While advising PhD students, I find myself repeatedly suggesting the same tools and tricks. Since these are general-purpose technologies, the following list of resources that I regularly recommend to my students might interest others as well. Going forward, I’ll update this webpage, not this blog post.
- Present information coherently. For background, please read Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. For regression tables, please adhere to Keith Head’s criteria.
- Make slides with a 16×9 aspect ratio:
- Please read Jesse Shapiro’s slides on How to Give an Applied Micro Talk. Follow that advice when making your slides.
- There are some good sugggestions in Adam Guren’s How to Give a Lunch Talk.
- Make sure your presentation answers the questions listed in Don Davis’s What Makes for a Successful Paper and Seminar?
- Use a good text editor like SublimeText or Atom to write code, slides, and papers.
- Use version control. Bitbucket.org provides private repositories for free.
- Read Gentzkow and Shapiro’s Code and Data.
- Read Kieran Healy’s The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science.
- Look at Gentzkow and Shapiro’s online infrastructure.
- Read Patrick Ball’s The Task Is A Quantum Of Workflow.
- Watch Patrick Ball’s Principled Data Processing.
- If you’re using Matlab, consider using Julia.
- Read Paul Graham’s Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.
- If you’ve got a complete project, write up an introduction according to Keith Head’s formula.
- John Cochrane’s Writing Tips for Ph.D. Students.
- Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz’s The Ten Most Important Rules of Writing Your Job Market Paper.
The job market
- One year before you’ll be on the market, read John Cawley’s very comprehensive Guide and Advice For Economists on the US Junior Academic Job Market. The process will be more coherent and less intimidating if you see the big picture from the beginning.
- Give a full draft of your paper to your advisors in June. Sharing something in September is too late.