Answers to the two questions posed by Aleksandr Blekh after my comment are in bold below. It should highlight the original contributions of the research. Write "for a wide audience of highly trained economists" replace "economists" with the appropriate noun.
Don't take this the wrong way, JMPs are a great place to showcase one's technical skills. However, think very carefully about who might be on your committee. More generally, think of the journal in your field that everybody at least skims through. Write as if you're submitting to them. The JMP need not be published. See also discussion in penultimate paragraph below. If you get a flyout you will probably be asked to present the paper at what is essentially a working paper seminar.
Time and chance will happen to us all. Time will tell who is better. Economist 7ee4 I'm at a top place. Technical skills are not important if you come from MIT, because people will assume often erroneously that you have technical skills even if it's not in the paper. For most other people, if you don't do something high-tech in your paper, people will assume you don't have those skills.
Technical skills aren't the most important thing for publishing, but a the technically stronger people are often better at advising and generating positive externalities, and b it's easier to judge technical skills than it is to judge originality, especially since a chunk of candidates are basically given their topic by their advisors. Start attending them in your second year, and by your third year, try to attend at least two a week. In many of the workshops, PhD students are presenting their research.
These are great places to see what others are doing and to help you find ideas for your own research. After you find an idea of interest, write up a description of the idea in a few pages of prose—no math or econometrics allowed. Then go off to talk with faculty members.
Some are busy working, and some are busy feeling guilty about not working enough. Your problem is to find several faculty members normally three , busy or not, who can advise you on your dissertation.
When you want to meet with a faculty member, send an email asking for an appointment. Begin discussing your ideas with faculty as soon as you have written a few pages describing one or more of your ideas. This should happen by the end of the first semester of your third year. That can come later, after you have been meeting with the person on a regular basis. Meet with several faculty members.
If you are working on health economics, for example, you may want to meet with someone who is knowledgeable about the institutions in your favorite country, someone else who knows theory, and someone else who has experience with empirical work and data yuk. Shop around. Some faculty members already have a large number of advisees, and some, especially the younger set, may have very few. You can find out how many by asking around or by asking Andy Campolieto, who tends to know these things. Having lots of advisees is a good signal about advising quality, but it may be a bad signal about available time.
Younger faculty with few advisees may be able to give you more time, may have lots of fresh ideas, and may have very up-to-date knowledge of technical tools.
Take a look at their CVs to see what they are publishing. Try to see your advisers on a regular basis, at least every week or two. The main reason for doing this is not to hear their penetrating comments, but rather to keep yourself working.
If you plan to write an empirical thesis, and most of you should, you will need data. The next most important thing to know about data is what data to get and how to get them. Good advisers can be especially helpful for this, though some of you may have special knowledge or connections with institutions in your home country that will permit you to acquire data on your own.
In any event, you should start working on data acquisition as early as possible, because the process can be slow and sometimes costly. The Dissertation Proposal In recent years the dissertation proposal has become nothing more than a rehearsal for the dissertation defense, a situation that leaves the proposal almost useless.
If your committee accepts your proposal, it serves not only as a research plan, but also as an informal contract that sets out what you are expected to do in the final dissertation.
Send your materials to your advisors, so they can start writing recommendation letters. Professional schools recruiting a political scientist or economist usually follow the market cycle of the discipline they want. But you have a natural advantage in policy, education, health and other professional schools partly because you have signaled your interest in these policy-relevant, interdisciplinary places with your PhD. This is especially true in political science.
Below is a rough timetable for preparing for the market, working back from the date applications are due.
Maximize the amount of input and support you get from your advisors and department. The next most important thing to know about data is what data to get and how to get them. The main reason for doing this is not to hear their penetrating comments, but rather to keep yourself working. Bob Hall makes a number of nice points here , which I will condense and expand upon. Send your materials to your advisors, so they can start writing recommendation letters. People sometimes split a JMP into two dissertation chapters e.
I have confusion with JMP and dissertation.
Find a commitment device that requires you to defend your proposal during the first semester of your fourth year. If you begin working on your dissertation in the first semester of your third year, as you should, then May of your fourth year will seem very far away. Make sure you are meeting with your committee members early and often. All my classmates with sophisticated papers are now at top schools. General preparation tips Read all the online advice.
Do people attend college as a signal of their ability? Nonetheless, as you get close to the job market I seldom advise students to start new projects or trying to polish other papers in order to improve their standing on your CV.
Normally, this means that you should start working on your dissertation by the end of the first semester of your third year, or sooner. If there are personal or other reasons why you could not take a job there e. Conclusion The main ingredients for success in a PhD program are self-confidence, self-discipline and ambition.