PhD Candidate in Economics & Data science: Housing Search in a Digitalized World (0.8-1.0 fte)

  • Vacancy number- 13693
  • Job type- PhD positions
  • Hours (in fte)- 0,8-1,0
  • External/ internal- External
  • Location- Leiden
  • Placed on- 9 May 2023
  • Closing date- 8 June 2023 16 more days to apply

The Department of Economics of Leiden Law School at Leiden University has a vacancy for:

PhD Candidate in Economics & Data science: Housing Search in a Digitalized World (0.8-1.0 fte)

Vacancy-number: 13693

Research project: Housing Search in a Digitalized World

The internet has come to play an important role in housing search. Particularly online housing platforms have drastically changed the way in which individuals search for housing. This research project analyses buyer search and decision-making using novel big data from a large digital housing platform in the Netherlands. The use of novel big data makes it possible to empirically investigate housing search from a buyer perspective in more detail than before. It opens unique opportunities to empirically test to which extent prevailing housing search theories fit the new digital context. Importantly, the innovative nature of the big data makes it possible to relate online search behaviour to real market outcomes.

The current housing affordability issues and supply side shortages pose an important societal challenge. This innovative project provides a major contribution to the field by providing important new insights to the housing search literature and a better understanding of the housing market. The findings of the research project at the interface of housing economics and data science provide relevant societal benefits as it can contribute to market regulation, housing legislation, and housing policy.

The selected PhD candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to solutions to one of the most important current societal challenges and work on the key issues at the frontier of housing market research. The research findings based on unique big data will contribute to shaping the future research agenda and housing market policy.

The position comprises the following tasks:

Conduct innovative research on the topic of online housing search and decision making;

  • Write a PhD Thesis;
  • Publish in academic journals;
  • Present papers at international conferences;
  • Actively disseminate the research findings;
  • Organise and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences of the programme;
  • Teach in the programmes of the Department of Economics;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training plan.

Selection Criteria

  • A (research) Master’s degree in economics, econometrics, data science or a related quantitative field;
  • A demonstrated interest in (micro)economics and/or big data research; a specific interest in housing economics is considered an advantage;
  • Excellent skills in quantitative research methods and writing, demonstrated by a bachelor or master’s thesis, single-authored course paper and/or publications;
  • Experience in using statistical software (e.g. Stata, R); additional programming skills in Python and SQL are considered an advantage;
  • An excellent command of the English language, knowledge of the Dutch language is considered an advantage;
  • Affinity with interdisciplinary research and the ability to work well in teams.


You will work in a team with other junior and senior researchers who are working on closely related projects. We work together to make a difference, celebrate our bigger and smaller successes and look out for each other. Moreover, a good work-life balance is important to us, and we offer the flexibility to combine work with other responsibilities. You will start in a cohort with three other PhD Candidates. We also have vacancies for three other PhD positions:

Our Department

The Department of Economics is a young, vibrant research community, with offices in Leiden and The Hague. The department has been growing steadily and will continue to grow with the new bachelor and master programmes in The Hague. The department has a reputation of working together in teams on joint research projects, while at the same time giving individual researchers the autonomy and flexibility to pursue other research interests as well. In the broad field of economics, the activities of the department are concentrated on socio-economic policy, law and economics, the functioning of the labour market and social security. The department provides courses for a number of study programmes, such as political science, public administration, liberal arts, and law. Moreover, the department co-organizes the bachelor programme ‘Economics, Governance and Management’ and the master programme ‘Economics and Governance’ with the Institute of Public Administration. In addition, we are developing the new bachelor and master programmes in the Hague that are planned to start in the Fall of 2025.

Our Faculty

The Department of Economics is part of the Leiden Law School (ranked #1 in the Netherlands for the subject of law and #21 in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject). Leiden Law School is located in Leiden and The Hague. With more than 6500 students and around 1000 staff, it is one of the largest university faculties in the Netherlands. The faculty focuses on innovative multidisciplinary research and educational programmes that are constantly renewed in response to issues in society. Our faculty is large enough to make a difference nationally and internationally, yet small enough to offer personalised education. This is how we contribute to a safe and sustainable world, each and every day. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. The Department of Economics also has offices in The Hague. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in a welcoming and inspiring scientific environment.

Terms & conditions

  • We offer a stimulating and intellectually challenging work environment that fosters personal development and is determined to make a difference when it comes to key societal challenges.
  • The PhD position is for 0.8-1.0 fte.
  • The appointment as a PhD student will be for a period of four to five years (initially for a period of one year with an extension of three to four years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development) leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis. The appointment will be under the terms of the cao (Collective Labour Agreement) of Dutch Universities.
  • Starting date: 1st of September 2023 (some flexibility is possible).
  • The (fulltime) gross yearly salary is set on €35.462 in the first year, increasing to €45.315 in the final year. This includes holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%).
  • Leiden University offers excellent secondary employment conditions, including an attractive benefits package with training and career development (including, for example, language courses, teaching courses and project management courses), support from the PhD dean, and we facilitate a good work-life balance via flexible working hours and various leave arrangements. Our individual choices model also gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.
  • For more information on the terms and conditions of employment, click here.


Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive. We therefore especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Joep Steegmans ( or Bo Terpstra ( Information about the Department of Economics can be found here.


Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this position;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • Your master thesis or other major writing sample;
  • Copies of your academic transcripts (incl. grades);
  • At this stage, it is not necessary to submit references or recommendation letters.

Only applications received before the 8th of June 2023 will be considered. The selection procedure will take place in June 2023.

Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated.