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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262201339 | 144 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 2001
Paperback | ISBN: 9780262700795 | 144 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 2001

A Guide for the Young Economist


This book is an invaluable guide for young economists working on their dissertations, preparing their first articles for submission to professional journals, getting ready for their first presentations at conferences and job seminars, or facing their first refereeing assignments. In clear, concise language—a model for what he advocates—William Thomson shows how to make written and oral presentations both inviting and efficient. Thomson covers the basics of clear exposition, including such nuts-and-bolts topics as titling papers, writing abstracts, presenting research results, and holding an audience's attention.

About the Author

William Thomson is Elmer B. Milliman Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester.


"This slim volume, by University of Rochester economics professor William Thomson, deserves a place on the bookshelf next to classics such as Strunk and White's The Elements of Style and Kernighan and Plauger's The Elements of Programming Style. Like those classics, it is clear and direct, focused and well-written...Thomson's advice is breathtakingly sensible" —Ed Blachman, Tekka

"Thomson provides a solid, in-depth introduction to some of the most important aspects of writing and presenting economic reports and papers, which will be particularly valuable to graduate students, new faculty, and professionals wishing to present their research in a clear, effective manner." —D. O. Lee, Mississippi State University CHOICE


"Good economic theory mixes rigorous mathematical reasoning with intuitive motivations and stories, which can make the task of presenting or evaluating cutting-edge research a treacherous balancing act. In this one-of-a-kind essay, Thomson offers an armful of good advice and tricks of the trade to economists young and old, lest any of them forget that a bad container can spoil its contents."
Hervé Moulin

"How many times have valuable contributions to scholarship—written and oral—been compromised because of inadequate communication? This is far less likely to happen if economists read and think about the issues discussed in William Thomson's book."
John Pencavel, Department of Economics, Stanford University

"One of the most engaging pieces of pedagogical writing that I haveever encountered."
Suzanne Scotchmer, Department of Economics and Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

"The quintessence of the French mind—precision, concision, eleganceas it should be, Pascal rather than Derrida. Everyone who knows William Thomson knows that he is not only a great economist but also a master expositor, be it in his papers and books or in his talks. In this book, he shares his remarkable know-how with us young and not-so-young economists."
Maurice Salles, Professor of Economics, Université de Caen, and Coordinating Editor, Social Choice and Welfare

"This book is very useful for economists of all ages, and it is a must for Ph.D. students and their advisors. I suggest that all authors submitting papers to Games and Economic Behavior use Thomson's book as a guideline."
Ehud Kalai, Editor, Games and Economic Behavior

"William Thomson does for economics what Paul Halmos does for mathematics. Thomson shows the young (and the non-young) economist how to write, lecture, and submit work for editorial review. I recommend this guide to all professional economists."
Karl Shell, Thorne Professor of Economics, Cornell University, and Editor, Journal of Economic Theory