Saturday, February 9, 2013

An Assortment of Links

Here are links to interesting posts throughout the econo-blogosphere that I read over the past month (or so), along with some thoughts from me.  For a variety of reasons, the contents of these posts stuck with me.

  1. Mark Thoma: What's the Cost and Financial Value of College?  This was an interesting personal anecdote, but I was hoping for more systematic analysis of the question.  In particular, I was hoping for a more systematic response to the sort of criticisms raised by Catherine Rampell on the Economix blog a couple of years ago.
  2. Tyler Cowen with a hat tip to Lee Benham for finding a paper by Zhengye Chen (a UChicago undergraduate whom I do not know):  How much does graduate school matter for being an economics professor?  This is really about how important the "top" economics Ph.D. programs are to the economics profession.  A slight tangent: One feature of the economics profession that I have found  remarkable in my job market experience is how connected the profession is even though there is considerable geographic dispersion.  Conferences help connect people from across the country/globe, but the fact that most PhD instruction is concentrated among relatively few departments surely has something to do with this.
  3. Ryan Dorow: A Few Thoughts.  I particularly like his thoughts on teaching cursive in public schools.  In grade school, penmanship was my worst subject.  I adapted later on by adopting a hybrid system of print and cursive that allowed me to take notes quickly, and my penmanship never looked good.
  4. Steve Landsburg: Stress Test.  I thought this was a particularly insightful post on some research by Susan Godlonton.  I haven't yet read the paper, but this sounds like evidence of the effect of over-studying.  The key quote, "Those with guaranteed jobs spend, on average, an extra 53 minutes a day watching television (according to their diaries), and correspondingly less time studying the training manuals.  In other words, they're expending less effort (as you'd predict if you were [an] economist) but still doing better."
  5. John Cochrane: Food trucks and movie theaters.  I found Cochrane's description of the local news on regulatory hurdles to be particularly interesting because I live in Hyde Park.  Shortly before reading this post by Cochrane, I saw the movie theater in question, noticed that it was not open, and wondered why it was not showing movies.

1 comment:

  1. Concerning the Chen article on "Does graduate school matter", he did this paper as a high school student and is now only a freshman at the U of C. Would be of interest to run an experiment with good high school, university and graduate students and--with some coaching--see who could come up with the most interesting question and results. Of course the HS student would need to subcontract some of the technique, but not clear that the quality or interest of the question would be inferior.

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