Masayuki Kudamatsu's website
Tips 4 Economists
Scroll down if you're in the later stages of being an economist (e.g. being on a tenure-track position, being tenured, becoming a journal editor, or becoming the head of your department).
Applying for PhD programs in economics
Blattman (2007) "How to get a PhD *and* save the world" - This piece of writing targets prospective PhD students interested in development economics (and perhaps in other policy-oriented fields of economics).
Mankiw (2013) “Working Before Grad School” - In case you are wondering if you should work for a short period before entering the PhD program.
How to proceed with your PhD life
Dixit (1998) ''My System of Work (Not!)'' in Michael Szenberg ed. Passion and Craft: How Economists Work (University of Michigan Press). - See pages 7-9 on the author's recommended ''habits of work'' as an economist.
Hamermesh (2005) "An Old Male Economist's Advice to young Female Economists" CSWEP Newsletter, Winter 2005, pp. 11-12 - although this is meant for women, quite a few points can apply to men as well.
Kudamatsu (2007) “Job Market Tips” - This is the set of slides I used when I gave a talk on the job market to PhD students in Stockholm University. Although it is about the job market, it’s actually more about how to proceed with your PhD life from the viewpoint of making your academic job hunting successful.
Choosing a research topic
Finkelstein (2007) “An unofficial guide to trying to do empirical work” (MS Powerpoint file). The 2006 version is here (MS Powerpoint file). - Although it's entitled to be for empirical work, the general idea should apply to theoretical research as well. The most important piece of advice is: "Research is not a solo process. Talk about your ideas with people early and often." I wish I knew this when I was a PhD student.
Ariel Rubinstein (2013) “10 Q&A: Experienced Advice for “Lost” Graduate Students in Economics” Journal of Economic Education, 44(3): 193-196. - See Q1. I think Rubinstein’s answer is very true.
Dixit (1998) ''My System of Work (Not!)'' in Michael Szenberg ed. Passion and Craft: How Economists Work (University of Michigan Press). - See page 4.
Jones (undated) "General Advice for Graduate Students at Berkeley" - The paragraphs under the title "On Writing a Thesis:" are useful when you are choosing a topic. (The original page seems to have disappeared, but someone in China has copied and pasted to his/her website.)
King (2006) "Publication, Publication" PS: Political Science & Politics, 39(1): 119-125. - Advocates the replication of an existing study as a kick-start for PhD student's research.
Building a theoretical model
Varian (1997) "How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time" - Sections 4 to 6 explain how to build a theoretical model. (I think sections 3 and 7 are controversial - the literature review should be done before starting to build a model; otherwise your time will be wasted.)
Varian (2014) “Big Data: New Tricks for Econometrics,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, forthcoming. (The working paper version is here.) - To learn the tools to analyze the Big Data.
Computer literacy for empirical work
Kramarz et al. (2006) "How to do empirical economics" Investigaciones Economicas, 30(2): 179-206. - Including the issue of reduced-form versus structural estimation.
Gentzkow and Shapiro (2014) “Code and Data for the Social Sciences: A Practitioner’s Guide.” (PDF version) - The most useful is probably Chapter 5, which helps you organize the data editing process of converting the original data into the one used for regression analysis. Chapters 3 and 8 are useful if you work with your coauthors and RAs. Chapters 6 and 8 and Appendix give you various tips for coding.
Nick Eubank (undated) "Embrace Your Fallibility" - in the same spirit as Gentzknow and Shapiro (2014) above, the author explains the best practices in writing code in Stata (and other software). (HT: Chris Blattman)
Presentation of your research (either in a seminar or in a paper)
Lee Crawfurd (2013) “How to make maps” - introduces you to StatPlant, which allows you to quickly make a map showing geographic distribution of summary statistics from an Excel spreadsheet.
Hansen (2007b) "Job Market Seminar": This is written for job market candidates, but it applies to all seminar presentations.
Pischke (undated) “How to make slides” (MS Powerpoint file) - the very basics of how to make slides, which is still ignored by some economists.
Hansen (2007c) "Seminar Slides": This is again written for job market candidates, but it's useful for any presentation by economists.
<For applied micro research>
<For theoretical research>
Chapter 2 of Thomson (2001) A Guide for the Young Economist (MIT Press) - useful for theoretical researchers
<Both theoretical and empirical>
Kremer (undated) "Writing Papers: A Checklist" - As the author does both theoretical and empirical works, this should be relevant for all researchers.
Chapter 1 of Thomson (2001) A Guide for the Young Economist (MIT Press) - useful for theoretical researchers. The chapter is a revised version of Thomson (1999) "The Young Person's Guide to Writing Economic Theory" (Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 37, No. 1 (March 1999), pp. 157-183).
Dixit (1998) ''My System of Work (Not!)'' in Michael Szenberg ed. Passion and Craft: How Economists Work (University of Michigan Press). - See pages 9 and 10.
