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Dissertating 14 August 11, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Academically Speaking.
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It’s been a while since the last installment of Dissertating, so here’s a brief rundown of how things are going (or not):

Where we were. Nailed down first real proposal draft. Sent it through the appropriate channels. Received feedback that I will affectionately call “the good, the bad, and neither.” Had to think through some of the issues that were raised.

Where we are. Working on proposal draft number two. Revamped my treatment of the data to overcome some methodological concerns that came to light. Redid a fair amount of my original programming code (for regressions) accordingly. Found and added valuable sources to my working bibliography. Beginning to feel the difficulties of going through the dissertation process from long distance. Updated R from 2.8 to 2.9 and started doing some pseudo-data mining in terms of testing iterations of regression models and running simulations. Redownloaded data from International Financial Statistics since the IMF decided to re-index their data from year 2000 to 2005. Hoping to get some additional local data, was dismayed to discover that some of what I had obtained previously from the BSP website have gone missing (data available now is from 1989M1 to 2007M2; I previously got data for all the way to 2008M4). The conspiracy theorist in me says that this is proof positive that the government is fudging the numbers…because wouldn’t that be a more interesting explanation? Oh, and it would appear that I now have a gimped laptop with narcolepsy. Just had to get that off my chest.

Where we go from here. Will try to find a working bilateral model of remittance flows, but will otherwise begin winding down the programming work (and thereby the regression work). Must give more thought to results from vector autoregressions. Will take time to write out results, with the end in view of having a workable second proposal in the next two weeks.

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