How to referee an academic paper

Berk Ozler does us all tremendous good by interviewing legendary QJE editor Larry Katz over at Development impact.

David McKenzie follows it up with his own tips on the same blog. He makes an observation I’ve heard too often, which is that older development economists eat their young.

For some time I’ve been meaning to write up my own thoughts on how to referee an empirical paper, inspired in large part by a photocopy Betty Sadoulet and Alainn de Janvry handed out in a development economics seminar. While not exactly the same thing, you can see my main suggestions in the last two pages of my causal inference and research design syllabus.

And to save all of us pain, I do have an old advice post on how to be a discussant on a seminar paper. there are many parallels.