RESEARCH TO POLICY
Investigating the trap of unemployment
Sitting at a computer screen in a windowless office, a third-year MIT PhD economics student from Paris looks at the latest numbers on France’s unemployment rate. Although the office is located on MIT’s campus, Aicha Ben Dhia’s mind is thousands of miles away. She’s thinking about the people whose lives are reflected in those numbers, and trying to imagine the job search from their point of view.
This summer, Ben Dhia will travel to her home country to conduct field research and meet the people she often envisions while analyzing the data. Working with the French governmental agency Pôle Emploi, she will investigate how workers search for jobs and how employers search for workers. She is dedicated to understanding the practical challenges job seekers face and the consequences of those challenges for the national economy.