Postdoc Position in environmental and development economics: Pathways to sustainable cooling across Africa

Postdoc Position in environmental and development economics: Pathways to sustainable cooling across Africa

[Post-doc 2 years] Pathways to sustainable cooling across Africa


Duration of the contract 24 months

Start date: Les travaux démarrent au printemps 2023 au plus tôt, à l’automne 2023 au plus tard.

Pay: Le salaire dépend de l’exéprience et s’élève en moyenne à 2000€ net par mois.

Location: CIRED – Nogent-sur-Marne. Stays of several weeks are to be expected in Côte d’Ivoire and/or Kenya for field studies.


Letter of motivation and CV to be sent to Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet before March 12, 2023.


Cooling technologies are increasingly needed to cope with increasing heat stress. Air conditioning (AC) is the fastest-growing cooling technology, in particular in low- and middle-income countries where income is rising rapidly. Yet despite effectively reducing mortality and morbidity associated with heat stress, the use of AC initiates critical feedback loops – mainly through increased CO2 emissions and reduced physical activity – that together create a risk of ‘maladaptation,’ or unsustainable development.
AC expansion is expected to be specifically strong across Africa, where ownership rates are currently below 1% while the drivers of adoption – warming, development and urbanization – are particularly strong. Different routes could be taken, depending on the underlying technology – active vs. passive, highly vs. poorly energy efficient, cheap vs. expensive. How likely are these different pathways, and what are their implications for sustainability? The answer to this question depends on local conditions regarding household demand, appliance retail and electricity generation.


The AFRICOOLING project is an ANR-funded Young Researcher project aimed at assessing African cooling pathways based on field evidence. It thus aims to fill an important research gap, as the implications of energy-intensive adaptation are known to be little studied across Africa. Started in April 2022, the project will involve a team of four researchers once fully operating (the coordinator, one PhD student and two postdocs).

The position

The project consists of an integrated demand-supply-policy approach. The demand- side part includes field studies in Mombasa (Kenya) and Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). The postdoctoral researcher will be in charge of these field studies, including:

  • Managing surveys designed to elicit the determinants of AC adoption. This will imply developing the survey tools, monitoring fieldwork (including detailed questionnaires administered both in person and remotely and interviews with key informants) and managing data quality. The surveys will be repeated for two or three years.
  • Managing the collection of appliance price data from different outlets, including online platforms, supermarkets, street corner shops and repair stores.
  • Applying econometric tools to the data to estimate both the determinants of AC adoption and its impact on different measures of consumer well-being (disposable income, health condition, etc.).
Skill requirements

Applicants are expected to have extensive training in applied economics, econometrics and data management, in relation to development, health and environmental issues. They are expected to master state-of-the-art empirical approaches to technology adoption and impact estimation (instrumental variables, difference-in-differences estimation, etc.), tools for statistical analysis (R, Stata, etc.) and electronic data collection (ODK, SurveyCTO, etc.).

Applicants are also expected to have demonstrated experience in field studies and project management. Fluency in both English and French is required. Some interest or experience with information technologies (using e-commerce, cellphone or electricity metering data) is a strong plus.

Lastly, the position requires a taste for both leadership and team work. It also involves a strong interest in public policy and an ability to engage with both professionals (from the public and private sector) and survey participants.

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