each report being 2 to 4 single spaced pages in length one inch margins on each sid 3583225

( each report being 2 ½  to 4 single spaced pages in length—one inch margins on each side and no larger than 12-point font) to fulfill the writing requirement for the course.  Referee reports are not reaction papers.  They are your honest and thorough assessment of the scholarly value of the paper in question.  By this stage in your education you should be able to evaluate scholarship critically and offer a well-justified assessment of the research of others.  Your report you will need to show that you understand the author’s paper and that you understand how it fits into the literature.  Most important, you will need to draw on your knowledge of economics, econometrics and the related literature to assess the value of the paper.    In doing so you need to point out how the paper can be improved and/or extended.  If you are not convinced by an argument in the paper, explain why.  If something is confusing, point it out.  If the author does not properly summarize the work of others, point that out as well.  It is fine to be critical (and you are expected to be), but you should aim to be constructive above all.  What could the author do to make that research more convincing?  What could reasonably be done to improve the paper? No research is perfect, and pointing out ways in which it could be improved is an

Economics 5140 – American Economic HistorySpring Semester 2019 Prof. Trevon D. LoganIn general, referee reports contain three sections. (1) The first is a brief paragraph that says, in your own words, what the paper is about.  (Note: repeating or paraphrasing the abstract of the paper does not satisfy this requirement.)  This paragraph is important in that it establishes whether or not you understood the basic point of the paper.  (2) The second section is most important—this is where you note two to four major points that you have with the paper.  For example, the authors write a paper about the effect of X on Y, but their data is only a proxy for X—one major point you would raise is whether the effect estimated can really be of X on Y.  If the model does has no relationship to the empirical approach, this is where such points are made.  (3) The third section details minor points such as misspellings, confusing phrasing, grammar, etc.  On the course website you will find two notes that detail how referee reports work.  These have been taken from course syllabi in other courses and you should use them as a guide for your own referee reports.  In the first Friday of the term I will cover reports in detail and go over the reports I have received for one of my own research papers (which we will also read in this course).  I strongly encourage you to see me in my office if you have any questions. Your reports will be graded on the quality of the economic reasoning in your report, how your report conveys your understanding of the related economic issues at play, your ability to note areas of potential improvement, your ability to justify the points you make about the paper, and for how well it is written.  Since it can be difficult to get the hang of a referee report,







Brief Synopsis (4-6 sentences)

Show that you understand this paper at a basic level

Do not paraphrase the abstract

What is it about?

What evidence is presented?

What conclusions are made? How are they supported?


Overall Assessment (2-4 paragraphs)

Focus in on broader issues

Is it well-written? (1 sentence)


Does it make a contribution to the body of academic literature?

Does it say something new? The author should explicitly say how


Does this answer a question that people care about?

Is it worthwhile?


Was the subject, question asked, and answer given clear?

Could you follow it?

Does it do what it said it would?

Were there any leaps of logic?

Were you convinced of the conclusions that were reached?

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