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Associate Economist, Household Consumption in China (Beijing based)

Position Summary:

The objective of the position is to continually contribute to The Conference Board’s position as a thought leader in the business community on household consumption trends, dynamics and developments in China.  This is a Beijing based job.

The Associate Economist on Household Consumption in China (AE) will undertake short-, medium- and long-term analyses of Consumer Market trends and developments, and also study the demographic, labor market, city-level economic dynamics, and policy factors (e.g. social welfare, hukou, etc.) that influence household consumption in China.

AE will undertake data collection, appraisal (what data are good, what data aren’t) and assembly. With manager supervision, AE will support the drafting of China Center research deliverables, in English, based on these analyses, comprising:

  1. Creating charts and graphs that illuminate interesting trends for members;
  2. Drafting narrative or talking points that explain the economic phenomenon in the charts and graphs;
  3. Working with his/her manager to produce final, member-ready deliverables.

The AE is expected to track policy and political-economy developments related to these areas, and China’s macro-economy in general, and collaborate with China Center and global team members to interpret policy and political-economy developments and assess their impact on China’s economic drivers and the China business environment for China Center members.

The AE will also contribute to conceptualizing and providing PPT-based analysis, charts, and narrative for China Center member events, meetings and webcasts, etc.

A solid background in economic research, an understanding of the structural features of the Chinese economy and policy environment, excellent analytical skills, and solid structured thinking and English drafting skills are key prerequisites for the job.

Reporting Relationship

The Consumer Markets Associate Economist will report on a day-to-day basis to the Resident Economist of the China Center, with input and coaching from both the Managing Director of The China Center and The Conference Board Chief Economist in New York.

Principal Direct Activities

The main objectives for the Consumer Markets Associate Economist are:

  1. Research and Analysis:
    • To contribute to ideas for insightful consumer markets analysis.
    • To produce contributing analysis and narrative to China Center and Conference Board research outputs and member deliverables according the direction of his/her manager – but ideally based AE’s pro-active input.
    • To produce draft member deliverables according to supervisor instruction, the research plan, regular team meeting decisions, and spontaneous needs that arise due to economic and policy events.
    • To produce designated charts and slides for China Center and Conference Board member meetings, events and webcasts, etc.
  2. Economic and Policy Knowledge Gathering:
    • To pro-actively monitor Chinese news, information, policy, and scholarship channels to extract early insights on economic and policy developments. To inform China Center team members about such insights.
    • To identify concepts for research projects, outputs, member deliverables and value adding analyses based on economic, market and policy information gathering activities.
  3. Data Management:
    • To master, fully leverage, and contribute to the various Conference Board data resources available, e.g. the Total Economy Database and International Labor Database, etc.
    • To support the good management of designated China data resources – organizing, updating, cleansing, and filing, etc. Continually monitoring and evaluating new sources of data.
  4. Other:
    • To undertake other projects as assigned.


Within the range of activities summarized above, the Consumer Markets Associate Economist is responsible for maintaining and continually advancing his/her professional expertise in the overall research, publication, and information service activities in his/her designated activities. This position requires that Associate Economist remains vigilant in advancing the Board's strong reputation for highest-quality product.

Key Performance Measures

The general key performance measures for the position are fourfold:

  • Meeting agreed deliverable targets (for quality and timeliness)
  • Peer feedback on contributions made to TCB research programs
  • Member feedback on the quality and relevance of output
  • Demonstrated innovation in improving the quality and relevance TCB work

Desired Qualifications and Requirements:

The Position requires solid economic credentials and relevant experience in empirical economic research. Candidate should have good grasp of both macroeconomic developments in China and solid expertise and understanding the structural, cyclical and institutional drivers of consumption.

Ideally candidate will also have good grasp of, and insight into, China policy, political economy and socio-economic issues as well.

Candidate should be able to appraise and validate data and information quality in order to distill out an accurate picture of what’s really happening with consumption in China.

Candidate should have excellent math, spreadsheet and writing skills and a familiarity with the sources and quality of data. Proficiency in the Windows environment using Microsoft Office products is necessary, especially Excel, Word and PowerPoint. Candidate should be creative, work flexible hours and have the capacity to work in a team environment.

Candidate should have proven structured thinking and English drafting skills. Written and spoken English does not have to be perfect, but candidate’s point of view and arguments in English must be clear, comprehensible and compelling.

M.A. Economics or higher preferred. B.A. Economics considered if accompanied by strong substantive working experience in economics.