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Dissertating 2 June 22, 2008

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Academically Speaking.

A dissertation? Serious business! Working on it? Hard! So like some people I know whose blogs evolved out of the research process (like writing a hundred words a day, say), I’ve decided to use this space in much the same way, writing a weekly update on my progress to date — or lack thereof.

To that end, these are the relevant goings on since the last time I wrote about my dissertation:

First, I’ve moved away from the behavioral finance angle in favor of jumping headlong into research on remittances. Right now, my priority is to cobble together something workable in as short a time as feasible, and remittances seem to be a better fit for me in this regard.

Second, I’ve already begun consulting one of my professors for guidance, but haven’t really had much to show as of yet. I’m still coming to grips with the relevant literature and am only now beginning to explore possible directions my research can take. I fully intend to have something more solid to go on by the time I fly back to New York before the start of this year’s academic term, which is what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.

Personally, I feel quite optimistic (and even a bit excited) about my most recent efforts. The materials I’ve come across are plenty interesting and there are a couple of regressions I’m already itching to run at this preliminary stage. But there have been difficulties. For instance, I promised myself that I’d read at least five papers a week just to get up to speed with the topic, yet almost right of the bat I’ve fallen behind. This doesn’t worry me too much as the quality of the literature I’ve come across so far has more than made up for the shortfall in quantity. Of greater concern has been the difficulty of actually devoting time to dissertation work at all given my current work schedule. I’m sure I’ll adjust soon enough, and writing in this way about how things are going can only help as far as I’m concerned.

So that’s where things stand. By next week I hope to have a more substantial update, perhaps about the materials I’ve read so far.



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