Benefit-Cost Research Associate

Location: New York, NY; Oakland or Los Angeles, CA; Washington DC
Job Code: 0102-72


MDRC is seeking a Benefit-Cost Research Associate with training in economics, public policy, public finance, or similar fields to design and lead benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness studies across several policy areas. The Benefit-Cost Research Associate will join interdisciplinary project teams that include specialists in program design and operations, qualitative research methods, and quantitative analysis. The successful candidate will take primary responsibility for developing and broadening the approaches and methodologies used to answer key questions regarding the benefits and costs attributable to programs and policies being evaluated by MDRCs leading researchers.


This position offers a unique opportunity play a leadership role in shaping the conceptualization and application of this important component of MDRCs evaluation projects. The main responsibilities of the Benefit-Cost Research Associate are to:

  • Design and lead the benefit-cost analysis for multiple projects across MDRCs policy areas, including determining the appropriate type of economic analysis to be applied, such as cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, benefit-cost analysis.
  • Develop cost analysis plans for research projects that use rigorous methodologies, such as random assignment.
  • Oversee and provide direction to staff working on activities related to benefit-cost analysis for projects, including designing protocols for obtaining fiscal records and other data from outside agencies.
  • Author research reports and disseminate findings to policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.
  • Develop methods and tools to enhance data collection and analysis.


  • Ph.D. in economics, public policy, public finance, or related quantitative social science
  • Experience conducting benefit-cost and/or other types of cost studies, preferably within a random assignment framework
  • Knowledge of and experience with quantitative research design and analytic methods
  • Ability to link program evaluation to benefit-cost analysis
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Enjoy working in teams

The position may be based in either MDRC’s New York, NY, or Oakland, CA, offices.

Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. MDRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.


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