Information for Economist Job Applicants
The Bureau of Economics (BE) at the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a proud tradition of providing scientifically sound, data-driven economic analyses that inform antitrust, consumer protection, and business regulation policy in the United States. With a staff of approximately 80 PhD-holding applied microeconomists, BE plays an essential role in virtually all aspects of the FTC’s mission while striving to maintain a quality of economic analysis that rivals work done in major universities’ economics departments. BE’s most recent hires have obtained PhDs from Princeton University, Duke University, University of California – San Diego, and University of Texas at Austin.
Much of the casework done by BE is economic analysis of issues related directly to law enforcement activities, such as case investigation or litigation support. Other activities involve policy analysis and research related to the FTC’s consumer protection and antitrust missions. It is important that FTC economists maintain a current set of theoretical and empirical modeling skills. To this end, independent research is encouraged and supported. FTC economists regularly present their work at seminars and conferences, and publish in top journals. Economists may also have opportunities to share their experience through the FTC’s International Technical Assistance program, which fosters policy development and law enforcement around the globe.
Scholarship and Research in the Bureau of Economics
Economists in BE benefit from numerous opportunities to advance their research careers. Scholarly output takes a variety of forms including publications in economics journals, working papers, and Bureau and Commission reports. A large group of well-qualified and experienced research and data analysts provides high quality support to the economic staff. Economists in BE are also eligible to apply for the Kramer Fellowship, which allows them to pursue academic interests for nine months at either Harvard University or the University of Chicago.
Seminars and Conferences
The Bureau of Economics sponsors a weekly academic-style seminar series. In addition, several other government agencies and universities in the Washington, D.C. area have seminar series that BE economists can attend. The Bureau also provides opportunities for continuing professional development through workshops and lectures by leading academics.
The Bureau of Economics also organizes and participates in a variety of conferences and hearings that explore issues that relate to the Commission’s competition and consumer protection missions. In November 2016, the Bureau of Economics hosted the ninth annual FTC Microeconomics Conference. Other recent conferences have explored antitrust analysis of the grocery industry, the relevance of behavioral economics for consumer protection policy, the economics of the pharmaceutical industry, and the economics of Internet auctions. These forums bring together leading scholars, policymakers, and industry participants.
Human Resource Links
The FTC offers a family-friendly and collegial work environment with easy access to Metro, Washington’s subway system, and commuter rail lines extending into Virginia and Maryland. A variety of child-care options are available in the vicinity, including at the FTC’s headquarters building. A locker room and bicycle storage facilities are also available on-site.
Salaries: The career ladder for BE economists range from GS-12 to GS-15. The current salaries for these grades are listed on the OPM pay tables.
Benefits: The Federal Trade Commission offers a comprehensive benefits package.