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ECON 8219-001 Research Methods Workshop 2 – PhD

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ECON 8219-001 Research Methods Workshop 2 – PhD
Syllabus
Economics 8219: Research Methods Seminar II
Spring 2004
Professor Michael J. Greenwood
Economics Room 106
[email protected]
This course is required of all PhD students in Economics. The objective of this two-semester
course is to encourage the student to develop a chapter of his/her dissertation. A closely
associated goal is for the student to have by semester’s end a reasonably well-polished paper
that is ready or near-ready for submission to a refereed journal. (Having at least one paper
accepted by a refereed journal is a tremendous advantage when you enter the job market. It
is an important criterion by which individuals are selected for personal interviews at the
meetings.)
As I see it, your dissertation may provide more detail than the paper that is drawn from it.
Good scientists leave clear tracks for others to follow. PhD dissertations typically allow more
opportunities for leaving tracks than published papers because an almost inevitable byproduct of the refereeing process is the shortening of the manuscript. Thus, for example, your
dissertation chapter may contain a fairly detailed discussion of the literature, whereas in a
manuscript prepared for submission to a journal, this discussion typically should be limited
to a paragraph or two. Another example involves data. Your dissertation should reflect an
absolutely thorough knowledge of any data you use, but a manuscript drawn from it may
contain little more than a table of means and standard deviations and perhaps a brief
discussion of the pros and cons of the data set. Furthermore, your dissertation may contain
more detailed regression results and more diagnostic tests than the manuscript. Dissertations
and books provide opportunities for scientific expression not provided by journal articles,
where page length is a critical consideration. Your dissertation provides a wonderful
opportunity for you to preserve the details of your research.
The goal of your first semester’s work was to produce a fairly detailed project proposal that
included a literature review. This semester you are expected to carry your project to
completion. To this end, each of you will have two class periods to present your work. The
first presentation we will consider to be a rough draft. This follows by about two months your
final presentation (of your project proposal) during the fall term. Roughly two months after
the presentation of your rough draft, you will be expected to present your final draft in the
context of a research seminar. Please inform me of the professor with whom you are
working, and please invite this individual and anyone else you desire to this seminar. We will
not issue a general invitation to this seminar. For your final presentation, please make a copy
of your paper available to all participants at least two days in advance of your seminar.
Grading. In a course of this nature, I hope to be able to give each student an A. However,
this grade requires the achievement of the ultimate goal of the course, which is a paper that
is ready or near ready for submission to a journal. It also requires participation. This is a
seminar, and seminars work well only when its members participate. I expect your
participation, which is to say that I expect you to be involved in the questions, comments, and
suggestions that are critical to the constructive atmosphere of this course.
Availability. Please feel free to approach me at any time that I am in my office. I encourage
you to do this. Because of noise in the hallway, I keep my door shut except during formal
office hours. Rap on my door at any time. My office phone number is 303-492-2650. My
home number is 303-449-3725. If you wish, you may call me to set up an appointment.
The schedule of presentations follows.
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