As you all are getting your bibliographies ready this week, I thought it might be useful to point out how we cite blogging in academic work. This is a pretty new space for most people, so I encourage you to read this blog post for specific instructions on how to cite.
Whether to cite, though, is a quite different answer. Recall that any time you use someone’s ideas or words, you should be citing it, giving proper credit. Blog posts are of varying quality, so I caution you against taking facts away from a blog post. Statistics, figures, numbers, and other factual information that you cannot back up using a peer-reviewed or otherwise published work should not be taken from blogs. If you find one of these things on a blog and it seems compelling, see if the author links back to another source, or if you can find it elsewhere. It’s perfectly reasonable to email the author and ask where they got the information. If you cannot confirm it though, it’s probably better left out.
Blogs are a great source of ideas. They might help you think better about your paper, the variables in your model, the way you talk about a certain aspect of your results. In this case, you should always cite the blog, just like you would cite any other published work.
As a side note, this includes citing yourself. If you take words directly from a blog post and put them into your paper, they should be in quotations and cited as originally published on your blog.
One or two of you already posted about Moneyball, but if you haven’t, I wanted to set out some parameters. There ended up being no discussion after the movie, so if you’re still interested, you can watch the movie on your own and write a post about it. As you write your post, think about the tools of regression and statistical analysis that we use in class. How does the protagonist apply those tools? Do you think there are any issues with applying those tools to baseball? Are any of the assumptions of Classical Linear Regression violated when looking at baseball? If you’d prefer to answer a different question, feel free. Just make sure that it pertains to this class.
Due Monday, March 19 before class starts.
The Federal Trade Commission is hiring summer interns. The FTC employs many, many economists and is a very cool place to work (or so I’m told). They mostly do more micro-topics, but are probably open to all sorts of interns. If you don’t have summer plans yet, I encourage you to apply by March 23.
Your outline and bibliography are due this coming Friday in class. So, I thought I would give you some advice and parameters.
For the outline, feel free to follow the hand-out I gave you the first day. Replacing general aspects with the specific ones of your question is fine. I also don’t imagine you will have quite that level of detail, yet, but flesh out the parts where you might have more information. It may be that your topic is not well-suited to this kind of outline. In that case, you are welcome to use a different format or move things around. It is a good model, though, so think about starting from there.
Your outline should be accompanied by a bibliography. It may be composed of sources you have read and ones you expect to read. Right now, it should have at least ten elements, including your data sources. Your bibliography should change and expand as the semester goes on. This is not a final product by any means, but should give the impression that you are exploring scholarly work in your chosen field. Remember that the librarians ahappy to to help and I am happy to provide guidance as well. Please do not cite websites–except those of large, legitimate corporations, governments, and international organizations. If you have a question about whether something constitutes a legitimate source, please ask.
Your outline and bibliography are due next Friday, March 2, so this week’s blogging assignment is small. You don’t have reading in either of the books to do, but I would like you to read and write, still. For Friday, by the time class starts, please find an article in the news that pertains to your research paper. Link to the article in your blog post and give a short (2-3 paragraph) explanation of how reading the article has helped you think about your research question. Does it bring up additional variables you need to control for? Does it suggest alternate sources of data or additional reading that can be done? What else?
Also, make sure to comment on someone else’ post from last week. Try someone new, whose blog you haven’t read yet.
As a reminder, blog posts and comments are due on Friday by the time class starts. Late assignments will not receive credit.
We haven’t talked about returns to education, much, but it will likely come up. Here’s an Oxford PhD student’s take on the correlation/causation matter.
One of you is looking at corporate taxes for your project, so I thought I would point out this piece from Derek Thompson of The Atlantic on variation in corporate taxes. It’s quick and a good read.