Job Talks: 1-sentence answers you need
Because someone is bound to ask...
And why 1-sentence answers? Because, why not?
- What is the single most significant contribution of this paper?
- What abstractions/assumptions are crucial to your results?
- Why are these reasonable?
- What assumptions would we have to make to get the opposite result?
- What is your empirical/identification strategy?
- Why is this a valid instrument?
- Why is this economics?
- How does your paper differ from XYZ? How is it similar?
- If this is so important, why has nobody done it yet?
- Why do we need a model/theory/empirical test about...(whatever your paper does)...?
- Isn't this obvious?
- Isn't this trivial?
- What is the economic significance of your results?
- Why isn't _X_ in your model? (where X is anything the listener wants to hear about)
- Why is this an interesting question?
- How is your paper useful to ....(other fields, policy, any other group the listener wants to hear about)...?
- Why did you choose this institutional context?
- How does your work apply to other contexts?
Even if, at first, you find that answering requires several sentences, work to distill your ideas into a concise point. We've seen, in our courses, that the process often reveals valuable insights, so it's worth doing. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover!