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Researcher in Macroeconomic Agent-Based Modeling
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Posted 2 months ago
Job Description

Researcher in Macroeconomic Agent-Based Modeling

Exploratory Modeling of human-natural systems research group

We are looking to hire an outstanding researcher in the overlapping fields of Computational Economics and Data Science/Computer Science, as we are actively expanding our macroeconomic research unit. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of a data-intensive macroeconomic agent-based model (ABM). Specifically, they will leverage diverse and extensive micro-datasets for model calibration, focusing on the in-depth exploration of critical aspects related to income distribution and other significant macroeconomic dynamics. Following a one-year fixed-term employment contract, we intend to offer the successful candidate an open-ended contract with IIASA.


The Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems (EM) Research Group is one of four research groups in the IIASA Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) Program. EM's mission is to produce methodological advances that will underpin IIASA research on transformations toward sustainable social-economic-environmental systems with a focus on socioeconomic complexity, integrative Earth systems models, and macro-level systems models. As part of EM's focus on socioeconomic complexity and building on methodological advances from the former ASA program, a novel macroeconomic ABM is developed that can compete with mainstream approaches, such as econometric and DSGE models, in out-of-sample forecasting and allows more reliable policy analysis and could revolutionize the way we monitor and forecast economic activity. This ABM has recently received the Complexity in Macroeconomics Award from the Rebuilding Macroeconomics Network in the UK and is currently used in several applications


main tasks and responsibilities

The successful applicant will contribute to developing and applying the IIASA macroeconomic agent-based model under the supervision of Dr. Sebastian Poledna. Specific tasks of the successful applicant include but are not limited to:

  • Develop the IIASA macroeconomic agent-based model further according to the needs of the applications.
  • Coordinate with internal and external project partners from central banks; universities and other research institutions.
  • Calibrate the ABM with micro- (firm- and household-level register-based data) and macro-economic (national accounting) data sources; This includes data processing from various sources.
  • Setup, run, exploit, and share simulations made with the ABM.
  • Write and contribute to scientific articles and science-policy reports derived from the above work, and present those at scientific workshops and conferences.
  • In line with the team spirit that prevails at IIASA, the incumbent may occasionally work on other tasks assigned by their superiors, that might not be directly related to this appointment but where the post holder has relevant experience and skills, and/or a shortage of immediate personnel capabilities requires such.

Qualifications and skills

The successful applicant should have a PhD (or close to finish) in economics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, or other relevant fields. Thus, either an economist with the ability to work with computationally and data-intensive models or a computer scientist with economic knowledge would be suitable. Prior experience with agent-based modeling or microdata analysis is not required.

The following skills and qualifications are required:

  • Knowledge of macroeconomic or econometric modeling.
  • Advanced programming skills (MATLAB is a plus)
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) in English, good presentation skills and the ability to write scientific articles and contribute to science-policy reports.
  • Experience working with empirical data.
  • Excellent organizational skills, results-oriented mindset, proactive and adaptable.

The following experience would be highly desirable:

  • A publication record in international, peer- reviewed journals in economics.
  • Practical knowledge of economic forecasting.
  • Advanced knowledge of macroeconomic modeling, e.g., DSGE modeling.
  • Knowledge of systems of national accounts.
  • Practical knowledge working with firm-level data (e.g. Bureau van Dijk ORBIS) and household-level data (e.g. register-based or survey-based data).
  • Experience with large-scale computer simulations.
  • IIASA offers an interdisciplinary and international workplace, and the possibility to interact with researchers of different nationalities, with strong ties to a world-wide network of research institutions engaged in environmental systems research. The successful candidate must be able to work in, and have respect for, an intercultural environment, and IIASA core values.

appointment terms

The successful candidate should be available to take up the position as soon as possible in 2024. We offer an initial fixed-term, full-time employment contract for one year, thereafter the appointment can become open-ended.

Eligible applicants wishing to work part-time hours may be considered.

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria (up to 100 days per year home office working within Austria possible).

The successful candidate will be appointed in accordance with the IIASA profiles for research careers.


  • The possibility to contribute to environmental sciences for sustainability and global wellbeing.
  • The opportunity to deepen and improve knowledge and scientific profile.
  • Career development perspectives.
  • An international atmosphere and pleasant working environment in a historic market town surrounded by green areas.
  • An attractive salary which is exempt from income tax in Austria and negotiable, based on the qualifications, skills and experience of the selected individual and at least
    EUR 39,825.00 for R1 researchers
    EUR 51,894.00 for R2 research scholars (gross per annum subject to deductions for health insurance and/or social security).

IIASA salaries are:

  • Not directly comparable with other employers in Austria, due to the unique legal status and privileges granted to IIASA.
  • Subject to the principle of income aggregation (Progressionsvorbehalt in German).


  • Educational subsidies for children of school age enrolled in private schools in Austria.
  • A generous annual leave entitlement.
  • Relocation allowances and paid home leave for employees in scientific and professional categories hired from international locations.
  • The possibility to work up to 100 days per year in home office (within Austria).
  • Assistance for newcomers to Austria with visa, work and residency permit applications.
  • Support finding accommodation in Austria.

Further details here.


IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce. This is reflected in our IIASA core values. We encourage qualified candidates from all religious, ethnic, and social backgrounds to apply. In the case that candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to applicants from countries where IIASA has a Member Organization.

Further Information

For further information about this opportunity please contact:

Sebastian Poledna, Research Group Leader and Research Scholar, EM Research Group

For general information about working at IIASA, contact


To apply for this opportunity, you will need to provide the following documents in English:

  • A cover letter outlining your motivation for and fit to the position
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • One recent example of your research work (preferably published and single-authored)
  • The names, addresses (including e-mail), and telephone numbers of two work-related reference givers.
Deadline for receipt of applications: 22 February 2024

This position is no longer open.