Jesus, i knew that some economists constituted a fairly unimaginative bunch, but your self-pitying drivel really takes the cake. It really demonstrates a complete lack of initiative, as well as a lack of willingness to address the topic from a broader theoretical economic perspective.
While you might be correct that few (if any) academic articles will have appeared specifically discussing the economic effects of 9/11, surely you can analyze the post-9/11 situation in the broader context of the economic effects of natural and man-made disasters.
I’d be willing to bet that there have been plenty of academic economic analyses of the economic impact of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. And i also believe that you’ll be able to find stuff on the economic consequences of low-intensity warfare, terrorism, etc. Hell, there are probably dozens of Israeli economists, for example, who have written about the economic impact of the Israel/Palestine conflict. There have probably also been studies of the economic effects of terrorism in places like Northern Ireland and Spain’s Basque region, to name just two examples.
This will give you your academic sources. Find stuff like this, and then use it as a basis for analyzing the post-9/11 situation. And just because economists may not yet have had time to get out academic journal articles, it doesn’t mean that economists have had nothing to say on the economic impact of the attacks. Economists from the New York Times to the Cato Institute, from the Wall Street Journal to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers have all weighed in on the issue, and if you can’t find this stuff, you’re not even trying.
If you had even more imagination, you could even stretch your topic to look at global economic issues. For example, what impact, if any, has 9/11 had on global financial networks with links to Middle East countries? Have the attempts to freeze the assets of terrorist-related networks had any broader economic effects. And, given that the Bush administration used 9/11 as part of its excuse to invade Iraq, what economic consequences is this invasion likely to have for the US and the world?
There are even issues of debt maintenance here, with some economists calling for all Iraqi debt contracted under Saddam Hussein to be forgiven, on the grounds that the Iraqi people should not be responsible for the debt run up by a dictator. This leads to the broader question of debt forgiveness in the third world, and who should and should not be responsible for repayment of dictator-incurred debts to first world governments and banks.
I realize that some of these issues are rather tangential to the question of the economic impact of 9/11, but i still think that there are plenty of interesting and viable topics suggested by the project. If you think you’re going to spend your whole working life doing only the stuff that you think is interesting and relevant, i suggest you might be in for something of a surprise. I mean, how dare that professor ask you to stretch yourself a bit in order to come up with an intelligent discussion that relates your discipline to the broader world?
Personally, i think we need more economists who are willing to engage with ideas and issues that fall outside the strict boundaries of economics. There was a time, remember, when political economists–as they were then called–actually believed that they had a duty to address these broader social issues.
In short: suck it up, crybaby!