How to pick a research project

Lets start with a first fact: Most of economics is boring. No, I don’t mean this in the way that the public at large means it; on the contrary, I think that economics done well can be beautiful and fascinating. What I mean is that most writing on economics is boring because: (1) It does not address interesting questions; (2) It has nothing new to add that is itself important; or (3) Even if the researcher does in fact have something new and important to say, the researcher does such a poor job of articulating this that the reader has little chance of figuring this out.

An excerpt from Don Davis’ “Ph.D. Thesis Research: Where do I Start?“.

He is a Columbia economics prof. It is short to read and I agree with pretty much everything. It is equally applicable to junior faculty, MA theses, and pretty much any other social science. Read it.

Here he is on “What Makes for a Successful Paper and Seminar?