Aug 14

The Economics Grad Student’s Guide to University Libraries

“Pattee-Paterno Library fall 2013” by Penn State – CC:BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“Pattee-Paterno Library fall 2013” by Penn State – CC:BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Penn State University Libraries has a great deal to offer graduate students in economics:

As the Economics librarian, Lauren…

  • Provides one-on-one research assistance to economics students, faculty, and staff, helping to identify suitable databases and search strategies, and locate difficult-to-find articles and data
  • Acquires economics books, journals, videos, databases and more for the library collection
  • Joins economics classes to teach research skills and resources to students
  • Develops research guides for economics and related topics
  • Offers updates on library resources and services that can make being an econ grad student a little more manageable like Data Management and Citation Guides

Email (lmr29@psu.edu) or call (814-865-4414) to make an appointment or ask a question, or stop by 309 Paterno Library to talk with Lauren.

May 14

2013 PERC Pictures

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Pictures courtesy of Bulat Gafarov


May 14

PERC 2012 Pictures

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Pictures courtesy of Bulat Gafarov

May 14

Job Market Colloquium

We are organizing a meeting with some of the students graduating this year and the other students in the department. The meeting will take place this Thursday, May 15th, at 3 pm in Room 420 Kern Bldg.

The goal is for the students to share their experience in the last job market. The meeting is open to all students, but we believe 3rd, 4th and 5th year students will take most advantage of the talk. David Jinkins and Shengyu Li will give the talk. Yelena Sheveleva still need to confirm but she will most likely be present.

We hope to see you on Thursday!!

May 14

Economics blogs


  • Also for theorists, A fine theorem is an amazing blog that summarizes and discuses current theory papers. It is written former Northwestern grad student  Kevin Bryan, who recently got an AP position at Toronto.
  • Economic logic is  an anonymous blog summarizing interesting and inconspicuous new Econ papers, as well as some issues that affect the profession. The Economic Logician has gone awol recently, but it is usually updated regularly on a weekly basis.
  • Once a week a paper is selected by the editors from the NEP-DGE and NEP-HIST mailing lists and put up for discussion at the NEP-DGE blog and  NEP-HIST blog.
  • David Jinkin’s blog is a blog about economics with emphasis on trade and methodology, former student of the department, now Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at Copenhagen Business School (congrats David!!)
  • Data colada is a pretty cool blog about statistical analysis. Usually every post involves some simple data exercise with important methodological implications for empirical researchers.

(You’ll notice a strong theory bias in this list. There is not much I can do about that, future administrators may complement it with more applied blogs)

May 14

Living in State College

Beaver Stadium

White out at Beaver Stadium, borrowed from flickr.com/psuzombienation/

  • The State College bus system (CATA bus) has four routes that run through campus for free, as well as a number of regular routes that cost $1.50 per trip. The most useful routes for students are probably the V bus going to Walmart on North Atherton St., and the M bus going to the Nittany Mall. Almost all routes stop at the Pattee Transit Center in front of Kern Building, as well as downtown (Allen St. and West College Av.). The schedules can be found on the CATA bus website.
  • If you don’t want to carry your passport around, it is probably a good idea to get a state ID or a driver’s license  from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. You will need a 12$ check (cash is not accepted), immigration documents, proof of residence (e.g. lease+ gas bill), a letter from the Office of Global Programs, and your SSN. You can get to Penn Dot via bus, but it’s a long trip that requires taking two buses, so you are probably better off getting a ride from a classmate.
  • There are also plenty of sport events at State College Penn State has top teams in different disciplines, and there is free admission for students to most events. Football is one exception, but even if you don’t want to buy tickets, you can have fun at the tailgate party. You may also want to follow the Spikes, State College’s minor league baseball team.

May 14

Life as an Econ grad student

PhD comics

“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

  • EJMR -the unofficial sister of the AEA job market site– provides an anonymous forum for graduate students and young APs in Economics. It contains a lot of trolling and irrelevant discussions, as well as tons of politically incorrect content, and barely no job market rumors. But if you spend some time on it, or ask a question yourself (and you have the common sense to identify trolling), then it can be a very useful source of support, information, and advice. Warning: it can be extremely addictive, use at your own risk.
  • Jorge Cham’s PhD comics (Piled Higher and Deeper) are comic strips about life in grad school.

May 14

Penn State resources

Lion Shrine

A wintery Nittany Lion

  • The Office of Global Programs at Penn State offers a lot of resources for international students. They will help you collect the required documentation to get a Social Security Number (SSN) which you will need for everything, so do this as soon as you can. Also, don’t forget to have your I19 or DS2019 signed once a year before you travel out of the country.
  • Depression is not uncommon amongst graduate students, particularly those that have left their home for the first time. Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) works with thousands of students in group therapy, individual counselling, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services and offers a caring and supportive environment.
  • Penn State offers general health care services through University Health Services. You can make appointments online for almost any type of primary care through their website. For dental, vision, or other types of speciality services, almost all practitioners in State College will accept your Penn State insurance.

May 14

Useful links to academic resources

Kern Building

Kern Building – Home of the Econ department

  • The Economics Department website contains useful information about the program, and upcoming seminars, as well as contact information for faculty, staff, and graduate students.
  • Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) offers a series of useful resources for economists. MyIdeas allows you to follow series, journals, authors and JEL codes for additions. If you subscribe to NEP mailing lists you will receive automatic updates on new working papers related to your fields. MPRA is a free public repository where you can distribute your working papers, as an alternative to other repositories (not from RePEc) such as arXiv or SSRN.
  • The Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure (RCC) unit offers high powered computer capabilities accessible to grad students, including the hammer and lionX servers. Pradeep Kumar — who graduated from the department in 2013 — prepared a simple tutorial on how to use these resources.
  • Most online paper repositories can be accessed from campus. Additionally, the Penn State Libraries website allows you to download papers from any location, logging into your Web-Access account. It also allows you to reserve books, and request books from other libraries.
  • Chances are you will eventually have to use \(\LaTeX\) to typeset your documents, and learning to use it may take some practice. If you are not familiar with it, the sooner you start the better. It is possible to survive using Scientific Workplace, but it has limited capabilities and compatibility issues, and, in the long run, it can be a lot more time-consuming. If you feel extremely uncomfortable with mark-up languages, we recommend that you try LyX. Otherwise, you can install MikTex (for Windows) or TexLive (for Mac/Linux), and a free integrated user interface such as TexMaker. You will find plenty of LaTeX tutorials on Google. The LaTeX wiki is also a good reference. ShareLaTeX is an excellent solution to use LaTeX alone or with couathors without having to install any software on your computer, you only need a web browser!!

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