Some Advice (and Resources) for Econ Ph.D. Students



1) Write your papers and make your slides with LaTeX.  Click here for details.

2) Learn numerical methods and solve your models on the computer.  Click here for some help getting started.

3) Improve your writing skills.

a. A very useful book is: Elements of Style by Strunk, White, and Angell (this guide is a must-read!)

b. Economical Writing by McColskey

c. Need to write a research proposal? Check out On the Art of Writing Proposals.

d. A useful paper is: Writing Tips for Ph.D. Students by John H. Cochrane.

 4) Presentation skills are important!

a. Practice with your classmates.

b. Explain to your parents what you are working on and why it is interesting.

c. Pretty slides are not enough.  Think about what you want to communicate, and emphasize the main points you want to make.

d. Have a look at the slides How to Give an Applied Micro Talk by Jesse M. Shapiro.

 5) Don’t underestimate the importance of being a “social economist”

a. Practice econ small talk by talking to your classmates about your research.

b. Ask good questions in seminars.

c. Apply to conferences early, and especially during the summer before going on the market.

d. Attend a summer school, especially one in which you can present your own work. For example the Villa Mondragone Workshop. Another useful workshop is the Vigo Workshop on dynamic Macroeconomics.

e. Meet with seminar speakers or join for lunch.

 6) Some additional resources

a. The American Economic Association's Resources for Economists on the Internet.

b. Form a dissertation group.  Click here for details.

c. Robert Boice has a book called Advice for New Faculty Members that makes good reading for advanced students.  It also has some ideas for time management and efficient teaching.

d. Become a CSWEP member (free membership for students).

e. Check out the Econ PhD net online.

7) Job Market Resources

a. The AEA's Job Openings for Economists. This site contains job listings for economist, and the following article

I. Cawley, John, A Guide (and Advice) for Economists on the U. S. Junior Academic Job Market, 2014-2015.

b. Another AEA site with useful info: Jobs, Grants, Grad School & Advice .

c. Also useful sources for job adverts are Econ Job Market and Inomics.

d. Harvard’s site for Job Market Information .

e. You can find some UK- and European-specific information here .

f. Talk to your advisor about going on the market and what schools you should apply to.