As of the fifth year of my economics PhD, I have published zero scientific papers, written a dozen short stories that no one has read, and sold precisely one painting. I am, therefore, one of the last people you should ask about creative success.
Here are some tips (mostly “life hacks”) with fairly broad applicability to research students. I’ve found that advice more often reflects the experiences of the giver than the needs of the receiver, so reading unpersonalized advice on the Internet can be very hit-or-miss. But, if you’re a Berkeley econ grad student, or interested in econ grad school in general, I’m happy to chat. DM me on Twitter or shoot me an email and we can set up a time.
This is a blog about development economics, and there’s surely no better way to start than by writing about Albert Hirschman–one of the pioneers of the field, and quite possibly the most interesting person to ever become an economist. Originally I set out to write a review of Albert Hirschman’s 1958 Strategy of Economic Development, but the tale grew in the telling–into a biography of Hirschman’s fascinating early life, then a broader history of development economics, and at last into a reflection on the current state of the field.
Spending a summer doing fieldwork in Busia, Kenya has become a rite of passage for Berkeley development RAs. When I was planning my trip, I wish there’d been a guide with the collected experience of former RAs all in one place—here’s my attempt at writing it. All information is current as of summer 2019.