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I am going to apply for a Post-Doc position, in Business Economics. One of the required application documents is a "job market paper". I have searched about what a job market paper is and specially there is a good post here Clarification needed: Job Market Paper.

However, I could not find any answer or hint to resolve my current problem. Concisely, I have written 3 papers for my PhD thesis, and these papers are closely-related to each other, such that the second one is based on the first, and the third is based on the first and second. Now, I don't know how to choose one among them. While the first paper is for broader audience than the second one, the latter has higher quality and more significant contribution to the field, in my opinion. However, this second paper, which has higher quality, is very difficult to be understood for broad audience. On the other hand, the first paper is a good showcase -show off indeed!- of my quantitative skills and interdisciplinary knowledge of economics and machine-learning.

May someone please help me to choose between these two? Shall I consider the broader audience and less contribution, or high contribution on a very niche sub-field?

P.S: None of the papers has been published yet.

  • Ask your advisor and other professors in your department. – Alexander Woo Nov 12 '16 at 18:20
  • I do, indeed I have meetings in the coming week, but I found no harm to ask people out of my department, so I wrote here. – Shahin Nov 13 '16 at 8:37
  • My impression as a complete outsider is that the conventions in economics are so weird that a non-economist is more likely to give you a bad answer than a good one. My experience of my own field (mathematics) is that preferences for this sort of thing vary greatly depending on subfield and specific personalities. – Alexander Woo Nov 13 '16 at 14:41
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I agree with @AlexanderWoo--ask people in the field that you know. However, this also seems like a situation in which it might be useful to construct a new paper that combines material from the first and second paper. Don't make it too long, though, and get people in your field to give you feedback before sending it, if possible.

You also might want to use different papers for different applications. Think of this as a an addendum to the answer you referenced. If you're applying for a postdoc, is it a postdoc with someone who is working on similarly technical material, with a lot in common with your research? Or are they hiring a postdoc because they lack expertise in your area and need someone in that area as a collaborator? If you think that the people likely to evaluate your application are capable of understanding paper 2 on its own, then maybe you should send it. If not, maybe it would be better to send paper 1, or the hybrid paper I suggested.

  • great comment @Mars . I was thinking about doing such hybrid paper. However, nothing specific has mentioned in the post-doc description. It has been emphasized on the "teaching duties" for the post-doc applicant, but nothing has mentioned about the research. Also I am working on a new paper and I have written a proposal based on it, and I don't know whether this proposal helps. – Shahin Nov 13 '16 at 8:41
  • Might be helpful to see who's in the department. If the postdoc is with one person, s/he's the only one who matters, or if it's in a specialized field, then the opinions of those in the field may matter more. Strictly speaking, I feel that something called a postdoc should be mostly about research, even with some teaching, but some postdocs are really teaching jobs. In that case it may be helpful if the paper is easier; it's evidence of your ability to explain. But sometimes a teacher is needed, yet the faculty wants an interesting researcher to talk to. Note that I'm not in your field, fwiw. – Mars Nov 13 '16 at 18:22

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