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Phd Position in Behavioral Economics of Inequality


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Research / Academic


The Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) at the University of Amsterdam seeks applicants for a PhD position to study perceptions of inequality and preferences for redistribution. Many people are concerned about inequality, but they often have little information about its size, determinants, and economic consequences. An important question is how this lack of information shapes perceptions of fairness and policy preferences, like the preferred level of redistribution or taxation. Moreover, misperceptions about the economic lives of others across the income distribution may increase polarization and worsen the quality of policy making.

The goal of this PhD project is to combine insights from psychology and economics to study the two-way interactions between individual perceptions of fairness and economic outcomes. The aim is to extend current theories about inequality and conduct empirical research through surveys and (laboratory) experiments. The supervisory team, headed by Prof. Joël van der Weele and dr. Thomas Douenne, has broad expertise in the fields of public economics, behavioral economics and experimental economics. We seek high-quality candidates with interest, experience, and expertise in these areas.


During the four-year PhD trajectory, you will follow PhD level coursework, plan and conduct your PhD research and be included in the teaching of the school’s programmes.

Starting date of the position: preferably 1 September 2022, but other starting dates can be discussed.


The PhD candidate will aim to generate research that can be published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals.

Your experience and profile:

Formal requirements:

  • Masters’ degree (preferably a Research Master´s) in Economics, or a related field (candidates with a degree in other relevant disciplines are encouraged to apply).

Task-related requirements:

  • Affinity or experience with research on economic inequality and behavioral economics.
  • Excellent speaking and writing ability in English, ideally with experience writing for a scientific audience;
  • willingness and motivation to independently formulate research projects and carry them through to completion;
  • statistical skills and command of standard software packages for analysing quantitative data (e.g., SPSS, R, MPlus), and a willingness to develop these skills further;
  • command of empirical software packages (e.g., Qualtrics) and a strong willingness to develop these skills further.

Additional requirements:

  • Strong motivation to pursue an international career as a leading scholar;
  • strong commitment to methodological rigor and scientific integrity;
  • energy and passion for researching solutions for 21st century challenges;
  • intellectual curiosity, eagerness to learn, and openness to criticism.

Salary Benefits:

The compensation package is competitive at the European level and includes several secondary benefits. Favorable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants. To know more about working at the University of Amsterdam, please check this link.

The employment contract will be for 4 years (depending on prior education) with an initial period of 18 months, with an intermediate evaluation after 18 months and a possibility to extend it for 30 months (in total 4 years). End-result should be a PhD thesis. An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) conferences.

The gross monthly salary will range from €2,541 in the first year to €3,247 in the last year (scale P). The Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer

  • A function in which your own initiative and input is strongly valued;
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment at the center of Amsterdam.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Roetersstraat 11

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