Research seminar : Microeconomics


Editorial Editorial

This text was updated on January 27, 2017

We shall have a first short meeting on February 7 at 16:00 (room 401 - Camille Joset) to discuss the various activities associated with this seminar. The overall objective is to introduce you to research in applied microeconomics. After the seminar, you should be able to read, understand and have a critical view on a wide variety of papers. You should also be able to understand the difficulties and the methodological choices associated with the attempt of developing an interesting extension/generalization of a paper.

The seminar consists of the following three activities:

1) To learn how to write a referee report on a paper and write a first referee report (about 20% of the grade)

The first paper that you will referee is "The leverage–competition nexus with heterogeneous firms: product differentiation vs. number of competitors" by Nicolas Gonne and myself available on the "documents et liens" tag on the left-hand side.

You should read the paper, as if it was sent for a review to a non-specialist journal, and then write a report on it. On the "documents et liens" tag on the left-hand side, you will find two examples of referee reports and advices on how to write these reports. As explained in the advices, your report should at least         

- summarize the main argument/results of the author and explain the contribution of the paper to the literature

- explain the major strengths and weaknesses of the paper (the major part of the report)

- suggest ways to remedy the weaknesses

- list minor points;

The summary part of the report should count around one page (the usual norm is less than that but it will be easier for you to write a longer summary). The size of the rest of the report should be around one page (the usual norm depends very much on the paper but I ask you to keep it short). 

Once it is written, the report should be sent to me, (mail: no later than the 23th of February. This report should be written individually.

2) To write short referee reports on 5 papers among the papers that are presented in the department seminars in economics organized in Namur. This can be done in groups of two. (about 50% of the grade)

We organize in Namur a regular seminar series, with a seminar almost every Tuesday, from 16:00 to 17:30. The first presentation will be on February 14 (Unfortunately, I won't be able to come but you can attend the presentation, as it will be given by a prominent scholar from Stanford).The last presentation of the semester is on May 9. Foreign scholars come to present their current research to the academic staff and to the PhD students. It is useful for you to attend these presentations (at least the 5 presentations about the 5 papers that you referee) as it gives a first overview of the papers that you will referee. The schedule is updated regularly and can be found at the following address: seminars 2016-2017

Check it regularly as there are sometimes changes or late cancellations. There are 10 presentations scheduled between February 14 and May 9 ... and you have to attend at least five of them.

The papers presented will be available on the web site. However you should be aware that because speakers usually present on-going research, they send their papers lately, so that the papers are often not available before the day of the presentation.

You should write a short referee report for 5 of the papers presented in the seminars. These reports should count about two pages (one for the summary and one for the rest) and should be sent to me at most ten days after the presentation (hence usually the second Friday after the presentation). If you have a problem in sticking to the schedule for one report, please contact me. For the presentation of February 14 you can send the report till the end of February.

3) To develop a formalized argument (about 30% of the grade)

You should attempt to develop an interesting extension/generalization of one of the models that were presented during the seminars in Namur. The objective here is to start learning how to construct a model, and understand the difficulties and the methodological choices associated with such an attempt.

To this end, you extend one of your referee reports. You should clearly explain your objective, provide a summary of the main mechanism/result found and explain the main intuition underlying it, and your assumptions and the proofs.

For practical matters, the extension should count less than 5 pages. This report should be written individually and handed to me before May 13.










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