Cochrane (2005) "Writing Tips for Ph.D. Students," Sections 1 and 2 (pp.1-9) - A bit radical but the former JPE editor has a lot of points. It contains grammatical advice as well. For theory-oriented economists, this may not be very appropriate, though.
Hargittai (2009a) “The Conference Scene” Inside Higher Ed - How to choose which conference to attend. It’s written by a sociologist, but I think it also applies to economists.
Hargittai (2009b) “Conference Do’s and Don’t’s” Inside Higher Ed - What to do during a conference other than presenting your work and listening to other people’s presentation. It’s written by a sociologist, but I think it also applies to economists.
How to write a referee report
De Janvry and Sadoulet (2004) "Guidelines for Referee Reports" - This document was prepared for PhD students in a development economics course where their assignment is to write a mock referee report. It's still useful for those who write a real referee report. It's biased towards refereeing an empirical paper, though.
Chapter 3 of Thomson (2001) A Guide for the Young Economist (MIT Press) - Perhaps biased towards refereeing a theoretical paper.
Hamermesh (1994) "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8(1): 153-163. - This is NOT about how to write a referee report, but worth reading.
Going on the job market
Harvard University Department of Economics (every year) "Job Market Information" --- This website provides useful pieces of information on the job market though some may be relevant only for very smart students like those at Harvard. Each year it is renewed. Keep an eye on this webpage as the job market process moves on during autumn.
Bruce Hansen (2010) "UW Economics Job Placement Information 2010-2011" --- Written by Wisconsin-Madison's placement director in year 2010/2011. I think it contains many pieces of information unavailable in the other documents listed here and organizes a wide range of information in probably the most structured way.
<If your spouse also holds a PhD in economics>
Kevin Lang et al. (2012) “The International Job Market for Economists” CSWEP Newsletter, Fall 2012, pp. 3-14. - For those considering a job in Europe, Australia, China, and Japan.
<Liberal art colleges in US>
<Litigation consulting firms>
<After receiving job offers>
After becoming an assistant professor
Radhika Nagpal (2013) “The Awesomest 7-year Postdoc or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the tenure-track faculty life.” Scientific American, July 21, 2013. - Written by a computer science faculty at Harvard, who is now tenured. I wish I read this when I myself started my tenure-track position. It also provides how to handle child-raising while having a tenure-track position. Jeff Smith follows up her advice here.
Bethany Albertson (2016) "Operation Keep My Job" The Chronicle of Higher Education. - Pieces of advice for assistant professors with a small kid whose prospect for tenure is not in a good shape after three years (HT: Chris Blattman)
Rohini Pande et al. (2011) “What’s Your Research Agenda?” CSWEP Newsletter, Winter 2011, pp. 3-14. - What set of research questions should you work on as an assistant professor?
Dixit (1998) ''My System of Work (Not!)'' in Michael Szenberg ed. Passion and Craft: How Economists Work (University of Michigan Press). See “MY OWN EXPERIENCE OF RESEARCH” (pp. 2-4) and “ON HABITS OF WORK” (pp. 7-9).
Susan Athey (2007) "Negotiating Senior Job Offers," CSWEP Newsletter, Winter 2007, pp. 10-13. - The most important sentence in this writing is probably “Remember that every seminar you give is a potential job talk.”
Fiona Scott Morton (2007) “Discussing Parental Policies with Your Dean or Department Chair.” CSWEP Newsletter, Winter 2007, pp. 14-16. - If you plan to have a baby while having a tenure-track position.
How to publish your paper
Gans and Shepherd (1994) "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8(1): 165-179 - Read this article when your paper gets rejected.
Moffitt (2011) “Getting Published in Economics Journals” CSWEP Newsletter, Spring 2011, pp. 4-5, 10. - A former AER editor offers tips for publishing papers. In the same issue of CSWEP Newsletter, there are some other articles on tips to publish a paper.
Özler and McKenzie (2012) “Q&A with Larry Katz, editor of QJE” Development Impact, January 4, 2012. - See Larry Katz’s answer to the second and third questions. I guess the most important piece of advice is: “Young scholars should NOT submit a paper to a top journal too soon.”
How to apply for research grants
Jackson and Razzolini (2003) “Postcards from the NSF” - Although this piece of writing is about the National Science Foundation, many points should be applicable to any research grant schemes. It includes advice for how to write a research proposal.
Before commenting on other people's research in the blogsphere or at Twitter
Mankiw (undated) "My Rules of Thumb" - Rule no.4 talks a bit about writing textbooks, for which the author is famous for.
When approached by a journalist
Hamermesh (1993) "Professional Etiquette for Mature Economist", American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 83(2), pp.34-8.
When becoming an editor of a journal
When becoming the Department Chair
Assar Lindbeck (1996?) "Ten Commandments" - 10 principles for running a research institute. Since the author was the driving force behind the rise of the IIES at Stockholm University as one of the leading places in economics research outside the U.S., it's definitely worth reading.