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Journal of Econometric Methods

Ed. by Giacomini, Raffaella / Li, Tong

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Working with Data: Two Empiricists’ Experience

Christopher R. Knittel
  • William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics, Sloan School of Management, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, MIT and NBER, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Konstantinos Metaxoglou
Published Online: 2016-03-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jem-2016-0001


We propose a set of best practices on how to organize empirical research drawn from our experience. We offer some ideas on organizing, processing and analyzing data efficiently with an eye towards quality control, documentation, and replicability. Although these best practices are by no means unique, they have served us and colleagues well over the years. We hope they will be helpful to students and young economists in their research endeavors.

Keywords: best practices; data; documentation; empirical research

JEL Codes: A22; A23; A29


  • Ball, R., and N. Medeiros. 2012. “Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research: A Protocol for Documenting Data Management and Analysis.” The Jounral of Economic Education 43(2): 182–189.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cameron, A., and P. Trivedi. 2005. Microeconometrics Methods and Applications. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar

  • Gentzkow, M., and J. Shapiro. 2014. “Code and Data for the Social Sciences: A Practitioner’s Guide.” Working paper, Chicago Booth and NBER.Google Scholar

  • Schwabish, J. 2014. “An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28(1): 209–234.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wooldridge, J. 2013. Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. 5th ed. South-Western, Cengage Learning.Google Scholar

About the article

Corresponding author: Konstantinos Metaxoglou, Carleton University – Economics, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada, E-mail:

aPrior to joining the Faculty at Carleton, Metaxoglou spent 7 years with an economic consulting firm working on Antitrust litigation. Some of the practices described here come from his consulting experience. We have not received any financial benefit for promoting the software discussed here. The usual disclaimer applies.

Published Online: 2016-03-09

Citation Information: Journal of Econometric Methods, Volume 7, Issue 1, 20160001, ISSN (Online) 2156-6674, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jem-2016-0001.

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