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What are the last essential steps for developing a consistent model?

The final step of modeling is putting all pieces together into a consistent story. Watch Hannes Weigt explain more.

You got all the elements together: you have a clearly defined problem, a fitting model, you solved it and produced results, made robustness checks and sensitivities to understand what drives your results. Furthermore, you gathered figures, tables and examples for your result presentation. Now what?

The final step of modeling is putting all those pieces together into a consistent story. As a general guideline you can use the structure presented in this course and combine this with the hourglass structure of paper writing:

You should always start and end broadly to ensure a consistent frame for your story. Motivate your research so that anyone understands why this is interesting. Provide a clear research question (your ‘Problem’) and relate it to existing research and approaches thereby becoming more specific. Your ‘Model’ and ‘Solution’ methods are the most specific parts and should provide sufficient detail for others to reproduce your work. With your results you again broaden the scope. The ‘Interpretation’ will need to provide the link from your specific methods and results to the general problem you introduced (see pink elements in the visualization). The conclusion will then close your story and should again be written in a way that anyone can understand what you have done. Make sure that you provide your readers with all the elements they need to follow your story and try to avoid opening up side-stories that distract from your main story-arch.

If you want to have some more guidelines on how to write a consistent research paper you may want to have a look at one of the following references:

Bem, D. J. (2003). Writing the empirical journal. In: Darley, J. M., Zanna, M. P., & Roediger III, H. L. (Eds) (2003). The Compleat Academic: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Social Scientist, 2nd Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Nikolov, P. (2013). Writing tips for economics research papers. Harvard University.

Varian, H. R. (1997). How to build an economic model in your spare time. The American Economist, 3-10

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Exploring Possible Futures: Modeling in Environmental and Energy Economics

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