Third Year Workshop


Revised 9/1 in response to Harvey.

Summary

The overall purpose of this workshop is to accelerate your research and get you to write papers, so that you can be successful on the job market. Doing this requires you to learn a set of skills that are part of being a professional economist. By the end of this workshop in May, you should have a completed 3rd year paper, a presentation of that paper, a reading committee of three advisors, an organized bibliography, a set of about 20 paper summaries in your field, a library of code and data for your project, a website, and an up to date CV.

Mechanics

We will meet in M120, Fridays from noon-1:30. We may on occassion also meet in the grad computer lab in order to do some in-class work that requires a computer. If you have a laptop, feel free to use that instead. This workshop is required by the department, and hence your attendance is required. Please contact me if you have an issue that requires you to miss a class.

Fall 2017

The topics covered, dates, and assignments are laid out below.

Advising and Idea Generation

September 8th: Intro and Research Ideas: Start thinking now about a research question, and how that question might be answered. The importance of talking with advisors about that idea.

  1. IN-CLASS: Write 500 words on an area of research you are interested in
  2. ASSIGN: Talk with one faculty member, in person, about a research idea
  3. ASSIGN: Read Chin, “Writing a research paper
  4. ASSIGN: Read Ujhelyi, “Advice to graduate students

Reading and Citing

September 15th. Reading with purpose: You should have a clear reason for reading any paper, otherwise you may be wasting your time when you should be coding or writing. The papers you read should be tracked, and you should write yourself summaries of those papers. Finding citation information and tracking it.

  1. IN CLASS: Set up a bibliography manager, include citations from IDEAS
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

September 15th (COMBINED WITH PRIOR SESSION). Creating a bibliography: The papers you cite have to end up in a paper eventually. Using Latex, you can cite and format these papers directly from your bilbliography manager.

  1. IN CLASS: Create a Latex document that describes a research question/idea, and includes your bibliography
  2. ASSIGN: Get comments on your research question/idea from three faculty members
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

Career Planning

September 22nd. Calendar: Map out the remainder of graduate program, including 3rd year paper, presentations, job market paper, and the job market itself.

  1. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper
  2. IN CLASS: Discussion with Ruxandra Prodan Boul

September 22nd (COMBINED WITH PRIOR SESSION). Job market: What goes into a job packet beyond the job market paper, like letters of recommendation, the CV, and a website. Different types of jobs - research, teaching, private industry, etc.

  1. IN CLASS: Create a website using Google sites, Weebly, or an alternative
  2. ASSIGN: Find 5 jobs in the JOE that look intriguing to you
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

September 29th. Publication and Tenure: What is involved in the publication process (submission, revise and resubmit, rejection, acceptance). What is involved in the tenure process (papers, service, teaching, letters).

  1. IN CLASS: Create a CV, in Latex. You’ll need this style file
  2. IN CLASS: Discussion with Santosh Kumar
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper
  4. ASSIGN: Read Gentzkow and Shapiro “Code and Data for the Social Sciences

Code and Data Practices

October 6th. Data and Analysis Work Flow: Structuring directories for getting raw data to usable data, doing analysis on usable data, and producing outputs for use in papers.

  1. IN CLASS: Create directories for data and code associated with either (a) your own project or (b) the data I provide
  2. ASSIGN: Update the Latex document that describes a research question/idea, and includes your bibliography
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your research question/idea from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

October 13th. Comments and Clarity: Writing code that is easy to understand for others and for your future self. Documenting your data decisions as part of the code.

  1. IN CLASS: Write a script (Stata, R, Matlab, GAUSS, etc.) that inputs raw data and puts it into usable form. The script should involve some kind of merge, reshape, and/or collapsing of data.
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

October 27th. Make the code do the work: Write code that is easy for you to modify. Use subroutines/programs/functions and control variables. Have a master script that documents the order of other scripts.

  1. IN CLASS/ASSIGN: Write a data analysis script that incorporates control variables and subroutines to eliminate redundancy. Write a master script that runs the entire process from raw data through analysis. See example project.
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

November 3rd. Version Control: Keeping multiple versions of the same code will create problems. Version control systems allow you to have one copy of the code, but keep track of your changes for you.

  1. IN CLASS: Sign up for Github. Create a local Git repository for your project, and learn how to add, commit, and push your code to Git.
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

Writing

November 10th. Paper structure: The parts of most empirical papers. Writing the paper is part of the research process. Your paper must focus on what you do, not on what you read.

  1. IN CLASS: Update the Latex document that describes your research question/idea, and includes your bibliography
  2. ASSIGN: Get comments on your research question/idea from three faculty members
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

November 17th. Including the paper in the workflow: Formatting output to be used in a Latex document. Standards for tables and figures.

  1. IN CLASS: Code your Latex document to include a table and figure formatted by your code.
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

December 1st. Planning for the break: Get status on research questions and analysis.

  1. ASSIGN: WORK ON YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of three research papers
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your research question/idea from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Read Thomson, “A Guide for the Young Economist”

Spring 2018

The topics covered, dates, and assignments are laid out below.

Professional ethics

January 1st. No class, but you should prepare for January 19th by reading the assigned paper. Note, the paper contains strong language.

  1. ASSIGN: Read Wu, “Gender Stereotyping in Academia

January 19th. With respect to colleagues: Treating everyone in this profession with respect. Behavior in seminars, conferences, and classes. Positives and negatives of being anonymous.

  1. ASSIGN: Read Feynman, “Cargo Cult Science
  2. ASSIGN: Read Christensen and Miguel, “Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

January 26th. With respect to your research: Plagarism. Funding sources. P-hacking. Publication bias.

  1. ASSIGN: Read DeMartino, “A Professional Ethics Code for Economists
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

February 2nd. With respect to the policy world: What is your responsibility for policy recommendations? Should you make them at all?

  1. IN CLASS: Update the Latex document for your paper to reflect the current status of your project
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper
  3. ASSIGN: Read Nikolov, “Writing Tips for Economics Research Papers

Writing and Replicating

February 9th. Structure of an academic paper: General principles for laying out a paper. Highlight your question, your method, and your results, then relate to the literature.

  1. IN CLASS/ASSIGN: Write the introduction to your research paper
  2. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper from three faculty members
  3. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

February 16th. Common writing mistakes: Cliches, adverbs, passive voice, “the”, I/we, footnoting, acronyms.

  1. IN CLASS: Edit your introduction for common mistakes
  2. ASSIGN: Write an outline for your research paper
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

February 23rd. Replication: Your work must be replicable. Table and figure notes. Code standards.

  1. IN CLASS: Provide code capable of replicating your results
  2. ASSIGN: WRITE A FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR PAPER
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

Presentations

March 9th. Concise summaries: Short summaries are necessary for explaining your work to visitors, conference attendees, and eventually interviewers.

  1. IN CLASS: Write a five-minute explanation of your work using no math or jargon
  2. ASSIGN: WRITE A SECOND DRAFT OF YOUR PAPER
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Read Shapiro, “How to Give and Applied Micro Talk
  5. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

March 23rd. Presentation mechanics: Using Beamer to create professional slides. Including figures and tables directly from your code. Jump buttons

  1. IN CLASS: Create a Beamer slideshow for your paper that includes inputted tables and jump buttons
  2. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

March 30th. Presentation structure: Differences of presentations and papers. Keeping talks focused on your work and your results.

  1. IN CLASS: Update your beamer document to match your talk.
  2. ASSIGN: WRITE A THIRD DRAFT OF YOUR PAPER
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper from three faculty members
  4. ASSIGN: Finalize the membership of your 3rd year reading committee
  5. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

April 6th. Practice presentations: Mike, Eirini, Xavier

  1. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

April 13th. Practice presentations: Shreya, Emeka, Reza

  1. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper

April 20th. Practice presentations: Will, Chi-Hung, Danu

  1. ASSIGN: Write a summary of one research paper
  2. ASSIGN: Write the FINAL DRAFT of your 3rd year paper
  3. ASSIGN: Get comments on your paper and presentation from your reading committee

April 27th. Planning for the summer: Feedback from your committee about the paper and presentation will inform you about the best path for the summer. Continuing this paper or starting a new project.

  1. IN CLASS: Update your website and CV to reflect the 3rd year paper

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