The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support
to international institutions.
The New York Fed engages with individuals, households and businesses in the Second District and maintains an active dialogue in the region. The Bank gathers and shares regional economic intelligence to inform our community and policy makers, and promotes
sound financial and economic decisions through community development and education programs.
Each year the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group seeks roughly twenty exceptional college graduates with a strong background in economics, mathematics, and statistics to enter its Research Analyst (RA) program. RAs generally stay in the position for two years.
VIDEOS: Life at the Fed
Emily Eisner, Money and
Ellen Fu, Microeconomic Studies
Ulysses Velasquez, Financial Intermediation
About the Position
Talented individuals with a background in economics, statistics, or a related field make the best RAs.
Experience with large databases and statistical packages—such as SAS, STATA, and MATLAB, R Basic, Julia—is valuable.
We’re also looking for candidates with solid analytical and decision-making abilities and good communication skills.
RAs are primarily responsible for:
Assisting economists in the analysis of current public policy issues and events
RAs help economists conduct current analysis and other short-term research on monetary policy, bank regulation, payments systems, financial markets, and the state of the U.S. and global economies.
Assisting economists in long-term, academically oriented research projects
RAs help economists plan and execute long-term research on a wide range of applied and theoretical topics. Many RAs have the opportunity to coauthor scholarly articles.
Day-to-day activities include:
Performing econometric, computational, and analytical research intended for inclusion in Bank publications as well as academic journals
Programming in statistical packages, such as SAS, Stata, MATLAB, R, and Julia
Running financial, banking, macroeconomic, and international forecasting models
Developing spreadsheet/web macros and programs to facilitate and improve data manipulation and analysis
Preparing background materials for and assisting in the formulation of reports or presentations to the Bank’s president and senior management
Attending presentations given by New York Fed economists and visiting scholars
Launching a Career Path
Most RAs leaving the New York Fed enter graduate or professional degree programs. Many pursue a Ph.D. in economics or finance, but others have gone on to top business schools, law schools, and public policy or other advanced degree programs. In recent years, RAs have moved on to top Ph.D. programs in economics at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. New York Fed RAs have a strong track record of obtaining fellowships, including thirteen from the National Science Foundation in 2015-17.
Fortune 500 companies and other top employers are seeking the skills and expertise you will gain as an RA. Former RAs have accepted positions at the Bank, while others have become leaders in the business, banking, higher-education, research, and nonprofit sectors.
Among the benefits offered by the RA program is generous tuition reimbursement for coursework and degree programs at nearby universities—including Columbia and NYU. The New York Fed's strong emphasis on work/life balance helps ensure that RAs have the time they need to pursue coursework in economics, mathematics, statistics, finance, or related fields.
The Group has seven areas—Capital Markets, Financial Intermediation, International Research, Macroeconomic and Monetary Studies, Microeconomic Studies, Money and Payments Studies, and Regional Analysis—each with a distinctive focus and a broad research agenda. Your experience will be largely influenced by the research of the economists you’re working with and the topics they’re exploring.
Do I need a strong background in computer programming?
Experience with computers and computing programs is desirable, but a strong background in programming is not required. Many incoming RAs take advantage of in-house training courses offered in the fall.
What benefits does the New York Fed offer?
Incoming RAs can enjoy flexible work schedules; an employer-matching 401(k) savings plan; commutation assistance; health, dental, and vision insurance; and tuition reimbursement for many individual courses, certificate programs, and graduate programs.
Research Analysts receive generous tuition reimbursement for coursework and degree programs at nearby universities. In addition, the New York Fed’s strong emphasis on work/life balance helps ensure that RAs have the time they need to pursue coursework in economics, mathematics, statistics, finance, or related fields.
The Tuition Assistance Program has enabled RAs to:
Earn a master’s degree in statistics (Columbia University) while working at the Bank
Participate in other degree and certificate programs (New York University and Columbia University)
Take individual graduate-level classes such as stochastic calculus, probability, statistics, real analysis, linear regression models, time series regression, linear algebra, continuous-time finance, derivative securities, graph theory, and partial differential equations.
