We are pleased to launch for the fifth year a call for PhD students and others on the job market to blog their job market paper on Development Impact. We welcome blog posts on anything related to empirical development work, impact evaluation, or measurement. For examples, you can see posts from 2014, 2013 and 2012. We will follow a slightly altered process from the previous years, with the main difference being a hard deadline for submissions rather than rolling submissions:
We will start accepting submissions immediately until midnight on Monday, November 23, with the goal of publishing a couple be fore Thanksgiving and then about 6-8 more in December when people are deciding who to interview. We will not accept any submissions after the deadline. We will also do some more refereeing this year, which might imply a slightly lower success rate than previous years (but still better than 50%). Below are the rules that you must follow, followed by some guidance/tips you should follow:
1. Write a blog post on your job market paper. It should have a title that is not the title of your paper. Your topic should fit into a broad definition of development economics, i.e. it would not stand out from the rest of the posts on Development Impact.
2. Your post should not exceed 1,250 words and can include either one graph or one table.
3. If you’d like to include a figure or a table, save it in a blank PPT slide, save the file as a .jpg file, and send it separately. Send the rest of your submission in MS Word, Calibri 11.
4. Your submission should therefore include your blog post, your paper (attached or linked to), the URL for your JM page, and a figure or table (as relevant) sent separately. Any papers you reference should be hyperlinked, do not include any footnotes.
5. The posts will appear as guest posts in the following format: “[TITLE]: Guest post by [NAME]” At the end of the post, please include a line that says something like: “[NAME] is a PhD student (post-doc) at [INSTITUTION].”, and hyperlink to your personal webpage if you have one.
1. Check with your main thesis advisor to see whether they think this is a good idea. After they have agreed and you have spent a good amount of time putting together your blog post, run it by them, other faculty, several people who are graduate students and some mates who are not. Revise and revise before submitting. Our initial impression of your blog will largely determine whether we post it in Development Impact or not.
2. Think of the process of writing this blog post as perfecting your “elevator pitch,” where the building is about 50-floors high. If you can craft a post that is an interesting story to which people would like to listen, you have succeeded. Stay away from dry, academic descriptions of your paper like the one on your JM webpage.
3. The title and the first paragraph are usually the most important part of a blog post – I have received emails from people who told me they only read a certain post because of the title. So, spend some time on those to grab the reader with your introduction. If you want examples of what makes a popular post (in DI), click on a few of the links at the left hand side column under the heading “Most Popular.”
4. It’s a good rule of thumb to cite at least a couple of other papers from the literature motivating the question before getting to your own. Please hyperlink to these.
5. Bulleted or numbered summaries seem to work well, but they are not for everyone or every paper.
6. It’s perfectly OK for your blog to talk about one interesting thing about your paper – your contribution. Don’t try to summarize your entire paper, data, ID strategy, robustness checks etc. Spend your energy on motivating the question, why it is interesting, and what you find. We’d like you to draw out any policy implications, as much as possible and/or feasible.
7. Don’t oversell your paper and don’t speculate. Confront the weaknesses (of the data or methodology) in your paper head on and qualify your findings. You may have a one-paragraph sub-section titled “Limitations of the study.”
Once you have gone through your checklist to make sure that you followed all the rules and considered all the tips above, then send your materials via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If we are interested in your blog post, you should hear back from us within a couple of weeks after your submission. Please note that there tends to be a editorial back and forth period before your post is final so be prepared for quick turnaround times to work with one of us on your post. If you have not heard from us, please do not email again. We will try to respond to each submission within a reasonable amount of time.