Doing Economics: What You Should Have Learned in Grad School—But Didn’t
A guide for research economists: how to write papers, give talks, navigate the peer-review process, advise students, and more.
Newly minted research economists are equipped with a PhD’s worth of technical and scientific expertise but often lack some of the practical tools necessary for “doing economics.” With this book, economics professor Marc Bellemare breaks down the components of doing research economics and examines each in turn: communicating your research findings in a paper; presenting your findings to other researchers by giving a talk; submitting your paper to a peer-reviewed journal; funding your research program through grants (necessary more often than not for all social scientists); knowing what kind of professional service opportunities to pursue; and advising PhD, master’s, and undergraduate students.
With increasing data availability and decreasing computational costs, economics has taken an empirical turn in recent decades. Academic economics is no longer the domain only of the theoretical; many young economists choose applied fields when the time comes to specialize. Yet there is no manual for surviving and thriving as a professional research economist. Doing Economics fills that gap, offering an essential guide for research economists at any stage of their careers.
Praise for Doing Economics: What You Should Have Learned in Grad School—But Didn’t
“The book that really helped me understand the economic style of reasoning and approaching problems is Doing economics: What you should have learned in grad school—but didn’t by Marc F. Bellemare. Marc’s book is extremely insightful because he provides in great detail and clarity the hidden curriculum that is unique to the economics profession regarding getting through grad school, publishing, getting a tenure track or other job, and really becoming a research economist. Though absolutely written primarily for aspiring economists or many of the adjacent academic fields that are influenced by economists (e.g., political science, public policy), I found it most helpful to understand the incentive structure of economics, for better or worse, which helps explain the way economics papers are written and the types of language, frameworks for thinking, and terms that are used by economists.”
“The book is especially important for young students of economics who are thinking of pursuing a career in academia but have nobody to tell them about the harsh realities of the profession... Doing Economics has been heralded by many on social media as the book that should have been published when they were in grad school. Life in academia is hard in itself; the imperfect information given to young and aspiring entrants to the profession further complicates matters. Doing Economics is an introductory gateway to a world which is highly gated and uncertain.”
—LSE Review of Books
"By drawing on core economic concepts, Bellemare has you consider your opportunity costs when deciding how much service to do and how to protect yourself from too much early in your career. Doing Economics is aimed at helping you achieve success in academia and uncovering ways to improve your chance of winning tenure. Bellemare takes care to note that success in academia also means different things to different people. Judging oneself constantly against others, or against how many top-tier journal publications they have, is a wonderful recipe for unhappiness. There are many pathways to career success, and the aim of this book is to provide you with the tools necessary to achieve success and level the playing field for those who are unaware of the “hidden curriculum.”"
—Journal of Public Affairs Education