Saturday, April 24, 2021

How to Prepare to Meet with a Seminar Speaker

Seminar speakers--regardless of how famous they are or how many papers they've written on your favorite topics--are still just people who want to hear about your work, and help out if they can. Hopefully they conversation will flow naturally. But I still think it's worthwhile to prepare a bit before these meetings, and I recently found a perfect little template to help you do just that. 

Joshua Goodman tweeted about a template he came up with to help his students describe their final projects in five minutes. I think it's excellent! What a great way to think about all of your projects! 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cool Data Alert: Immigration and Ancestry Instruments

Hooray for researchers who come up with new instruments. An extra special hoooray for those who make those instruments readily available and easy to use for other researchers. And even more points if the instruments can be used to study immigration. 

See it all here



Sunday, February 28, 2021

Crosswalks between Different Levels of Geography in the U.S.

Imagine you have geographic information at the county level in one data set but you want to merge in some additional information that is only available at the MSA level (or you have MSA in your data but want to merge in state level variables, etc.) What to do? Check out Geocorr 2014: Geographic Correspondence Engine provided by the Missouri Census Data Center. Super easy to use! 

H/T: Eric Brunner

Sunday, February 21, 2021

How to Write an Abstract

David Evans provides a handy dandy formula here. Here's an exercise for you: Find the 5-7 most closely related papers to yours and diagram their abstracts. Do they use any of the formulas David describes? A different formula? Do you see a difference by the quality of the journal they're published in.  

Describe what you find in the comments below! 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Virtual Interviews and Job Talks

 It's a whole new world with interviews and job talks being conducted online. Your advisors probably have little to no experience with this and so won't be able to help so much. Luckily, there's twitter and very helpful people (ie, Alicia Plemmons) who so generously provide helpful advice on twitter. 

Check out this thread on preparing for interviews. My favorite: practice your talk with a BUNCH of friends on whatever platform you'll be using for the interviews. Increase internet speed if necessary. 

This one is on the virtual job talk. My favorite there: Build in breaks. Stop to ask people if they have questions. During a face to face talk, people feel more comfortable interrupting. Also, you'd be able to see if a person had a question by looking at facial expressions. Online, you may just have to stop and ask.

She also has threads on job market documents as well as networking, but I haven't looked at them carefully just yet. 

Good luck to all of you on the job market! 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Stata Tip: How to Clean String Variables

I know, I know. It's been a while since you've heard from me. You know how some people have been super productive during the pandemic? I haven't been one of them. Oh well. The good news is that I survived teaching my first all-online semester. I submitted grades yesterday! To all of the students who attended the classes live this semester..and especially to those of you who put your camera on every now and then, thank you! To those of you couldn't, do stop by my office sometime when we're back on campus to say hello.  ;) 

And now, to get things restarted on this blog, I thought we'd go with a Stata tip on how to clean string variables. Sure, sometimes we are given nice, ready to go data. Other times, not so much. For example, imagine that sometimes "Delia Furtado" appears as "Delia furtado" or "delia   furtado" or "Delia%&Furtado".  What to do? See Verena Wiedemann's Stata tricks, posted on Oxford's Coders' Corner (h/t David Mackenzie's blog). 

Yes, you could try to find these "by hand," but the more you do automatically, the less likely you are to make mistakes! 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Cool Data Alert: Historical Data

I haven't done any work using historical data, but I must say I am intrigued! This IZA paper describes some of the most commonly used  data sources (well, by economists). They are broadly classified as geographical data, ethnographic data (really cool!!!) and Censuses. For each group, the authors "outline the issues they raise and also point out which methodological advances allow economists to overcome or minimize these problems." 

If you're a history buff and you're looking for a dissertation topic, take a peek.