Research Consultant: Project on Improving Property Tax Collection in South Delhi

 

POSITION SUMMARY

A research team from the University of Chicago seeks to hire a Research Consultant to manage a multifaceted research project taking place in New Delhi. The “Improving Property Tax Collection in South Delhi” Project is an interdisciplinary research project that aims to reduce property incentives to misreport. This project is led by Wendy Wong, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and Yusuf Neggers, Brown University.


The tax-to-GDP ratio in India was 17.2 percent in 2013, roughly half that of the OECD country average, and these taxes were collected primarily through indirect means, which tend to be regressive. This project aims to address a fundamental constraint to the Indian state’s ability to collect taxes – the absence of high quality administrative data on the set of properties eligible to be taxed. Specifically, researchers will partner with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) as part of its effort to create an all-encompassing database of properties that will strengthen its ability to collect property taxes. The researchers will use a field experiment to assess whether randomizing inspections of surveyor reports leads to improved accuracy of property reporting.


This is a position at the University of Chicago Trust. The University of Chicago Trust is a charitable trust in India, established by The University of Chicago, to provide Indian citizens residing in India an avenue to support University of Chicago education and research projects in India. The position is a one-year contract with possibility for extension, located in Delhi. Applicants must be willing to travel frequently.
This project is funded by the Tata Center for Development (TCD). The TCD works to identify novel solutions to India’s most pressing development challenges and to ensure that these ideas are translated into outcomes that improve people’s lives. We do this using a unique approach that harnesses rigorous, evidence- based insights from University of Chicago economics research combined with strategic outreach and partnership with government, industry, and innovators. Representing the joint work of the Tata Trusts and the University of Chicago, TCD is creating a new model for impact in India.


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • • Manage field activities at partner field offices.
  • Assist in training of surveyors.
  • Monitor performance of data entry operators, surveyors, and field managers; and ensure research project protocols are adhered to (e.g. randomization assignments).
  • Liaise with staff of government partners to communicate research strategies with the aim of
  • accomplishing research objectives
  • Report regularly on field developments (such as surveyor attrition, status on following research protocols, status of data entry)
  • Monitor and assist surveyors allocated to conducting quality assurance checks.
  • Conduct data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis using data collected in the field.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor's candidates with at least 2 years of experience with data-based research, preferably in economics, public policy, or a related field. Field experience is a plus.
  • Strong interest in public policy and economic development in low-income countries.
  • Familiarity in Stata or R, and the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Good communication skills in Hindi and English.
  • Mature, self-directed individual with ability to balance multiple tasks.
  • Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with partners at zonal level.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Master's degree in economics, public policy, or related field
  • Proficiency in Stata or R is highly desired.


APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Please submit your application through this link. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.