Oct 21, 2010

Anonymous journal articles

Bruno Frey, a brilliant economist who has extended economics beyond standard neo-classics by including insights from political science, psychology and sociology, has a new paper complaining about the direction academic research is taking, namely the rankings mania, increased division of labor in research, intense publication pressure, academic fraud, and the dilution of the concept of “university”. One of his suggestions is to publish scientific contributions anonymously. "After all, it should not matter who wrote an article but only whether its content enlarges our knowledge."

Would that really work?

Oct 13, 2010

Krugman vs. Levitt

Krugman's theory of interstellar trade has just been published, 32 years after it's been written. Levitt saw it as a perfect opportunity to diss Krugman in public:
I did not think that Paul Krugman was still writing academic papers. Nor have I seen any evidence in the last decade that he still has any sense of humor... A quick look at the acknowledgments, however, clears things up. The original manuscript was written in July 1978, when Krugman was an active researcher and being a curmudgeon wasn’t part of his professional identity.
Wow! While some actually take the time to actually criticize the paper, this was one cheap shot by a brilliant pop economist on another. Chicago will always be Chicago I guess...

should we be happy for the Chilean miners?????

I have mixed feelings.

In one hand, of course I feel happy this people are been rescued and meeting with their families. But I'm fed up with all this media and propaganda. I do not exactly understand why this has been for months in the frontpage of BBC and other media around the world. The Chilean Government is using this as a reality show to cover all the other problems in the country... and particularly one big problem: This accident should have never happened. This is the real issue. Not the millions of dollars they have expend in saving these people, but the money and legislation that should be available to ensure decent working conditions. I'm glad that these 33 are alive, but the 400 a year that are 6 feet under are anonymous. And this is way worse in the rest of Latin-America and the developing world.

Oct 12, 2010

Wanna track inflation? Ask Google, not the government

Via Tyler Cowen:
Google is using its vast database of web shopping data to construct the ‘Google Price Index’ – a daily measure of inflation that could one day provide an alternative to official statistics.Google has not yet decided whether it will publish its index, but "Mr Varian said that the GPI shows a “very clear deflationary trend” for web-traded goods in the US since Christmas." The full article is here.