JOE Listings (Job Openings for Economists)

August 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022

Harvard University

This listing is inactive.
Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard
Postdoctoral Fellow

JOE ID Number: 2021-02_111468727
Date Posted: 12/23/2021
Date Inactive: 01/31/2022
Position Title/Short Description
Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Section: US: Other Academic (Visiting or Temporary)
Location: Allston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
JEL Classifications:
C -- Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
C9 -- Design of Experiments
O3 -- Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
Open Innovation
Online Platforms
Economics and Management of AI
Science of Science
Innovation for All
Full Text of JOE Listing:

The Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University (LISH) is accepting applications for multiple postdoctoral fellowships in economics. Candidates with a background in applied work with observational data establishing casual relationships, or experimental design in the lab or field settings would be well-suited.

LISH is a Harvard-wide research program led by faculty co-directors Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti of Harvard Business School; Eva Guinan, Harvard Medical School; and David Parkes, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We focus on developing a science of innovation primarily through field-based experiments. The lab works with several partners (NASA, Harvard Medical School, and various other institutions and corporations) to investigate real-world innovation problems.

Multiple positions available. Fellows will focus on one of four areas: Online Platforms and Contests, Science of Science, the Economics and Management of AI Systems, or Innovation for All.

1. Online Platforms and Contests addresses issues relating to open innovation on platforms like Kaggle and Topcoder or through initiatives like the Longitude Prize and X-Prize competitions. The area also studies the market design, growth strategies, and regulation of online platforms such as Freelancer and Airbnb. Past projects have examined how different kinds of incentives and different competition rules change contributor behavior and outcomes, often informed by formal game-theoretic models.

2. Science of Science focuses on innovation in academia. Past projects have addressed the functioning of grant evaluation procedures, the information content of citations, and the management practices of research labs.

3. Economics and Management of AI Systems area examines the effects of the introduction of AI systems into enterprises. Projects have looked at AI applicability to supply chain logistics through field experiments and AI adoption using survey data.

4.Innovation for All focuses on how to broaden the benefits of technology to include more people in developing economies, women, and people of color. Projects include a study of the impact of FinTech on financial inclusion, field experiments aimed at identifying lost innovations targeting women’s health and public health in the developing world, and the design of platforms and online courses to foster high-growth and high-impact entrepreneurship across Africa.

Depending on the area of focus, the postdoctoral fellow will collaborate with one or more LISH faculty co-directors: Karim Lakhani, Eva Guinan, David Parkes, and Marco Iansiti, and/or other LISH-affiliated faculty including: Iavor Bojinov, Chiara Farronato, Kris Ferreira, Tarun Khanna, Rem Koning, Hima Lakkaraju, Kyle Myers, Frank Nagle, Christopher Stanton, Mike Tushman, and Feng Zhu.

A typical empirical project involves refining a research question, designing an experiment or survey, analyzing historical and experimental data, and writing targeted at peer reviewed social science journals. Candidates should have some familiarity with:
• Causal analysis and experimental design: difference-in-differences and fixed effects models, instrumental variables, power analysis, analysis of attrition and non-compliance, analysis of heterogenous effects and interference
• Programming and scripting knowledge suitable for processing raw data for analysis (e.g., text manipulation with python);
• One or more computational environments for statistical analysis (e.g., MATLAB, R, or Stata).
• Machine learning and survey design

LISH is looking for candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or new perspectives. There are no teaching requirements for these open positions.

This is a one-year term appointment through Harvard University with the possibility of renewal based on performance and funding. Relocation funding not provided.

Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Requirements:
  • Application Instructions Below
  • Letters of Reference Instructions Below
Application deadline: 03/31/2022
Reference Instructions:
Please send contact details of at least two references with your application materials to
Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please email the following with subject “Postdoctoral Fellowship (Area of Interest)”. Note the Area of Interest should be either Online Platforms and Contests, Science of Science, the Economics and Management of AI systems, or Innovation for All.

• Curriculum vitae
• Copy of academic records (unofficial records are acceptable)
• 2-page description of relevant experience
• Two research papers
• Contact details of at least two references

Candidates may be asked to undergo an assessment as part of the interview process.