So let’s say for the sake of argument that you’re already interested in econometrics–which is to say how quantitative research in economics is actually done. Then all I really need to say to you is that Isaiah Andrews has a set of four interviews with Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens, ranging in length from 10-20 minutes each over at Marginal Revolution University.
If you don’t know the names, here’s a brief introduction. Angrist and Imbens, along with David Card, shared the most recent Nobel prize in economics. The prize specified that Angrist and Imbens were honored “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships.”
For a sense of how Angrist thinks about these causality issues, here are a couple of useful starting points in the Journal of Economic Perspectives (where I work as Managing Editor):
- Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke. 2010. “The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24 (2): 3-30.
- Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke. 2017. “Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (2): 125-44.
For a couple of examples of work by Guido Imbens in JEP, see:
- Imbens, Guido W. 2021. “Statistical Significance, p-Values, and the Reporting of Uncertainty.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 35 (3): 157-74.
- Athey, Susan, and Guido W. Imbens. 2017. “The State of Applied Econometrics: Causality and Policy Evaluation.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (2): 3-32.
The guy who is interviewing Angrist and Imbens, Isaiah Andrews, won the John Bates Clark medal in 2021, which is awarded each year “to that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge,” for “contributions to econometric theory and empirical practice.” An overview of his work in the Winter 2022 issue of JEP is here.
These really are conversations between Andrews, Angrist, and Imbens, not lectures. No powerpoint presentations or equations are used! No proofs are involved. It’s just a chance to hear these folks talk about their field and more broadly how they see economics.