Thursday May 28 I defended my Ph.D. thesis in economics at the EUI in Florence. As for most people, the defence marked the end of a journey through many ups and downs and unexpected turns. The most significant development for me, and one I was very happy with, was a switch from theory to empirics, in particular from conflict theory to applied (micro)econometrics.
The thesis itself consisted of three chapters – on television and cognitive development, terrorism and work effort, and voting habits in turnout. Three very different papers bound together by using modern empirical methods to discover causal effects.
The defence was a taxing, but also very useful experience. I was lucky to have a committee that had taken their job seriously, and that provided extensive and thorough comments that will lead to large improvements to the papers; papers which I look forward to blog about when I get them out as working papers. Perseus was the proper venue for finishing everything off.