Workflow

Alongside my research and policy work, I have an ongoing interest in effective workflows for organizing projects, developing code, and visualizing data. I lecture on these topics now and then and enjoy teaching these skills to younger economists.

Introductory lecture (Spring 2022)

My slides on “Code, Data, and Version Control: Best Practices for Economic Research”, developed for a guest lecture at the University of Wyoming, provide a high-level introduction to effective workflows. The presentation is meant to be accessible to a broad audience, including but not limited to pre-PhD students and research assistants.

Three-part lecture series (Fall 2019)

The slides below, from a three-part lecture series on “Organizing Data for Economic Research” I gave while on faculty at UC Davis, provide a more in-depth overview of project organization, coding practices, data management, and data visualization. The brief coverage of version control understates the usefulness of learning Git for PhD students and other early-career economists. Also, Visual Studio Code has supplanted Atom as my text editor of choice.

  1. Managing Workflow: principles, project folders, computing, and collaboration

  2. Handling Data: coding practices, data preparation, data validation, and data exploration

  3. Sharing Your Work (and a dynamic version to illustrate overlays): making tables, figures, and slide decks

Template code

My approach to project organization, coding style, and data visualization has evolved significantly since my 2019 lectures. For template code more reflective of my current thinking, check out the replication package for “Disability Insurance in the Great Recession: Ease of Access, Program Enrollment, and Local Hysteresis” (joint with Melissa Kearney and Riley Wilson).