Is this a long-term job?
Most RAs stay for about two years. They find that’s sufficient time to learn the economic, modeling, computational, and research skills associated with the job.
Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for hiring?
Bank policy specifies that candidates must be eligible to work in the United States on a continuous basis for other than practical training purposes. In some cases, positions require access to confidential supervisory information or Federal Open Market Committee data, which is limited to “protected individuals” as defined in U.S. federal immigration law. Protected individuals include, but are not limited to, U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents who are not yet eligible to apply for naturalization, and U.S. permanent residents who have applied for naturalization within six months of being eligible to do so.
I’m still in college. Does the Research Group offer a summer internship program?
The New York Fed’s Undergraduate Summer Analyst Program is open to students who will have completed their sophomore year of college by the start of the internship. The program emphasizes advanced assignments—with opportunities for summer analysts to enhance their business skills through critical financial analysis, formal presentations, research and writing, and professional development activities—making it ideal for students, especially rising seniors, interested in applying for the Research Analyst position in the future.
Macroeconomic and Monetary Studies
“I have had the opportunity to implement and work with sophisticated computational models, and to see how those models impact macroeconomic and monetary policy. The bulk of my work involves using the FRBNY Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model, a large, structural model of the U.S. economy, to forecast macro variables such as GDP and inflation, identify the sources of economic fluctuations, and analyze the consequences of alternative monetary policies.
My average day begins with a morning meeting with my team’s economists and other RAs. Afterwards, I’ll prepare forecasts, run policy experiments, work with economists to answer questions from the Bank president, or attend a seminar given by a visiting or resident scholar. After work, I might play volleyball with coworkers in the gym upstairs or head to a Social Networks or Real Analysis class at NYU or Columbia (tuition is fully reimbursed by the Fed). Every day involves at least one espresso—the machine is about ten feet away from my desk.
My biggest project so far has been to redesign and re-implement our team’s model in Julia, a new open-source technical computing language. I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to present that work at JuliaCon 2016, a conference held at MIT. As an RA with a computer science degree, I find it exciting to spend every day working with a cutting-edge technology and to participate in the development of high-quality open-source code for the academic economics community. Who says economists can’t be tech-savvy?”
VIDEO: RA Erica Moszkowski’s presentation at the JuliaCon conference at MIT in June 2016:
“At the New York Fed, I’ve gained real experience that no classes could provide. Rather than solving sanitized textbook problems, I delve into the nitty gritty of uncleaned data sets and work through which specifications to run for still-developing econometric models. Being involved every step of the way means that I’m truly a part of the research process. RAs work directly with economists, receiving one-on-one time to propose their own ideas and solutions. This leads to invaluable learning opportunities.
Research projects aside, I’ve also learned a lot from both economists and my fellow RAs. Economists often hold lunchtime presentations to solicit feedback about ongoing projects. These discussions trickle down to the RA lunch table, encouraging further exchanges. This constant flow of ideas is part of what makes the Research group such a challenging and interesting place to work.”
“If you’re anything like I was after college, then you may know that economics or finance is the field for you, but aren’t sure which research areas you’ll find most fun or interesting. Working as an RA in the New York Fed’s Research group is a great way to find out.
Whether from working directly on projects with economists or attending seminars by leading scholars, gaining exposure to different fields of research is an easy and natural part of the RA experience. I have worked on projects ranging from an analysis of liquidity in the U.S. Treasury market to the estimation of a model that gauges network spillover effects within the entire U.S. financial system. Through our RA seminar series, I’ve attended talks on the behavior of housing market participants in 2008 and the implementation challenges facing monetary policy in the post-crisis era, among many other topics.
For me, the RA program has been an outstanding opportunity to better understand my own interests by learning just what is being done on the frontiers of economic and financial research. I know that this exposure will inform the next step I take in my career—be that selecting a graduate school or pursuing my next job.”
