Benefit-Cost Research Associate (0102-72)
MDRC - New York, NY

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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. He or she will take primary responsibility for answering questions such as:
  • How much do programs cost? What are the major factors contributing to the cost? What revenue sources are used to cover the costs?
  • Do the financial benefits of programs outweigh the costs? Does the benefit-cost ratio vary depending on perspective (e.g., program participant, program funder, taxpayer, society as a whole)?
  • When program benefits cannot be monetized, what are the relative costs and outcomes of alternative courses of action (e.g., a new program versus the status quo)?
While benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness research are well-established in some fields, they are not common in some of the fields where MDRC is working. The Benefit-Cost Research Associate will have the opportunity to develop new approaches and measures and to become a nationally recognized leader on the topic.


The main responsibilities of the Benefit-Cost Research Associate are to:
  • Design the benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness analysis plan for multiple projects.
  • Oversee and participate in the collection of cost data. This may include such activities as conducting interviews with program staff and acquiring fiscal and other records.
  • Lead the cost analysis and write cost chapters of reports.
  • Present findings to policymaker, practitioner, and research audiences.
  • Supervise junior staff on data collection and analysis.
  • Ph.D. or master’s degree in economics, public policy, public finance, or related quantitative social science
  • Experience conducting benefit-cost and/or other types of cost studies
  • Knowledge of and experience with quantitative research design and analytic methods
  • Advanced experience with Excel is preferred
  • 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.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, MDRC strongly encourages minorities, women, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply. Legal work authorization required.