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PhD and research resources

Vincent Thorne · Posted 15 Oct 2021

This post was originally written by my friend and colleague Jeff, expanded by myself and available here. It lists some useful resources for starting PhD students in economics, and more broadly for any research in social sciences. The links focus on finding research questions, best writing practices and how to approach PhD life.

I am reposting this here as a personal reminder, a form of archive and to spread all this good advice wider. Hope this inspires and helps some people out there!


So I hear you’re thinking about doing a PhD in Economics! Well if that’s true, then you must be a masochist!

There are many people that are willing to offer free advice on how best to complete the enduring task of writing a PhD dissertation, and I am not going to write out my top ten tips as to how to be successful. Mainly because I don’t have such a list! This is an individualized journey, a process of self-exploration, and your development is an internal one that should not be compared to your classmates.

Here are a couple sources from successful academics that I have found to be insightful to various degrees.

  1. Writing Tips for Ph.D. Students: John Cochrane writes an entertaining paper on how to write a research paper.
  2. Ph.D. Thesis Research – Where do I start?, Don Davis
  3. Successful Paper Seminar, Don Davis
  4. An unofficial guidebook for PhD students in economics and education (plenty of extra links included)
  5. Research Template: This is a template that I have created, with significant influence from Alex Eble’s research idea template (his website is also full of useful links).
  6. How to structure the introduction and abstract of a paper, Claudia Sahm
  7. Doing Research, Paul Niehaus
  8. How to find the right questions, Esther Duflo
  9. My Experienced Advice to Grads in Economics, Ariel Rubinstein
  10. Pep Talk on Research, David Weil

Hope you enjoy the resources and you will do an amazing job contributing to the frontiers of Economic knowledge!