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Some musings on productivity Jake Thornock University of Washington.

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Presentation on theme: "Some musings on productivity Jake Thornock University of Washington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some musings on productivity Jake Thornock University of Washington

2 Executive summary Live a balanced life and find your “why” Find great co-authors and be a great co-author Think first, then do

3 Don’t work too hard Why would I say this is my number one point?! Balance => success, not the reverse We clearly understand the law of diminishing returns. Do we truly believe it?? Efficiency is the operative word Celebrate the wins

4 Find your “why” Why Why & who > what > how If we believe that balance leads to success, then why can’t we admit that we got into this business to try for a more balanced life?

5 Finding co-authors This is a people business – Friends not necessarily good co-authors Find people with – complementary skills, – but similar research interests and hunger – research synergies

6 Being a co-author – Don’t let stuff get stuck on your desk – Don’t sweat small stuff – Be flexible – Work with teaching/service schedules – Emphasize your personal comparative advantage – You will likely do the heavy lifting early on MB = MC

7 Think first, then do Learn to write clearly, argumentatively, and persuasively Your opinion counts, but the opinion of the editor, reviewer and reader counts more Develop thick skin Hardest part is “why”, then “what”, then “how” Work on paper’s contribution; Papers mostly rejected on RQ not RD

8 Don’t worship at the altar of *** T-stats and *** do not make a good paper! A good question > a good test

9 LET’S WRITE A PAPER TOGETHER!!!

10

11 DEPENDENT VARIABLE VARIABLECASH ETRGAAP ETR CURRENT ETR ???????-0.000*** (-4.87)(-2.59)(-3.18) ???????-0.000*** (-9.68)(-7.67)(-7.27) ???????0.000*** (2.89)(3.67)(1.47) ??????? (0.89)(-0.31)(0.69) INDUSTRY FIXED EFFECTSYES S.E. CLUSTERED BY:FIRM OBSERVATIONS29,754 ADJUSTED R

12 DEPENDENT VARIABLE VARIABLECASH ETRGAAP ETR CURRENT ETR ZIP CODE-0.000*** (-4.87)(-2.59)(-3.18) ???????-0.000*** (-9.68)(-7.67)(-7.27) ???????0.000*** (2.89)(3.67)(1.47) ??????? (0.89)(-0.31)(0.69) INDUSTRY FIXED EFFECTSYES S.E. CLUSTERED BY:FIRM OBSERVATIONS29,754 ADJUSTED R

13 DEPENDENT VARIABLE VARIABLECASH ETRGAAP ETR CURRENT ETR ZIP CODE-0.000*** (-4.87)(-2.59)(-3.18) GVKEY-0.000*** (-9.68)(-7.67)(-7.27) ???????0.000*** (2.89)(3.67)(1.47) ??????? (0.89)(-0.31)(0.69) INDUSTRY FIXED EFFECTSYES S.E. CLUSTERED BY:FIRM OBSERVATIONS29,754 ADJUSTED R

14 DEPENDENT VARIABLE VARIABLECASH ETRGAAP ETR CURRENT ETR ZIP CODE-0.000*** (-4.87)(-2.59)(-3.18) GVKEY-0.000*** (-9.68)(-7.67)(-7.27) AREA CODE0.000*** (2.89)(3.67)(1.47) ??????? (0.89)(-0.31)(0.69) INDUSTRY FIXED EFFECTSYES S.E. CLUSTERED BY:FIRM OBSERVATIONS29,754 ADJUSTED R

15 DEPENDENT VARIABLE VARIABLECASH ETRGAAP ETR CURRENT ETR ZIP CODE-0.000*** (-4.87)(-2.59)(-3.18) GVKEY-0.000*** (-9.68)(-7.67)(-7.27) AREA CODE0.000*** (2.89)(3.67)(1.47) SIC (0.89)(-0.31)(0.69) INDUSTRY FIXED EFFECTSYES S.E. CLUSTERED BY:FIRM OBSERVATIONS29,754 ADJUSTED R

16 Don’t just take my word for it: some quick advice from some friends Leslie Robinson, Dartmouth Sarah McVay, Univ. of Washington Mike Drake, BYU

17 Leslie Robinson I keep three lists – long-term, medium-term, and short- term tasks. On the long-term list would be things that I needed to schedule large chunks of time for (i.e., an entire week) while short-term things were things that would take an hour or two at most, and then everything in between on the medium list. I exercise religiously. Have a hobby to recharge! I ask for help. I keep a clean, uncluttered, well-organized office. The state of my office and the state of my ability to think clearly are correlated 100 percent.

18 Sarah McVay 1. Think carefully about project selection. A project generally takes 3-4 years to complete. Is it interesting? Is it testable? Do you believe it? Be sure it’s worth it. 2. Work on closest to submission/publication first, the newer projects are always more fun and often seem more promising since they haven’t yet been rejected. New projects are your reward for getting your old projects under review. 3. Try to have something under review at all times. Your pipeline should include (at least) one data-stage, one presentation-stage and one review-stage paper (rolling). 4. Play “hot potato” with your co-authors. If a paper is on someone else’s desk, it’s making forward progress without your time and effort. 5. Submit to conferences! For publication or not, it gives you a deadline and visibility. 6. Volunteer as a reviewer and discussant! It’s good visibility and it’s amazing how many people expect someone to review their paper, yet don’t volunteer to review others’ papers. 7. Remember, it won’t always be this hard! This profession front-loads a lot of start-up costs into the early years. Hang in there!

19 Mike Drake Avoid data overload – Fehrenheit 451: data gives you “a sense of motion without moving.” – Research is much more about reading/thinking then it is about writing programs. Identify solutions – Doctoral students are generally excellent at finding problems – Productivity comes from solving problems, not just finding them

20 Conclusion For me, being productive occurs when – My life is somewhat balanced – I work with other productive people – I’m thinking clearly and selectively My recipe for success will differ from yours

21 Conclusion: Pep talk Best job ever! – Great people – Entrepreneurial – Flexible – Rewarding relationships students


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