About the Book

This textbook articulates the elements of good craftsmanship in applied microeconomic research.

This research combines several elements: theory, econometric modelling, institutional analysis, data handling, estimation, inference, and interpretation.  Many books discuss these elements' mechanics--say, how to properly calculate standard errors under different error structures.  But they are largely silent on how to employ these elements to best effect.  No central resource articulates the essential principles involved and ties them together. In showing how these research elements can be best blended to maximize the credibility and impact of the findings that result, this book presents a basic framework for thinking about craftsmanship.

This framework lays out the proper context within which the researcher should view the analysis, involving institutional factors, complementary policy instruments, and competing hypotheses that can influence or explain the phenomena being studied. It also emphasizes the interconnectedness of theory, econometric modeling, data, estimation, inference, and interpretation, arguing that good craftsmanship requires strong links between each.

Using this framework, the book devotes a chapter to each element of an empirical analysis, articulating the guiding principles involved and illustrating them with numerous, varied applications to the literature. Assuming a working knowledge of econometrics, this text is aimed at graduate students and early-career academic researchers as well as empirical economists looking to improve the quality of their work.

For a brief Table of Contents, see below.

Complete Table of Contents

A Flyer with Blurb and Abbreviated Table of Contents

About the Author


Chapter 1—Craftsmanship and Credibility in Applied Economics

Part 1: Ways of Thinking
   Chapter 2—Systems
   Chapter 3—Scale

Part 2: Ways of Seeing
   Chapter 4—Vernacular Knowledge
   Chapter 5—Data

Part 3: Ways of Doing
   Chapter 6—Theory and Models
   Chapter 7—Description
   Chapter 8—Econometric Modeling

Part 4: Ways of Knowing
   Chapter 9—Hypothesis Testing
   Chapter 10—The Ends of Your Means
   Chapter 11—The Narrative in the Numbers

Chapter 12—Conclusion