“Working alongside premier research economists has bolstered my curiosity and critical thinking skills and given me the opportunity to contribute to truly impactful policy research. I work mostly with the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) in the Research group’s microeconomics function. Using this rich data set, I have collaborated on projects concerning the marginal propensity to consume out of one-time payments, the demand for macroeconomic data among homeowners, and differences in job negotiation behavior between men and women. Having interned in the Research group before starting as an RA, I could see that the Fed is an institution that places great value on learning and skill acquisition. RAs are encouraged to attend seminars by Fed economists and academic researchers—talks that have introduced me to topics outside my particular area of focus. I have also taken courses at NYU to strengthen my programming skills (paid for by the Fed!). Along with these formal research and training opportunities, my fellow RAs have been an important source of support and inspiration, pushing me to take on new challenges and expand my skillset.”
Macroeconomic and Monetary Studies
“As an RA, I have been able to pursue my interests in computation and macroeconomics, both on the job and in the classroom. My work on the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model team involves advanced economics and Bayesian statistics—material that was intimidating at first. However, the Bank’s economists are really invested in seeing the RAs succeed, happily walking us through derivations, writing up notes, and even holding weekly classes on topics like state-space models and time-series econometrics. Through the Fed’s tuition reimbursement program, I’ve been able to take a graduate class on stochastic calculus at NYU.
The Bank has also allowed me to implement cool new computational techniques in the New York Fed DSGE model, which, unlike many central bank forecasting models, is open-source and written in Julia, a new high-performance computing language. My team’s work gets shared on Github, a website that enables us to collaborate on our code with programmers and economists from across the world. One highlight of my experience was the 2017 ‘Computing in Economics and Finance’ conference, where I was part of a group of RAs who taught graduate students and economists how to use Julia and our DSGE code.”
“Being an RA at the New York Fed is an extremely rewarding experience. In my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to research projects on a variety of topics, including the role of subprime credit in the 2007-09 financial crisis (using administrative credit data), the effect of a slowdown in working-age population growth on firm entry (using, in part, census firm-level data), and the differential impact of gentrification on homeowners and renters. I’ve also been able to contribute to policy work on the labor market and the international outlook, as well as to several blog posts concerning commodity prices, financial outflows from China, Japan’s debt holdings, and developments in the economy of Puerto Rico.
Working closely with economists and other RAs has taught me the ins and outs of the research process: what types of questions to ask, what sources of data to use, what type of models to employ to answer those questions, and how to present the results in a meaningful way. Being given the responsibility to contribute to these issues personally, as well as learning how to organize and develop research projects, has provided me with indispensable tools for future research after the Fed.”
“After working at a large bank for over three years, I joined the New York Fed in order to prepare for graduate school and gain a greater understanding of finance from a research perspective.
The RA program has been a great place to see the dynamic between research and policy in action, since the Bank supervises key financial market participants and implements monetary policy. Through our analysis of specific issues and broader research questions—work that informs policy decisions—RAs are provided unparalleled access to financial data sets, including detailed regulatory information on banks and other financial intermediaries. Using these data for research has also exposed me to a wide range of econometric tools—micro models for tackling corporate and household finance questions and macro models for identifying trends in the banking sector.
My time at the New York Fed has granted me valuable insights into banking, finance, and consumer decision making and allowed me to build a strong foundation for graduate studies and future research on finance and economics.”
Money and Payments Studies
“Through the RA program, I’ve become a more effective data analyst and coder while gaining exposure to ideas at the cutting edge of economics.
Much of my research work at the Bank has focused on repo markets—funding networks that a variety of financial institutions rely on for their day-to-day operations. Given the significance of these markets, they can offer insights into broad economic issues, such as the transmission of interest rates across money markets and the effects of regulation on bank behavior. Drawing on the wide array of repo market data collected by the Fed, I've contributed to a number of research reports, including posts on the Bank’s Liberty Street Economics blog, supervisory analyses, and a Bank for International Settlements study on repo market functioning. Beyond research experience, I've had the rare opportunity to work closely with economists who are leading the debate on the future of monetary policy. Walking into work on Maiden Lane—the namesake of a series of lending facilities the Fed created in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis—is a daily reminder of the importance of this debate.”
