Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Designing a Job Talk

I just heard this afternoon that I have a job interview on Monday. The deadline was just last Friday! I've never seen an academic job search move this fast. Anyway, I now need to prepare a presentation for Monday. I'm somewhat dissatisified with the last two presentations I did as bases for this one. This post will be something of a stream of consciousness thing...

One I did in March was on elasticities of substitution and covered material from at least two working papers - one on different definitions of elasticities of substitution and the other on meta-analysis of interfuel elasticities of substitution. The latter part of the presentation would need a lot of revision anyway as I substantially rewrote that paper between getting rejected by The Energy Journal and submitting to Energy Economics. I didn't get that job and I feel that the topic of that presentation may have seemed a bit too esoteric.

The second one was more recent in my current department where I provided an overview of my planned research under the Environmental Economics Research Hub. The problem with that one is that I mainly presented old results and plans for future research. I think it went across OK in the context of introducing myself to my department but I think this new presentation should be more about recent results. I do have some preliminary results from my Hub research but they aren't on the core things I plan on doing yet. Instead they are results of applying an estimator - the between estimator - that my meta-analysis research persuaded me is most appropriate for estimating essentially dynamic models in panel data - to the standard environmental Kuznets curve.

I thought of combining parts of the two together but I couldn't come up with a good title. That was a warning sign to me that there would be an issue for the audience in trying to follow what I was doing! I then went on the web and read a bunch of articles about preparing a "Job Talk". This reminded me that I need to put things into a broader context of both the field and my future research and that I need to appeal to a wider audience than might come to a conference presentation. I knew these I guess but it's nice to be reminded. Given this, I'm going to revise the second presentation, which should be less work too. I'll post my slides when I'm done.

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