Published on Development Impact

Blog your job market paper 2020: Submissions open!

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We are pleased to launch, for the tenth 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 a few posts from last year here

We will start accepting submissions immediately until noon EST on Thursday, November 5, with the first post (from the early submitters) going up as early as Monday, November 9. After listening to your feedback, we have moved the series earlier this year, so that more of your papers get exposure before prospective employers make their decisions for job market interviews. We will aim to publish up to 12 posts before the Thanksgiving break and a handful more in early December. 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 their fit with the blog. Your chances of being accepted are likely to be higher if you submit earlier rather than waiting until the absolute last minute of our deadline. The last few years we've accepted just under half of all submissions.

Below are the rules that you must follow, followed by some guidance that we recommend you 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 1-2 graphs or tables. (We recommend one figure if there is one that helps to demonstrate your results.)
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 (a) your blog post, (b) your paper (attached or linked to), (c) the URL for your Job Market page, and (d) a figure or table (as relevant) sent separately.
5.       Any papers you reference should be hyperlinked; do not include any footnotes.
6.       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 web page if you have one.
7.       Development Impact will not post blogs that have already been posted elsewhere. However, after a post has gone up on Development Impact, it can be re-posted elsewhere with a link back to Development Impact.
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 friends 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 job market web page).
3.       The title and the first paragraph are usually the most important part of a blog post – We have received emails from people who told us 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.” Consider the “third paragraph” rule of Duncan Green and avoid spending the first two paragraphs in “throat-clearing”.
4.       We encourage you to use section headers in bold font to break up your text and guide the reader. Do not just send a mass of text with nothing to break it up. See this post for more tips.
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.”
8.       Sometimes in the past our emails to authors of submissions have ended up in Spam folders. Be sure to check your Spam folder after you submit to us.
Once you have gone through the checklist above to make sure that you followed all the rules and considered all the guidance, 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 of your submission. Please note that there tends to be an 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.


Berk Özler

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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