Call for a PhD fellowship in Economics at UCLouvain

LIDAM (Louvain Institute of Data Analysis and Modeling in economics and statistics) is looking for a PhD student (M/F) in Economics as part of an interdisciplinary research project on the sharing economy.

Platforms Operations and Regulation in the Sharing Economy (PROSEco)

In recent years, many innovative sharing economy platforms (SEPs) had a strong impact on their stakeholders: service providers and consumers alike. Platforms change the economy: individuals renting out rooms or driving cars create competition for established hospitality and transport providers (as evidenced by the protests of taxi drivers in cities where Uber operates). SEPs also impact society as a whole: they prompt change in how people plan, travel, meet and eat. Their operation can modify social and economic environment in entire communities (think of Airbnb’s effects on cities’ housing markets and quality of life).

The sharing economy is not only a land of promises but also of great perils. Even fast-growing and global for-profit platforms like Uber are still struggling to make a profit, while the failure rate of startups is higher than in other sectors. Also, many non-profit SEPs fail to stay active. For both types of platforms, the road to success is paved with a number of operational, economic, and legal challenges, which directly stem from their innovative business model.

These multifaceted challenges call for an interdisciplinary approach to answer our overarching research question: How can platforms in the sharing economy deliver long-lasting value for their stakeholders and for society as a whole? Our objective with this research project is to conduct a fine-grained analysis of the implications of the sharing economy, combining researchers from operations research, economics, and law. A more detailed description of the research project can be found here.

For this project, we are hiring three PhD students (one in economics, one in law, and one in operations research) and two postdoctoral researchers (one in economics and one in law).

Job description

The selected candidate will attend the doctoral program of the Economic School of Louvain. The program consists of 180 ECTS, divided among the writing, editing and defense of a doctoral dissertation (about 120 ECTS), and a research training program including courses, workshops and individual scientific training activities (about 60 ECTS). Detailed information about the program can be found here). In principle, the position does not come with any teaching duties.

The selected researcher will be attached to CORE (a research center of LIDAM) and hired full-time for a period of two years, which is extendable to three years depending on a positive evaluation after the first two years. The contract starts in principle on October 1st, 2019 (but some flexibility is possible). In case it is needed, we will help the candidate in finding additional funding. The net salary is of an order of 2000 euros per month. The recruited person benefits from the complete Belgian social insurance scheme (health care, etc.) without additional expenses.

Profile

Candidates should:

  • Hold a strong master’s degree in economics or management (with a focus on industrial economics and/or behavioral economics, innovation, social enterprises, digital economics);
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English;
  • Be ready to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines (in particular law and operations research);
  • If possible, have a strong quantitative background and/or empirical experience.

Application package

  • A complete CV, with a transcript of records.
  • A short essay (maximum 1000 words) describing your views about the research project PROSEco (a description can be found here) and demonstrating your motivation for the PhD position;
  • A recommendation letter, to be sent directly by the person recommending you.

Interested candidates should send their application file by email to Prof. Paul Belleflamme (paul.belleflamme@uclouvain.be). Applications should be received before May 31, 2019. For additional information, please contact directly Prof. Paul Belleflamme by email.