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Thread: Is doing senior thesis & UG research in micro theory a bad option?

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    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Is doing senior thesis & UG research in micro theory a bad option?

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    So I am a junior UG, and it seems that almost everyone around me who plans to do senior honors thesis is doing one in empirical econ. Frankly speaking I am very interested in micro theory, and do not have much interest in other fields. But our university has several very prestigious professors in other fields, and it tempts me to think that these professors could produce much stronger letters if I do research with them. I would appreciate it if anyone could give me some suggestions!

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    Re: Is doing senior thesis & UG research in micro theory a bad option?

    Doing a senior thesis in theory is usually a bad idea because undergraduates don't have the background in theory to do anything new or interesting. There are exceptions of course. It might depend on whether there is a faculty member who could advise you with whom you have a good relationship.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Is doing senior thesis & UG research in micro theory a bad option?

    Even in micro theory, there are few people who will be successful if they do not at least have a strong understanding of some part of empirical microeconomics, e.g. experimental econ or I.O.

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    Re: Is doing senior thesis & UG research in micro theory a bad option?

    I would pursue doing a thesis in the area that you are most interested in. I wrote my senior thesis on a theoretical topic. The learning curve was steep, but I found it to be an incredibly valuable experience.

    Also, I am skeptical of this view that one should write an empirical senior thesis on the grounds that it is more likely to be "better". Undergrads rarely learn anything beyond OLS and very basic estimation techniques. So, it is not like students writing empirical senior thesis topics are extremely well prepared either.
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