This describes the expectations for the draft paper. This is only required for 3rd year students. For 2nd year students, you need only submit a literature review. Details of the lit review assignment are here. Your draft paper is due no later than Friday, November 18.
Please “submit” your paper as a GitHub repository link or, if doing everything within Overleaf, as a link to your Overleaf project. The repo or Overleaf project must include a final document with your paper easily available. Be sure to include in your repository or project folder all of your supporting code files.
Your papers should include not only an extensive literature review but also a preliminary empirical analysis, including a discussion of the data you’re using, the construction of your sample, your identification strategy, econometric model and estimator, and some preliminary results. There is no specific page requirement, but I expect at least 20 double-spaced pages to appropriately discuss your topic, context, data, and early results. Your draft paper should end with an outline of additional analyses you hope to run (i.e., robustness/sensitivity analyses, a discussion of different mechanisms of interest, policy-relevant heterogeneities in your estimated effects, etc.).
For some advice on how to write your paper, please take a look at Jesse Shapiro’s four steps to an applied micro paper. The overall structure of your paper should be relatively standard:
One final note…many modern papers in applied empirical micro do not necessarily follow the strict headings of “Data”, “Econometrics”, and “Results”. It’s more common now to employ a few different techniques and possibly many different datasets in order to tell a comprehensive story. You may have one approach that is very clean and easy to follow, but not convincing in terms of causal identification. Then you may have a more formal strategy for causal inference, focusing on an overall average effect. Then you may be interested in heterogeneous effects by certain groups or in underlying mechanisms of your average effect. All of these objects of interest may not be identifiable from the same data and the same estimation strategy. So in that case, people will turn to a different organization of the paper to accommodate the different analyses.
Ultimately, there is no single correct way to write an empirical paper. All papers will have a strong intro, a solid policy background (if relevant), and a strong theoretical motivation (even if not explicitly written out in a theoretical model). From there, different papers may take a different approach, but they all present their data, econometrics, and identification strategy in some way.
Your grade will be based on 10 items, each worth 2 points toward the final assignment grade. For each component, you’ll receive a 0 (not present), 1 (the element is there but poorly executed), or 2 (element is there and sufficiently executed). The 10 elements are listed below: