacy approaches.
- Lead the conduct of scientific surveys and experiments, including overseeing colleagues, interns, research subjects and other participants or helpers.
- Write code to perform statistical analysis of the data gathered in research, provide meaningful rationale behind the methodologies used, develop logical inferences from the results, and communicate them with clarity and precision.
- Work with other researchers at Humane League Labs and external collaborators to author documents through the entire life-cycle of research projects, including proposals, prospectuses, final reports and peer-reviewed papers.
- Assist in seeking feedback from the activist community on research priorities and plans, develop a cooperative working relationship with other researchers in the movement and participate in fostering free exchange of ideas in the community of researchers.
- Work with the rest of staff at The Humane League to become familiar with advocacy strategies, to gain insight into variables of interest in research, and to develop, incorporate or update elements of measurement and data collection into our in-the-field advocacy.
- Represent Humane League Labs, as necessary, in presentations at conferences, research-oriented gatherings, or other venues.
The following is a list of desired, though not all necessarily required, qualifications for the position:
- An undergraduate or a graduate degree in economics, public policy or a related field (a PhD is desirable, but not required.)
- Demonstrable background, research experience or a strong interest in behavioral economics, agricultural economics and econometrics.
- Demonstrable ability to use economic data and principles to combine quantitative and qualitative assessments, frame research questions with the appropriate mix of rigor and feasibility, and deliver actionable insights on farm animal advocacy.
- Knowledge of and experience working with observational and experimental research methods, principles, techniques and philosophies.
- Experience in the use of statistical software packages for complex quantitative analysis or comfortable in the use of at least one programming language typically used in data science (such as R or Python).
- Very strong analytical skills accompanied with steadfast curiosity and a willingness to wrestle with large and complex data sets.
- A strong aptitude for mathematical reasoning and inferential statistics.
- A disposition that favors evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking.
- Attention to detail and a commitment to maintaining high quality and accuracy in all research output.
- Very strong communication skills, with an ability to adapt appropriately to lay audiences and fellow researchers alike.
- Willingness and ability to learn advanced statistical approaches and advanced programming techniques to accomplish data-centric tasks, as required.
- A deep and enduring commitment to high standards of ethics in research including, but not limited to, matters of data use and storage, handling of privileged information, authorship attribution, correction of errors, and conflicts of interest.
- An abiding commitment to the mission of The Humane League.
The annual salary for this position, expected to lie between $52,000 and $66,000, is negotiable and will depend on qualifications and experience. The title and the role are also negotiable depending on qualifications and experience.
This is a full-time, at-will, exempt position. This is a remote position with the ability to work from home but will require occasional travel. Candidates must have employment authorization in the United States.
The Humane League is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with laws and in furtherance of our commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.
To apply, please click here and submit your curriculum vitae (as a pdf file) and a cover letter (as a pdf file). In your cover letter, please explain why you would like to work on research in farm animal advocacy.