Postdoctoral Researcher in Economics of Data-Driven Businesses and Harms

Tilburg University

Hours: 4 or 5 days per week
Contract type: Fixed period for 4,5 years

Job Description
Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society, Tilburg University, the Netherlands, invites applications for a 4,5 year postdoc position within an ERC project “Understanding information for legal protection of people against information-induced harms” (INFO-LEG) led by dr. Nadya Purtova (ERC Starting Grant 716971).

For a full vacancy description please Click Here

You will be the primary researcher within the economics track of the project. You are tasked with defining and executing the economic perspective on the problem. Collaboration with economists is foreseen. Your research will enrich the legal analysis done by the project leader, and the information studies analysis done by the information studies scholar. You will benefit from the insights of information law and information studies in your research.

 Your tasks will include:

  • Establishing how economic value is drawn from information in the data-driven economy and data-based business models;
  • Establishing the impact of commodification of personal data on privacy and data protection (in collaboration with legal and information scholars);
  • Developing a conceptual map of information through economic analysis of the data-driven economy and information and / or data as a resource, both via conceptual analysis and case studies (in the context of smart cities, smart grid, and online advertising);
  • Performing economic analysis / economic mechanism design of the influence of changes in regulation on the data economy and data-based business models in terms of steering them away from causing privacy- and data protection harms;
  • Collaboration with the rest of the multidisciplinary team, e.g. through frequent discussions, bi-weekly team meetings, co-authorship of papers, draft paper discussions, department work-in-progress meetings, etc.;
  • Organising multidisciplinary expert workshops;
  • Publishing the results of the project work in leading (also economic) journals and presenting at leading conferences;
  • Daily supervision of a legal PhD researcher.

The starting date for the position is between 1 March 2017 (preferable) and 1 May 2017.

The successful candidate must:

  • hold PhD (or be near completion of PhD as demonstrated by a set defense date) in economics of information, or economics of privacy and / or data protection, or political economy of data, or another neighboring field of economics;
  • have excellent command of the English language, written and spoken;
  • be familiar with theories of information as a resource (the core information economists such as Stiglitz and Varian, but also theories on information commons);
  • have demonstrable interest in the issues of information privacy and data protection;
  • have demonstrable interest in data-based economy and business models, actors and incentives that lead to current information practices and information-induced harms.
  • have experience with empirical methods of economic research (quantitative and / or qualitative) and ability to conduct case studies, including experience with or willingness to learn interview techniques;
  • be willing to work in a multidisciplinary team. 

The following characteristics are a plus, but are not required:

  • Publications on data-based economy and business models;
  • Familiarity with the issues of data protection and information privacy;
  • Experience of multidisciplinary collaboration, including with legal scholars;
  • Interdisciplinary publications;
  • Experience with supervision of PhD candidates.
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed