A Guide for the Young Economist

A Guide for the Young Economist

William Thomson
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 2
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    A Guide for the Young Economist
    Book Description:

    This book is an invaluable handbook for young economists working on their dissertations, preparing their first articles for submission to professional journals, getting ready for their first presentations at conferences and job seminars, or undertaking their first refereeing assignments. In clear, concise language--a model in itself--William Thomson describes how to make written and oral presentations both engaging and efficient. Declaring "I would certainly take up arms for clarity, simplicity, and unity," Thomson covers the basics of clear exposition, including such nuts-and-bolts topics as titling papers, writing abstracts, presenting research results, and holding an audience's attention. This second edition features a substantial new chapter, "Being a Graduate Student in Economics," that offers guidance on such essential topics as the manners and mores of graduate school life, financial support, selecting an advisor, and navigating the job market. The chapter on giving talks has been rewritten to reflect the widespread use of presentation software, and new material has been added to the chapter on writing papers.The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-29854-4
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. Preface to the First Edition
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. 1 Being a Graduate Student in Economics
    (pp. 1-44)

    Graduate advisors make the same recommendations to their students over and over. They often feel that much of this advice should go without saying, that they should not have to give it in the first place. But perhaps it is unfair to expect that students should guess all that needs to be done. What goes without saying may need saying after all. In fact, all professors remember things they did as graduate students that they wish they had not done, and others that they did not do and wish they had. Yet, in retrospect, it is pretty obvious what was...

  6. 2 Writing Papers
    (pp. 45-118)

    Here are my recommendations for writing better papers. This chapter addresses general issues of presentation and in its details is mainly concerned with methods of describing and manipulating formal models, not with writing up empirical work. However, as most articles begin with the introduction and analysis of a model, I hope the points I make here will be useful to all economists, irrespective of their fields—not just to fledgling theorists.

    The principles of good writing—simplicity, clarity, unity—are universal, but putting them into practice almost always offers several choices, and advice unavoidably reflects personal tastes. Also, my recommendations...

  7. 3 Giving Talks
    (pp. 119-150)

    If you are giving your first talk and feel nervous, this chapter may help a little. Although in the preceding chapter I touched on a few questions relevant to oral presentations, I focused primarily on written exposition. In this chapter, I address issues specific to oral communication.

    The exact form of your talk will depend on whether it is a job talk, a seminar paper given at a university where you already have a job, or a conference presentation. In a job talk your priority is showing what you have accomplished. Once you have landed a job, you will want...

  8. 4 Writing Referee Reports
    (pp. 151-166)

    You may have been asked by your adviser or another faculty member in your department to referee a paper for a journal. You agonize over the job, not knowing exactly what is expected of you. As a young assistant professor and scholar, you are also very likely to receive other requests to review manuscripts submitted for journal or book publication. It is not, however, a skill taught in any of the classes you took. Even if you have already submitted one of your own papers to a journal and received reports on it, they probably will provide a very incomplete...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)