Post-Doc Researcher Patterns of trade. Textile wage rates, international flows of textiles, and tariff policies, ca. 1750-1990 (deadline 15 May 2018)

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The Department of History and Art History seeks to appoint a Post-Doc Researcher for the project “Race to the bottom? Family labour, household livelihood and consumption in the relocation of global cotton manufacturing, ca. 1750-1990”, funded by means of an ERC Consolidator grant awarded to Prof. dr. Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk.

The Post-Doc Researcher will be working on the following sub-project of this ERc-project:

Patterns of trade. Textile wage rates, international flows of textiles, and tariff policies, ca. 1750-1990 (1.0 FTE)

This 3-year post-doc project will chart the macro-economic background of global developments in textile wages, prices and tariff rates. It will thus investigate two important explanatory factors mentioned in the literature: markets and (trade) policies. The project has two main objectives. First of all, the Post-Doc Researcher will construct a database of textile wage rates around the world, systematically including an analysis of gender differences. Recent research shows that, despite source scarcity, it is possible to reconstruct long-term series of women’s wages, and textile wages are often part of such series. Secondly, the Post-Doc Researcher will establish long-term global trends in textile flows, related to prices and tariff costs. He/she will bring together existing databases on trade statistics and will, with the help of research assistance, systematically gather historical data on tariffs for textile goods. Regression analyses will be performed to establish relationships between wage trends and textile trade developments. It will, for instance, be investigated to what extent the widening of gender gaps in textile wages were related to critical shifts in the location of cotton manufacturing. Also, the effect of tariff policies on the gender wage gap will be established.

This sub-project forms an important quantitative backbone of the ERC-project as a whole, and the available data need to be gathered efficiently and in an early stage. Therefore, experience with this type of data is highly desired. Second, the Post-Doc Researcher needs to be able to make sensible correlations and establish causal relationships between several of the variables in the project, for which some years of research experience and sufficient econometric skills are required.


A successful Post-Doc Researcher should preferably have:

  • a PhD in Economic History, Economics or any another relevant discipline;
  • demonstrable affinity with the scope of the project;
  • knowledge and experience with data-driven digital methods and techniques;
  • strong analytical skills and the ability to think in structures;
  • excellent command of English, both written and orally;
  • experience with archival research;
  • strong writing skills;
  • capacity to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a multidisciplinary project team.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for the duration of 36 months, starting 1 October 2018. The appointment is for an initial period of 12 months which, after a satisfactory first period, will be extended by another 24 months (3 years in total). The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience  – ranges between €3,238  and €3,475 (scale 10/11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

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Additional information

A brief project summary is available on the ERC website (click tab “Summary”):
Enquiries can be made to Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, An extended research description is available upon request.


Written applications should address each of the criteria mentioned under qualifications and include the following documents:

  • cover letter;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • research proposal (600-1,200 words);
  • copy of relevant diplomas and grades;
  • copy of a recent academic publication (max. 30 pages);
  • names and contact details of two referees.

Please note that incomplete applications cannot be included in the subsequent selection procedure.

Candidates who make the shortlist will be invited for an interview. These may be conducted in person in Utrecht or via Skype. Interviews are scheduled to take place in the week of 11 June.

Please use the application button on the original vacancy web page. The application deadline is 15 May 2018.

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