Research Officer, Economic Research
The Research Officer will work collaboratively to conduct applied regional economic research focused on the American Heartland. This individual will have a sophisticated understanding of how to find and interpret economic and financial data, and will help to construct regional data sets and execute econometric estimation. Familiarity with federal and commercial sources of regional economic, industry, financial and demographic data is important.
This position will support the research agenda of Walton Fellow, Ross DeVol. The research will concentrate on transformative changes that are impacting the nation's and heartland region's economies in the importance of research, development, and commercialization (universities, small and large firms and federal labs), human capital formation and labor force skills training (especially in STEM areas), entrepreneurship, access to early-stage risk capital and quality of place issues. This could be categorized under knowledge-based or technology-based economic development. The critical role of entrepreneurs to regional economic development will be analyzed. Research on how national economic trends are impacting the American heartland is a key focus.
Additionally, research will investigate how more traditional factors (tax rates, wage rates, energy costs, regulatory structure, international trade, foreign direct investment, business climate and other costs of business, demographics) influence the geographic distribution of economic activity in space and migration patterns.
This research will deploy standard and novel industry, occupational, demographic, and other data at both the state and regional levels to depict how large global and national trends have been affecting particular states, places, and groups in recent decades.
Specific duties will include the following:
- Recommend research topics, develop methodological approaches and conduct research
- Build, maintain, organize and update data sets
- Participate in the development and execution of econometric models and functions that can be integrated into a wide range of projects
- Write up findings and recommendations that can be shared with stakeholders and disseminated to impact public policy
- Work with the Walton Fellow to conduct broader economic and statistical analysis
- Assist Walton Fellow by developing presentations for conferences and forums
- Make presentations and participate in discussions with the media and stakeholders
- Perform a number of research, and analytical tasks in support of the Walton Fellow projects, including reviewing and recommending changes to initiatives; analyzing data; drawing conclusions and recommending changes.
Who we are looking for:
The Research Officer must possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
- Must be a self-starter who takes initiative
- Ability to meet deadlines, prioritize assignments, and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously
Basic qualifications required for the role:
- Master's degree in economics with 7 years of experience
- Ability to understand and work with complex economic and financial data. Must be able to maintain, organize and update large data sets.
- Demonstrated research experience in a think tank, corporate or university setting
- Statistical estimation and model-building skills, including econometrics using statistical software such as STATA, SAS, SPSS or EViews.
- Experience in developing PowerPoint presentations and managing complex data with Excel spreadsheets
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills. Must be able to translate complex economic and financial issues for an educated lay audience
Additional helpful experience includes:
- Capabilities in geographical information system software packages such as ArcGIS a plus
- Familiarity with publicly available government data sets both on the state and federal level is a strong plus.
- Entrepreneurial and/or start-up research experience a plus
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We believe the best ideas can come from anywhere, so we stay open to new thinking from all over. And we partner with those who are closest to the problem because they're usually closest to the solution.
We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.
Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, with offices in Washington, D.C., Jersey City, New Jersey and Denver, Colorado, approximately 110 staff conducts the day-to-day operations of the foundation.
The Walton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, among other things or status as a qualified individual with a disability.