PhD position on Trade and economic development in developing countries


Faculty of Economics and Business


University of Groningen

Job description

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business offers an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

FEBRI, the graduate school and research institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business has one PhD position in the field of “Trade and economic development in developing countries: An activity perspective” available.

Project description
The rise of global value chains (GVCs) has changed the impact of trade in the growth trajectory of developing countries by providing new ways for countries to specialize in specific activities rather than building up entire industries from scratch. However, there are also concerns about the rising skill intensity of technology, which might result in developing countries losing their cost advantage in producing low-skilled products.

These developments pose a number of (empirical) questions, including whether participation in GVCs benefits developing countries in terms of jobs and incomes; what determines the size and patterns of gains or losses from GVC; whether technological change and the specialization of countries in some segments of the value chain are contributing to their development process; and what are alternative paths to prosperity, as the traditional concept of industrialization (i.e. the path to development of many modern advanced countries), is less promising in a highly fragmented production structure.

This project will draw on the fields of international and development economics and aims to advance our understanding of the impact of GVC participation in developing countries. The focus will be on product-level activities and the contribution of different types of occupations. The goal is to better understand how specialization in certain activities at the product level affects jobs, incomes, and development in developing countries.

The PhD position is embedded in the research programme [Global Economics and Management] of FEB’s Research Institute and in the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC). The project will be supervised by Robert Inklaar, Gaaitzen de Vries, Abdul Erumban, and Nikolaos Terzidis.


The ideal candidate is ambitious, highly motivated and wishes to make a career in research. The PhD candidate has a thorough training in research skills, speaks and writes English fluently and has obtained excellent results in the master phase.
The PhD candidate should have a background (MSc, research master) in the field of Economics. The ability and willingness to work with datasets, understanding of theories and empirical tools in the trade and economic development fields, proficiency in the use of statistical software (e.g., MATLAB, Stata, etc.), and good writing, communication, teamwork, and organizational skills are highly valued.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a gross monthly starting salary of € 2,770 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 3,539. Based on the gross salary you will receive an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % end of year bonus in December
- a temporary full-time appointment for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year. PhD candidates contribute 20% of their time to teaching.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

An assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

Job Application

The application package consists of the following separate documents:

1. your cv
2. a motivation letter (1A4 max) and a short study proposal for the PhD project (2 A4 max)
3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts
4. proof of English proficiency
5. other relevant documents.

The documents 1-4 are compulsory and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

If you are interested, you may apply until 10 September 11:59pm / 11 September 2023 Dutch local time (European Central Time) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Note that the committee will not get back to you about any decision before September 17.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

For more general information

Abdul Erumban

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0403

Digital application form