ACADEMIC JOURNALS, CONFERENCE VOLUMES, AND SCHOLARLY BOOKS
Meta Brown, John Grigsby, Wilbert van der Klaauw, Jaya Wen, and Basit Zafar. 2016. “Financial Education and the Debt Behavior of the Young.” The Review of Financial Studies 29, no. 9 (September): 2490-522.
Joshua Abel, Robert Rich, Joseph Song, and Joseph Tracy. 2016. “The Measurement and Behavior of Uncertainty: Evidence from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters.” Journal of Applied Econometrics 31, no. 3 (April-May): 533-50.
Robert C. Dent, Fatih Karahan, Benjamin Pugsley, and Ayşegül Şahin. 2016. “The Role of Startups in Structural Transformation.” American Economic Review 106, no. 5 (May): 219–23.
Vitaly M. Bord and João A. C. Santos. 2015. “Does Securitization of Corporate Loans Lead to Riskier Lending?” Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 47, nos. 2-3 (March-April): 415-44.
Meta Brown, Sarah Stein, and Basit Zafar. 2015. “The Impact of Housing Markets on Consumer Debt: Credit Report Evidence from 1999 to 2012.” Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 47, no. S1 (March-April): 175-213.
Checking in with Former RAs
After their time at the New York Fed, RAs typically pursue graduate studies, enter the workforce, become economics professors, or even join our staff.
GING CEE NG
University of Chicago
“I really enjoyed my time as an RA at the New York Fed. I acquired hard skills for data analysis and model estimation and was exposed to economic research topics in the fields of macroeconomics and monetary policy—subject areas completely different from my primary focus on education and labor economics as an undergraduate. Working in a mixed academic and policy environment also gave me perspective on how to actively interpret and apply new models in the context of the changing economy and, more importantly, shed light on the gap between existing models and policy demands today. Seeing the need for both theoretical and empirical models firsthand has fueled my research interests and enriched my understanding of the important interplay between academic research and policy.”
“I can't imagine a better place to prepare for graduate school than the New York Fed’s RA program. The research and policy projects I contributed to greatly strengthened my economic intuition, econometric technique, and proficiency in statistical programming. What sets the New York Fed experience apart, however, is the unique working culture of the Research Group—at the intersection of academic theory and regulatory practice and guided by a constant spirit of intellectual curiosity. Through my daily interactions with Fed economists and fellow RAs, I gained both a stronger sense of what economic questions to pursue and a broader set of resources to call upon in pursuing them.”
“As a college graduate, the RA position appealed to me for many reasons. It offered me the opportunity to learn exciting new economic concepts, work on the research frontier, and make friends with a group of fun, intellectually stimulating people. Looking back on the two years I spent at the Fed, I find I was able to take advantage of these opportunities and more. And now that I’m well into my Ph.D. program, I continue to reap these rewards—the economic insight, programming skills, and research abilities I gained as an RA have proven invaluable to my graduate education. The work I did at the Fed helped refine my research interests and prepare me for the challenges that lie ahead, and the friends I made have formed a network of like-minded colleagues within the academic community. I can think of no better stepping stone to a Ph.D. program in economics than the New York Fed.”
Associate Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
“Working as an RA at the New York Fed is one of the best ways to get your feet wet as a research economist and to figure out whether pursuing a Ph.D. is right for you. At the New York Fed, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing group of economists. And you will acquire a range of hard skills (programming, econometrics, building economic models) and soft skills (identifying interesting research questions) that will prove to be invaluable if you decide to pursue a research career.”
HOW DO I APPLY?
Applications for the summer of 2018 are now closed.