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The Cato Institute is seeking a quantitative Research Associate to join a team of data-driven researchers working on immigration policy. The Research Associate will be responsible for using modern statistical methods to support the work of Cato’s immigration team in producing original empirical research. This position will help produce original statistical work in multiple different formats ranging from working papers to descriptive statistical work for blog posts, op-eds, research briefs, and policy analyses. 

The Research Associate will be an integral part of the immigration team’s workflow and will occasionally co-author pieces with other members of the team. The Research Associate will report to the Associate Director of Immigration Studies and work with policy staff to brainstorm and potentially spearhead new research projects related to immigration.

Company Overview

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization—a think tank—dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future.

The Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


  • Produce original statistical work, both causal and descriptive, examining how immigration affects the economy, crime, institutions, culture, and other factors in the United States and abroad. The research projects will be both at the direction of the Associate Director of Immigration Studies, other members of the immigration team, and on the Research Associate’s own initiative.
  • Support the research of the senior members of the immigration team (80-90%) as well as other departments on an as needed basis (10-20%). Roughly half of the Research Associate’s work will be for short term day-to-day projects, the other half will be for long term projects.
  • Replicate statistical findings from peer-reviewed academic research, policy analyses, and government reports.
  • Gather, clean, and format datasets.
  • Help prepare presentable statistical output in the form of figures and tables for other members of the Cato team.
  • Occasionally co-author policy analyses, working papers, peer-reviewed academic papers, blog posts, and other empirical work with members of the Cato immigration team.


  • Strong quantitative skills, the ability to work on multiple tasks both independently and as part of a highly collaborative team on a time-sensitive basis, and commitment to accuracy.
  • Familiarity with two or more software packages or programming languages used for data analysis (such as Stata, R, Python, MATLAB, etc.) is required.
  • Experience with the latest multiple regression analysis methods and the latest econometric methods such as synthetic controls, difference-in-differences, and other quasi-experimental methods.
  • Strong writing skills preferred.
  • Experience with survey data such as the American Community Survey, Current Population, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation preferred.
  • Interest in immigration and libertarianism.

Education and Experience

  • Degree in economics, statistics, data science, or any field that requires strong quantitative skills. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Evidence of prior original statistical work.
  • Experience in econometrics preferred.
  • No prior work experience required.

To apply, please submit the following materials in one PDF file:

  • CV/Resume. Cover letter optional.
  • A code sample or code project in Stata or R.
  • Two representative research products or writing samples that must show your statistical skills (research reports, working papers, peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, data memos, blog posts, etc.).