PhD Candidate Distributional Effects of Climate Policy (0.8-1.0 fte)

PhD Candidate Distributional Effects of Climate Policy (0.8-1.0 fte)

Published Deadline Location
9 May 8 Jun Leiden

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 8 Jun 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

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

PhD Candidate Distributional Effects of Climate Policy (0.8-1.0 fte)

Vacancy Number: 13691

Job description

The research project: "Distributional Effects of Climate Policy and Societal Support. Towards a Socially Sustainable Climate Transition"
Climate change is a more pressing issue than ever, and this is the perfect opportunity to get involved! Governments around the world have committed themselves to limiting temperature increases to at most 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the implemented climate legislation is not yet far-reaching enough to achieve this ambitious goal. One of the reasons climate legislation lags behind is resistance among groups in society that oppose the perceived effects of climate legislation. It therefore seems of utmost importance that climate legislation is carefully designed to ensure that society trusts that the policies contribute to a "just energy transition".

The economic literature has long recognized and discussed the wider economic and social implications of climate legislation. The literature studied for example how the revenues from a carbon tax can be used to avoid adverse effects on the labour market and income distribution. Most studies focus on a variant of the question: how does a carbon tax, in combination with different options to use its revenues, affect the distribution of income? This focus on vertical equity leaves out the question of horizontal equity. Climate legislation may have very different effects on people who are similar in terms of income but who differ in other respects, such as whether they live in a rural or an urban area. Such horizontal inequities may be crucial in understanding societal support for climate legislation. In addition to this, instruments of climate policy other than a carbon tax have received a lot less attention in the literature, although they may be promising in terms of horizontal equity.

The project aims at answering the following research question: What are the effects of climate legislation on both vertical equity (across income groups) and horizontal equity (within income groups), and how do such effects influence societal support for climate legislation?

As a PhD student, you will enrich the empirical study of the distributional effects of climate policies in the Netherlands. You could for instance first study who benefits from subsidies to insulate houses, to switch to renewable sources of heat, to buy an electric car, or who is affected most by regulations that reduce the number of fossil-fueled cars, or how the labor market prospects of various groups are affected by climate policies. This way, you will generate detailed information that will contribute to both science and the public debate about the effects of climate policy on different population groups. Second, you may study citizens' preferences for climate policies and the way they make trade-offs, for instance between efficiency and different forms of equity. Together, these insights indicate which policy mixes are promising to make a climate transition happen that is both environmentally and socially sustainable.

The position comprises the following tasks:
  • Conduct innovative research on the distributional effects of climate policy and societal support;
  • Write a PhD Thesis;
  • Submit research results for publication in academic journals;
  • Present papers at international conferences;
  • Participate in seminars, workshops and conferences;
  • Actively disseminate research findings to both academic and non-academic audiences;
  • Teach in the programmes of the Department of Economics;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training plan.


Leiden University


Selection Criteria
  • A Master's degree in economics, public administration, political science;
  • Excellent skills in quantitative research methods and writing, demonstrated by a bachelor or master thesis, single-authored course paper and/or publications;
  • Experience in using statistical software (e.g. Stata, R);
  • An explicit interest in climate policy and distributional issues.
  • An excellent command of the English language, knowledge of the Dutch language is considered an advantage;
  • Ability to work well in teams.

Conditions of employment

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.


Universiteit Leiden

You will work in a team with other junior and senior researchers who are working on closely related projects. For example, the department is participating in an interdisciplinary research project on a just energy transition (JustETrans). The department is also cooperating with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). 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 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.


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13691



Leiden, 2311EZ, Leiden

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you