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It’s that Time of the Year: Submissions now open for our annual “Blog your job market paper” series

David McKenzie's picture

We are pleased to launch for the sixth year a call for PhD students on the job market to blog their job market paper on the Development Impact blog.  We welcome blog posts on anything related to empirical development work, impact evaluation, or measurement. For examples, you can see posts from 2015, 20142013 and 2012. We will follow a similar process as previous years, which is as follows:

We will start accepting submissions immediately until midnight EST on Tuesday, November 22, with the goal of publishing a couple before 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 (no exceptions). As with last year, we will do some refereeing to decide which to include on the basis of interest, how well written they are, and fit with the blog. Your chances of being accepted are likely to be somewhat higher if you submit earlier rather than waiting until the absolute last minute of our deadline.

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: 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.

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