A link everyone will find useful

I was at a practice job talk at a nearby university on Friday. As preface to my work ((I’ll post on it as soon as I get my job applications sent)), I pointed out that workers change careers many times, 3 or 4 times, over their lifetimes where career change is defined as an occupation change that requires different tasks performed on the job, e.g. taxi driver to nurses assistant. BTW, workers change occupations about once every five years so only about a third of these are career changes. One of the audience members, an academic, objected saying that nobody he knows has ever changed occupations (not just careers, occupations).

On that note, I am sure everyone would find this MR linked paper useful: goofy titles get cited less often. At the link, its suggested that this is because “science is serious business”, but in my experience this result stems from the fact that most of these titles are “funny” but not funny. The problem is that the paper only looks at the effect of average “funny” titles. Since the average “funny” title isn’t funny, just “funny”, its picking up the effect of being “funny” not funny. I’m sure there are some really funny titles that get extra cites because of it.

Which paper titles are funny and not just “funny”?

England since, like, ever

Prof. Clark sits in the “what revolution?” camp among economic historians that try to date the industrial revolution. His data:

Why does this matter? Well, if there was no revolution, only evolution, to modern industrial society, you need an underlying evolutionary mechanism. Clark favors genes-based stories, but most other folks are more comfortable with culture-based stories. In either case, its hard to look at Clark’s data and pick a year before 1900 that would look like a revolution in efficiency.

“perhaps THE economic historian”

From a letter sent to NPR:

I think you should interview Peter Lindert at UC-Davis. He’s an economic historian (perhaps THE economic historian) that welfare state scholars look to. His book Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth Since the Eighteenth Century asserts that there is not a tradeoff between economic growth and taxes. He says there really is such a thing as a free lunch. Seriously, check him and his book out. He’s tremendously respected in the field and his life’s work is exactly this question.

Here’s his book.

Knittel vs. the internets (?)

The numbers guy goes after Knittel’s Woods study. I’m not sure Knittel and coauthor having had to take a mulligan should be seen as an embarrassment. BB (“before blogs”), to get the same feedback they got within hours, they would have had to wait for months or years, travelling from department to department and conference to conference presenting their paper.

Its funny that we always talk about the end of journals in the age of the internet, but this incident makes me wonder if the end of academic seminars is near.

“Tiger Woods hurt us all!”

That was the subject of an email from Prof. Knittle to the economics mail list regarding his new event study. The SF Examiner writes it up better than I can, but here’s the key graph.

Companies that had endorsed Woods saw dramatic negative abnormal returns (i.e. stock returns relative to a comparison group of stocks) days after the announcement of his retirement.

It would be interesting to see what the long-run impact of Tiger’s demise will be on these companies’ stocks. Have we uncovered a “Tiger Woods” anomaly?! If not, paparazzi perform a valuable function. They make markets more rational!

Economists gone wild!

Oh man, the latest NBER working papers are hot! Hotter than usual! Come on inside and take a peek!

  • Taylor and Jorda on the much talked about carry trade
  • An argument that inflation in the US should be high to take advantage of all those ferners taking our jerbs cash
  • Hall on the fiscal multiplier (I like his framing: “By How Much Does GDP Rise if the Government Buys More Output?”)
  • Globally, household wealth is extremely skewed
  • Taylor on the long history of credit crunches: “policymakers ignore credit at their peril”
  • Leeper connecting long-run fiscal imbalance to inflation expectations

Advisors in the News

  • Peri finds more evidence that in the long run, there are no costs to immigration only benefits.
  • Ann Stevens is the “persistent effects of job displacement” guru
  • She just wrote a paper on the short run effects of job displacement on child education outcomes. Kids are 15% more likely to stay back a grade after one of their parents was displaced.