One of my mentors when I was applying to schools said his Ph.D. Candidacy Exam (taken at the end of regular coursework) required him to “basically memorize 500 classic papers.” I have the syllabuses to two of his Ph.D. courses, and there are 378 readings on the Asset Pricing list alone.
To do good research, I need to know what’s already been done and what methods are generally accepted. I’ll also need to know what all classic papers say to get through my classes. I will try to get a head start this summer by outlining many of the 75 or so “primary” readings from my mentor’s courses.
My initial goal with these outlines will be just to capture the main ideas, methods, and conclusions of each paper. I’ll outline the papers in no particular order. I hope to eventually post commentaries as I become more aware of the academic discussions that surrounded and that build upon these classic papers.