The Making Of

07 September 2014

When I set out to make this site, I was interested in a minimal structure that used tools I was already familiar with. I settled on Jekyll, because I could write pages and posts in Markdown and use Github for hosting.

I started by building a very basic site following the documentation on Jekyll. However, I soon found this tutorial from Joshua Lande, and found it incredibly helpful. It walked me through setting up the site with Poole, a very clean and beautiful fork of Jekyll. I recommend this tutorial to anyone looking to build a similar site to mine. Below I’ve noted a couple small details to supplement Josh’s extensive walkthrough.

MathJax support

MathJax is a Javascript library that allows for live rendering of LaTeX-like equations. I wanted this feature to be able to include nicely formatted equations in my posts, like this:

To add MathJax support, I put the following in _includes/head.html :

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
            config: ["MMLorHTML.js"],
            extensions: ["tex2jax.js","TeX/AMSmath.js","TeX/AMSsymbols.js"],
            jax: ["input/TeX"],
            tex2jax: {
                inlineMath: [ ['$','$'], ["\\(","\\)"] ],
                displayMath: [ ['$$','$$'], ["\\[","\\]"] ],
                processEscapes: false
            TeX: {
                TagSide: "right",
                TagIndent: ".8em",
                MultLineWidth: "85%",
                equationNumbers: {
                   autoNumber: "AMS",
                unicode: {
                   fonts: "STIXGeneral,'Arial Unicode MS'" 
            showProcessingMessages: false

The configuration script is not necessary, but it make the typesetting a little prettier, and allows me to typeset inline equations (ike this one: $y = f(x) + z_0$) by surrounding the LaTeX code with single dollar signs.

Domain name hosting

Perhaps the single best feature of Jekyll is that you can host your site for free on Github pages. So, my site is hosted on Github at, simply by virtue of having my site’s repository pushed to Github. I got the domain name from Namecheap. Here are directions on setting up your custom domain with Github pages.

You might notice that the url of this page is, not To get the simpler URL, I set the permalink entry in _config.yml to /blog/:title. For more details, see the comments on Josh’s post on this issue.

Hello World

07 September 2014

Welcome! This my personal academic webpage. I’ll be using this site to post my research papers and teaching notes. I’ll also maintain a blog on topics in economics as well as tools for researchers.

Who should read the blog?

The intended audience is social scientists, but I’ll try to write the blog to be accessible to any interested reader.

What will be covered on the blog?

I’m planning on writing posts on a variety of topics:

  • I’ll blog about my research as I write new papers.
  • I may also blog about other interesting research papers in the social sciences.
  • I’m about to embark on the economic job market for new PhDs. I’ll include advice here from my job market experience that might help future PhD students.
  • I’ll also include pointers or guides to any tools that I use as part of my research that I think others might benefit from.