Fixing Terrible Economics Presentations II: Guide for the Audience

Orderstatistic

In an earlier post, I outlined several all-too-common flaws in economics seminar presentations. Those comments were directed toward the presenter. However, having a valuable seminar is not just the responsibility of the speaker — the audience shares in the experience and yes there are some guidelines for being a good seminar participant. I’m going to use this post to address some of the more troublesome infractions of seminar etiquette for participants.  

1. Read the paper in advance! — Just kidding. It’s quite common for seminar participants to go into a seminar “blind” so to speak. Not reading the paper isn’t a sin. If you can read it ahead of time that can be good but it shouldn’t be necessary if the presenter has done his or her job. You have the right to expect to go into a seminar and learn the main points of the paper without having to study the…

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