Research Intern - The Market Structure and Labour

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Delhi, India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th March, 2019

Job Description

J-PAL South Asia is seeking an Intern for the project “The Market Structure and Labour (Over-) Supply of Delhi Fruit Vendors”. The intern will work underneath a Research Associate, will supervise the field operations and work closely with the 2 PIs (Harvard Business School and briq) to ensure that this early piloting phase runs successfully. The intern will be based in New Delhi, where the project will be implemented.

Project Description

  • Many development economists have noted the puzzle that seemingly too many vendors operate side by side, duplicating one another's efforts, yet neither competition nor cooperation drives some vendors out of the market. Through recent exploratory work with market vendors in Delhi, we have similarly observed that those who operate side by side tend not to compete fiercely with one another on price – price competition is surprisingly weak.
  • This lack of price competition keeps profits per transaction high. Low barriers to entry then lead to high entry until profits and volume per vendor are relatively low (equal to vendors’ outside options). As a result, we hypothesise that there is over-entry.
  • These ideas motivate two research ambitions:
  • First (and ongoing), we aim to rigorously document the lack of price competition and quantify the extent to which it contributes to over-entry through a market census of ~1000 Delhi fruit vendors.
  • Second, we will use an experiment to understand why price competition is low. While the precise details of our experimental interventions will be determined by the first phase of this research process, tentative interventions include incentivizing vendors to post prices, incentivizing vendors to reduce their prices, and inducing entry of new vendors into randomly chosen markets.

Key Responsibilities

The general tasks expected of the Research Intern will include, but are not limited to:

  • Qualitative interviewing of vendors in order to establish stylized facts
  • Designing survey questionnaires, running piloting, refining study design and survey instruments
  • Brainstorming new ideas and solutions to logistical/design problems
  • Supervise data collection using SurveyCTO to ensure good data quality
  • Assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis
  • Report to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities

Required Qualifications

  • Fluent Hindi and English speaking
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials

Desired Qualifications

  • Previous experience with JPAL/IFMR/IPA or similar, as Intern or similar
  • A Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in Economics, Social Sciences, Public Policy or related fields
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player
  • Knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software


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