Below you will find a list of resources that are useful for being a researcher. You might call this the hidden curriculum - the things that are not usually taught in a PhD program but that are essential to conducting research. This includes material on improving writing skills, how to organize a project, how to present your work, and lots of other practical issues. 

It is not uncommon to realize that you had the same idea as someone else.  Alex Albright has a great list of resources for R and data science and for undergrad thesis writing. A few days after creating this website I found Masayuki Kudamatsu’s tips for economists. Other sites to check out: Ryan B Edwards, Plamen Nikolov, Shanjun Li and for Jennifer Doleac (including an awesome database of published papers in the Economics of Crime. You can also check out the AEA’s list of links and the links at EconGradAdvice.  I would strongly encourage you to check out these sites too.

If anyone has a resource or a useful link that they think is missing from this list, please send it along to!

My curated tips 

Below are some highlights that I think are worth mentioning. A bit further below are the actual links. You can also look at a small presentation for PhD students that summarises my thinking a bit, or just order  Marc Bellemare's book "Doing Economics: What You Should Have Learned in Grad School -- But Didn't".

Doing research This guide by Paul Niehaus contains some very good tips on doing research. A key takeaway for me is that most people "experience a dramatic loss of structure" at some point. Going from being a student with set goals and someone telling you what to do (study for this exam, write that paper) to being a researcher responsible for your own output can be difficult, and this guide contains some very good advice on how to navigate that transition.

Learn how to write a paper and how to edit your own work: As Amitabh Chandra, the Editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics put it: "[...] the single best predictor of getting a paper accepted, would be clear and accessible writing, including an explanation of where the paper breaks down, instead of putting the onus of this discovery on the reader". There are plenty of guide below to help you out! 

Find a way to be able to concentrate: Social media and emails are very good at stealing your attention, which is detrimental to your ability to write well. I highly recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport. He also has a blog with good tips for how to study or work productively.

Sign up for new paper alerts: This is super important for being up to date on your field. Skim NBER working paper emails, IZA emails, RePeC emails and notifications from the journals that you like, and you will have a great overview of what’s out there after a while. I strongly encourage you to sign up for them right away.

Learn how to make good graphs: Figures are extremely powerful ways to communicate ideas. Remember the Flatten-the-curve graph?  That graph conveys complex ideas about epidemiological modeling in a super easy, intuitive and easy-to-explain way (h/t to Andrew Heiss). If you can summarize your paper in one figure, you are well on the way. Read online or pick up a copy of Data Visualization by Kieran Healy and take a look at the course on data visualization by Andrew Heiss.  See some other good examples and look at the first figure in this blog post to get an idea of how useful a good figure can be for communicating your results.  You can find code and guides on how to do this below. 

Learn to manage a good workflow: It is extremely annoying to go back to an old project to find that you do not know where the data was constructed, where that graph was made, or how you got your main results. Figuring out the workflow should be the first step you take in a new project. A good workflow will also help your collaborators figure out things,  which might save you many emails of the type "Where did you create that graph again?". Asjad Naqvi has a  good guide on workflow in Stata, which is also applicable to other programming languages. You can also check out Jeppe Druedahl's page on Tips and tricks for workflow and Python programing. 

Talk to young faculty members to see if they have any additional insight to share with you. Don’t be afraid to also ask questions about practical issues, not just about research topics. Younger faculty members or senior PhD students likely have plenty of things to share.


Marc Bellemare "Doing Economics: What You Should Have Learned in Grad School -- But Didn't" (book) 

John Cochrane - Writing Tips for Ph. D. Students

Claudia Sahm - Good writing matters in economics! 

Marc F. Bellemare - How to Write Applied Papers in Economics

Anne Lamott - Shitty First Drafts from Bird by Bird 

Plamen Nikolov - Writing Tips For Economics Research Papers

Keith Head - The Introduction Formula

Marc F Bellemare - The Conclusion Formula

Claudia Sahm - We need to talk MORE … (advice about writing a job market paper)

Jesse M. Shapiro - Four Steps to an Applied Micro Paper

Mike Munger on writing a dissertation

Steven Pinker - Why Academics Stink at Writing

Deirdre McCloskey - Economical Writing (book) & Summary

David Evans  - How to Write the Introduction of Your Development Economics Paper 

Florian M. Hollenbach - Academic Writing: Exercises and Guides on Writing (Lots of links to writing resources)

Ed Glaeser on how to write a theory paper

Hal Varian - How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time

Book resources: get a style guide that you like. Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” is the classic reference. Steven Pinker’s “The Sense of Style” is another example.

How to publish, referee and discuss

Marc F. Bellemare - How to Publish in Academic Journals

Campbell R. Harvey - Reflections on Editing the Journal of Finance, 2006-2012

Jonathan B. Berk, Campbell R. Harvey, and David Hirshleifer - How to Write an Effective Referee Report and Improve the Scientific Review Process

Journal of the European Economic Association - Ask the Editor with Juuso Välimäki

Plamen V Nikolov - Referee Report template

James J. Choi - How to Give a Good Paper Discussion

Workflow, coding and creating graph and tables 


Asjad Naqvi - The Stata workflow guide 

Daniel M. Sullivan - Best Practices when Writing Code 


Asjad Naqvi - The Stata-to-Latex guide

Jonathan A. Schwabish - Ten Guidelines for Better Tables

Luke Stein’s tips for generating Stata output that can be outputted directly to LaTeX (Don’t miss the working examples with code).

Stata Cheat Sheets

Jörg Weber - Automated Table generation in Stata and integration into LaTeX

Alessandro Martinello - How to export tables from Stata to LaTeX


Asjad Naqvi - Stata graph tips for academic articles 

Eric Zwick - A Graph is Worth a Thousand Citations

Kieran Healy - Data visualization 

Andrew Heiss - Data visuzalization course 

Nicholas T. Davis - A 2019 New Year’s Resolution for Stata users: Make cleaner, prettier graphs

Michael Norman Mitchell - Create good-looking graphs and figures in Stata

Daniel Bischof - Stata Figure Schemes (paper that explains the scheme)

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham Best Figure Page (good inspiration!)

Chiu Yu Ko - TikZ guide (Code for drawing graphs in LaTeX with so many examples)

If you use Stata I suggest that you install the lean scheme package (net install gr0002_3, replace) and use this package for your graphs (you can type “set scheme lean2, permanently” in stata to always use it). There are of course other schemes out there that you can use. Google is your friend here.

Computational resources

Chuqing Jin - Collection of computational resources 


Jon Schwabish - Better Presentations (book) and website for making better presentations. Highly recommended

Jesse M. Shapiro - How to give an applied micro talk

Shengwu Li  - How to give an economic theory talk 

Rachael Meager - Public Speaking for Academic Economists

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham Beamer Tips

Carmine Gallo - How to Rehearse for an Important Presentation

Marc F. Bellemare - 22 Tips for Conference and Seminar Presentations

Tip: If you are presenting at your own university, get a fellow PhD student to take notes for you. This saves lots of time and ensures that you won’t miss any good comment. Also ask your friends for feedback on your presentation.

Being productive & finding new ideas

Lasse Lasse Heje Pedersen - How to Succeed in Academia or Die Trying Have Fun Trying

Deep Work by Cal Newport (book). (see also his blog, Study Hacks)

Steve Pavlina - 7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output

Ben Olken - My Epic Failures

Ariel Rubinstein - 10 Q&A: Experienced Advice for “Lost” Graduate Students in Economics 

Luke Taylor - Tips for Finance Ph.D. students 

Amy Finkelstein - An unofficial guide to trying to do empirical work 

For new ideas: See this Twitter-thread started by Ivan Werning. I enjoyed this presentation by Frank Schilbach, and this point by Sally Hudson: great questions may also come from the industry or policy world. In general, the Twitter-thread contains a lot of advice, some of it contradicting other advice. Find the thing that works for you!

Being a researcher

Claudia Goldin - The Economist as Detective

Esther Duflo - The Economist as Plumber (Alternative link)

Martin A. Schwartz - The importance of stupidity in scientific research

Getting an overview of the literature

NBER emails - Super important. Sign up to get all emails every week.

RePEc emails - sign up for the working paper series that interest you

SSRN emails - papers and job/conference announcements. Find the link once you login to SSRN.

INOMICs emails - courses and conferences.

IZA emails - working papers

You can also sign for alerts on new articles in your favorite journals. Paul GP has a Twitter-thread on how to sign up for publication alerts. This is very useful!


Claudia Sahm - Economists must build a better community: Practical advice on how to do it!

The Hidden Curriculum - How to approach networking with Jennifer Doleac 

Sahil Bloom - How to write a cold email 


This great Twitter thread by Women in Econ/Policy summarizes a lot of tips, guides, help and advice for how to use Twitter to make life better. Since they do that better than I can, I suggest going there right away! 

CSWEP/CSMGEP @Twitter Tips for Success: Social Media for Economists 

Joshua Goodman - Twitter tips for PhD Students 

Matt Clancy - A Beginner’s Guide to #EconTwitter

Coding & creating a website

Alexander C. Lembcke - Introduction to Stata & Advanced Stata Topics

Jack Blun - Applied Econometrics in Stata

Coding for economists - Ljubica “LJ” Ristovska

Code and Data for the Social Sciences: A Practitioner’s Guide - Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro

How To Make A Pie: Reproducible Research for Empirical Economics & Econometrics

Maximilian Kasy - Useful Computational Resources (Guides to machine learning, programming in R, Latex)

Grant McDermott - Data science for economists

Kevin H. Wilson - So you want to build an academic website?

Tobias Oetiker Hubert Partl, Irene Hyna and Elisabeth Schlegl - The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX

Hans-Martin von Gaudecker - Setting up a Python Environment

Michael Stepner - Coding Style Guide

Michael Stepner - Git vs Dropbox

Dealing with stress and being a grad student 

Chris Woolston - Faking it

Jennifer Walker - There’s an awful cost to getting a PhD that no one talks about

Valerie Valdes - Smart kids eventually grow up

Matthew Pearson - How to survive your first year of graduate school in economics

Diana Leonard - A woman’s guide to doctoral studies

Maggie Berg - The Slow Professor

Chris Brooks - Your PhD in accounting or finance: Produce a thesis to be proud of and sail through the viva (Kindle version is free) 

There are more links on Shanjun Li's website. 

Job Market 

Kelsi G. Hobbs -  Job market materials (CV, cover letters, teaching evaluations, application tracker, statements)  

Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz - The Ten Most Important Rules of Writing Your Job Market Paper

Johannes Pfeifer - Job Market Resources (Plenty of other links here)

European Economics Association - A Guide for European Job Market Candidates

Science - How to put your best foot forward in faculty job interviews

Job market cover letter replicator & spreadsheet for keeping track of applications

Michaela Carlana - A Guide for European Job Market Candidates 

David Schindler - Your job market package 

David Schindler- Interview & Flyout 

Antonio Cabrales - General overview of market Job Market in Economics 


I would love to have more teaching links. If you have some, please send me an email! 

EEA Education Committee Resources 

Paul Bloom - Informal Teaching Advice

Ted Goia - My 10 Rules for Public Speaking