Postdoctoral Fellowship – Macroeconomic Modeling of Long-Term Growth for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition and Circular Economy

University of Texas at Austin


Job Posting Title:

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Macroeconomic Modeling of Long-Term Growth for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition and Circular Economy

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Hiring Department:

Energy Institute

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Position Open To:

All Applicants

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Weekly Scheduled Hours:

40

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FLSA Status:

Exempt

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Earliest Start Date:

Jan 15, 2022

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Position Duration:

Expected to Continue Until Jan 14, 2023

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Location:

UT MAIN CAMPUS

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Job Description:

Position is expected to continue for 12-18 months from the start date. The post-doctoral researcher will work with Dr. Carey W. King, a Research Scientist and Assistant Director of the Energy Institute (EI) at The University of Texas at Austin, who is engaged in research creating novel macroeconomic models that combine approaches of system dynamics, the so-called stock-flow consistent accounting approach, and biophysical concepts that link flows of energy and mass to economic outputs.

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Job Details:

The post-doctoral researcher will work with Dr. Carey W. King, a Research Scientist and Assistant Director of the Energy Institute (EI) at The University of Texas at Austin, who is engaged in research creating novel macroeconomic models that combine approaches of system dynamics, the so-called stock-flow consistent accounting approach, and biophysical concepts that link flows of energy and mass to economic outputs.

This research is funded via a grant from a non-profit foundation.  This grant involves several researchers and universities in the United Kingdom and United States to study the greenhouse gas life cycle of the global petrochemical (e.g., fertilizers, plastics) industry.   The post-doctoral researcher will work with Dr. King to develop integrated economic growth models (calibrated to the United States and global economies) that links macroeconomic trends (employment, debt, wages, GDP, etc.) to natural resources extraction and consumption (e.g., hydrocarbons), including the recycling of materials (i.e., plastics). 

The premise of the modeling applies physical principles (e.g., conservation of physical quantities, energy conversion efficiency) to economic costs and economic outcomes, and is driven by a need to understand the fundamental role of energy resources and technologies in economic growth and development, including debt.  Only in this way can we understand the correct energy and material feedbacks into economic processes, the recycling of plastics, the circular economy, and a low-carbon energy transition.  This research seeks to put these concepts into the context of the current U.S. and world macroeconomic situation and greenhouse gas emissions.  Only in this way can we understand the sustainability challenges and tradeoffs (equity vs. economic development vs. environmental preservation) associated with a low-carbon economy, including within the energy and plastics industries.

Responsibilities:

  • Learning and improving upon Dr. King’s “HARMONEY” economic modeling framework that uses the stock-flow consistent approach (King, Carey W. (2020) An Integrated Biophysical and Economic Modeling Framework for Long-Term Sustainability Analysis: the HARMONEY Model, Ecological Economics , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106464 ; King, Carey W. (2021) Interdependence of Growth, Structure, Size and Resource Consumption During an Economic Growth Cycle, arXiv pre-print, https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.02512 ).  Reviewing and summarizing relevant literature that can inform the research
  • Creating new macroeconomic models informed by physical energy and resource usage and to inform impacts of the petrochemical industry manufacturing of plastics on greenhouse gas emissions by: improving the general coding and solution approach (e.g., algorithms); calibrating models, potentially using econometric techniques, to estimate and project world and U.S. scale historical trends (e.g., energy use, GDP, debt, population, employment); adding sectors to characterize the U.S. and global petrochemical and plastics industries; adding sectors to characterize energy technologies and resources; adding sectors to characterize governments and taxation, central banks, and other entities that affect policy and money flows.
  • Communicating with the rest of the research team that is modeling and estimating the engineering and life cycle of the petrochemical sector
  • Writing academic and/or lay publications to disseminate findings of the research and presenting at conferences.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in a field related to economics and/or physical sciences (e.g., physics, engineering) received within the past three years

Preferred Qualifications

Qualified candidates will have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • using or creating macroeconomic models and knowledge of macroeconomic accounting
  • knowledge of economic data, regression, and econometrics
  • use of the stock-flow consistent approach and/or system dynamics, often used in post-Keynesian economic modeling approaches,
  • system dynamics (e.g., ordinary differential equations) modeling of engineering processes, physical systems, or economic systems
  • experience in software related to programming in R, Python, and/or other packages for simulating system dynamics and ordinary differential equations and making high quality figures
  • life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and other system approaches to tracking stocks and flows of materials or money
  • energy system analysis of supply and demand, and the thermodynamics of engineering processes
  • experience in heterodox economic methods and concepts that focus on debt and money creation, business cycles (e.g., Modern Monetary Theory, post-Keynesian, stock-flow consistent approaches, Hyman Minsky), including articles written on these topics
  • willingness to work across the disciplines of economics, engineering, and other sciences
  • self-driven
  • open to providing and receiving constructive criticism

Salary Range

$56,000 – $65,000 depending on qualifications

Working Conditions

  • regular office environment, including remote work due to COVID-19

Required Materials

  • CV
  • 1-page cover letter of interest
  • up to 3 references and letters of recommendation
  • proof of Ph.D. in a field related to economics, business, and/or physical sciences (e.g., physics, engineering) received within the past three years

Important for applicants who are NOT current university employees or contingent workers: You will be prompted to submit your resume the first time you apply, then you will be provided an option to upload a new Resume for subsequent applications. Any additional Required Materials (letter of interest, references, etc.) will be uploaded in the Application Questions section; you will be able to multi-select additional files. Before submitting your online job application, ensure that ALL Required Materials have been uploaded.  Once your job application has been submitted, you cannot make changes.

Important for Current university employees and contingent workers: As a current university employee or contingent worker, you MUST apply within Workday by searching for Find UT Jobs. If you are a current University employee, log-in to Workday, navigate to your Worker Profile, click the Career link in the left hand navigation menu and then update the sections in your Professional Profile before you apply. This information will be pulled in to your application. The application is one page and you will be prompted to upload your resume. In addition, you must respond to the application questions presented to upload any additional Required Materials (letter of interest, references, etc.) that were noted above.

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Employment Eligibility:

Please make sure you meet all the required qualifications and you can perform all of the essential functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

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Retirement Plan Eligibility:

The retirement plan for this position is Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), subject to the position being at least 20 hours per week and at least 135 days in length. This position has the option to elect the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) instead of TRS, subject to the position being 40 hours per week and at least 135 days in length.

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Background Checks:

A criminal history background check will be required for finalist(s) under consideration for this position.

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Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer , complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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Pay Transparency:

The University of Texas at Austin will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

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Employment Eligibility Verification:

If hired, you will be required to complete the federal Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form.  You will be required to present acceptable and original documents to prove your identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Documents need to be presented no later than the third day of employment.  Failure to do so will result in loss of employment at the university.

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E-Verify:

The University of Texas at Austin use E-Verify to check the work authorization of all new hires effective May 2015. The university’s company ID number for purposes of E-Verify is 854197. For more information about E-Verify, please see the following:

  • E-Verify Poster (English) [PDF]
  • E-Verify Poster (Spanish) [PDF]
  • Right To Work Poster (English) [PDF]
  • Right To Work Poster (Spanish) [PDF]

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Compliance:

Employees may be required to report violations of law under Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). If this position is identified a Campus Security Authority (Clery Act), you will be notified and provided resources for reporting. Responsible employees under Title IX are defined and outlined in HOP-3031 .

The Clery Act requires all prospective employees be notified of the availability of the Annual Security and Fire Safety report. You may access the 2021 report here or obtain a copy at University Compliance Services, 1616 Guadalupe, Suite UTA 2.206, Austin, TX 78701.

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