Overview

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the country’s premier progressive tax policy research organization, seeks an Economist or Senior Economist to develop, oversee and document the methodologies behind our one-of-a-kind tax microsimulation model and to help lead our rigorous research on tax justice.  Experience and education will determine whether candidates are eligible for the economist or senior economist-level role. This position is part of our Model and Data team.

ITEP, a 501(c)(3) research organization, documents corporate tax avoidance; describes the distribution of taxes at the federal level, in all 50 states, and in some localities; and advances policy solutions to raise more revenue more progressively. Our influential staff works with policymakers, reporters, and front-line partner organizations to research, support, and develop tax policies that address inequality. ITEP’s work is used by advocates to pursue a well-funded public sector, better economic and racial equity, and more progressive tax policies at the federal, state, and local levels.

Our microsimulation model builds an understanding of tax policy at all levels of government and our research on corporate and individual taxes across income, race, and geography helps steer the debate about tax justice. ITEP produces state and federal distributional analyses and revenue estimates based on our model – the only model that includes income, consumption, and property taxes at the federal and state level. This gives us a unique ability to describe in detail how taxes affect people across income, wealth, geography, race, and ethnicity. ITEP has a collaborative team of researchers, a collegial work environment, and a shared commitment to our mission. We are headquartered in Washington, DC but many of our staff are remote, an option for this role.

The ITEP Economist works with the Data and Model team to identify data sources and to evaluate and implement methodologies that maximize our model’s capacity to analyze changes to tax codes. The Economist works directly with our data analysts, providing guidance and training in advanced analysis and econometrics. Projects may include:

  • Developing and documenting methods, including imputation, statistical matching, and microdata extrapolation, to maintain the scope and accuracy of our model and to expand our model’s analytical capabilities.
  • Updating and refining ITEP’s imputations in areas such as wealth, race/ethnicity, and demographic features, improving ITEP’s ability to describe different forms of inequality and their relationship to taxes.
  • Working with our Data and Model team to enhance the IRS Public Use File used in our model and document that work. Using statistical tools and econometric techniques to analyze large datasets, providing quantitative insights into how ITEP can employ these datasets to analyze and illustrate the distributional implications of tax policy changes.
  • Staying abreast of relevant economic literature and policy changes.
  • Proposing innovative approaches to address challenges in modeling policies and policy changes.
  • Contributing to ITEP’s reputation, relationships and engagement with the tax modeling community by publishing articles, presenting at conferences, and participating in forums.

The ideal candidate has a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Economics or a related discipline with strong training in statistical modeling, experience building or using microsimulation models, and experience conducting research and using data to analyze policy and the economy. Candidates should have outstanding analytical skills and a desire to apply these skills to tax policy issues.

Desired skills and experience:

  • Strong proficiency in statistical software and data analysis tools.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills, with expertise in statistical analysis, modeling, regression techniques, statistical matching and small area estimation.
  • Experience with microsimulation and working with large datasets.
  • Familiarity with publicly available data sources, including the various Census products, consumption data, and labor market statistics.
    Self-motivation, ability to work independently.
  • Innovative thinking about streamlining analytical processes.
  • Experience with and demonstrated commitment to tax policy or economic justice.
  • Team orientation, willingness to provide mentorship and guidance, and desire to create a collaborative and intellectually stimulating work environment.
  • Salary and Benefits
    Economist: Ph.D. or Master’s degree in economics or a related field, plus 6+ years of experience. Salary range: $85,000 -$117,000
  • Senior Economist: Ph.D. in economics or a related field, plus 10+ years of experience. Salary range: $108,000-$145,000
  • Salary considerations: Salary will be within the ranges above, based on education, experience, and other considerations.

Our excellent benefits package includes:

  • 100 percent of the premium for health and dental insurance for you and your family members.
  • 403 (B) plan as a pension benefit. ITEP contributes 10% of employee’s salary to the plan.
  • All federal holidays. ITEP closes its office the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
  • Employees may take paid leave for vacation and sick time at their discretion (typically in the 25 day per year range), with advance notice and approval from their supervisor.
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave.
  • After five years of consecutive employment at ITEP, staff are eligible for a 6-week paid sabbatical.

To apply, send a resume, cover letter highlighting relevant experience and interest in working at ITEP, and one brief writing sample that demonstrates analytical capability (something you’ve previously written, can be an excerpt of something longer) to careers@itep.org with “Economist” in the subject line. We also ask applicants to consider filling out this voluntary demographic survey used to monitor our progress in advancing diversity goals. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 15. All applicants will be informed when the position is filled.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and welcomes diversity in the workplace. We strongly encourage all qualified applicants regardless of race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, military status, or other categories protected by law.  

To apply for this job email your details to felicia@itep.org

About Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, conducts rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provides recommendations to shape tax policy. ITEP’s influential staff works with policymakers and partners to research, support, and develop tax policies that reduce inequality and fund public services. Our unique microsimulation model builds an understanding of who pays taxes across income, race, and geography at the state and federal levels. Our research helps steer the debate about how taxing high corporate and individual income will enable public investment, enhance economic and racial equity, and improve lives.