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Doing Publishable Research with Undergraduate Students


  • Aju J. Fenn
  • Daniel K. N. Johnson
  • Mark Griffin Smith
  • J. L. Stimpert


Many economics majors write a senior thesis. Although this experience can be the pinnacle of their education, publication is not the common standard for undergraduates. The authors describe four approaches that have allowed students to get their work published: (1) identify a topic, such as competitive balance in sports, and have students work on various subtopics, such as specific sports; (2) develop a large data set and have students work on different problems using it; (3) divide a quantitative problem into distinct parts and have individual students work on each part; and (4) divide a qualitative problem into distinct parts and have individual students work on their own part. The authors also address the challenges of working with undergraduates: limited time and resources, limited skills, and the tedium of gathering data.

Suggested Citation

  • Aju J. Fenn & Daniel K. N. Johnson & Mark Griffin Smith & J. L. Stimpert, 2010. "Doing Publishable Research with Undergraduate Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 259-274, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:41:y:2010:i:3:p:259-274
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2010.486728

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aju Fenn & Peter Allmen & Stacey Brook & Thomas Preissing, 2005. "The Influence of Structural Changes and International Players on Competitive Balance in the NHL," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(2), pages 215-224, June.
    2. El-Hodiri, Mohamed & Quirk, James, 1971. "An Economic Model of a Professional Sports League," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1302-1319, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Henry Mintzberg, 1978. "Patterns in Strategy Formation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(9), pages 934-948, May.
    4. Joseph M. Crabb & Daniel K.N. Johnson, 2010. "Fueling Innovation: The Impact of Oil Prices and CAFE Standards on Energy-Efficient Automotive Technology," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 199-216.
    5. Daniel K. N. Johnson & Alyn Siripong & Amy S. Brown, 2006. "The Demise of Distance? The Declining Role of Physical Proximity for Knowledge Transmission," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 19-33, March.
    6. Andrew Larsen & Aju J. Fenn & Erin Leanne Spenner, 2006. "The Impact of Free Agency and the Salary Cap on Competitive Balance in the National Football League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(4), pages 374-390, November.
    7. Brian K. Boyd, 1994. "Board control and ceo compensation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 335-344, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prakarsh Singh & Hongye Guo & Alvaro Morales, 2015. "A Research-Based Development Economics Course for Undergraduates," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 274-284, July.
    2. Jeffrey Wagner, 2021. "Concrete Strategies for Economics Tenure-Track Faculty and Their Mentors," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 449-459, June.
    3. Jeffrey Wagner, 2015. "A framework for undergraduate research in economics," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 82(2), pages 668-672, October.
    4. Richard J. Cebula, 2017. "High-Impact Teaching in Economics: A Flexible Paradigm Utilizing Introductory Econometrics for Promoting Undergraduate Research and Publishing," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 62(2), pages 247-257, October.

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