Saturday, February 23, 2008

Econlinks for 23-02-'08

  • "[...] it is surprising and disturbing that, at a time when the premium for skills has increased and the return to graduating high school has risen, the high school dropout rate in America is increasing. America is becoming a polarised society. Proportionately more American youth are going to college and graduating than ever before. At the same time, proportionately more are failing to complete high school." Read the whole article on education trends in the USA by Jim Heckman and Paul LaFontaine, on VoxEU (with references to the research papers they quote).

  • a nice interview in the latest Royal Economic Society (RES) newsletter with one of my favourite economists, Avinash Dixit. The interviewer is Andrew Oswald; since the newsletter is not yet available for download on the RES site, you can download the interview (PDF) from Oswald's site. Here's an excerpt dealing with Dixit's aversion towards reviewing long papers (same here, though, on the other hand, I admit to being guilty of having written some very long papers :-)):

[...] here is my reaction as I read, say, page 50 of the 70 page paper. I am reminded of the character Elaine in the show Seinfeld. [...] She is watching the movie of The English Patient. Finally she bursts out “quit telling your stupid story about your stupid desert and just die”. That’s what I think when I am on page 50 of a 70 page paper. Even a really good one!

  • Larry Summers goes into business. Part-time, for now. Probably Summers is one of the few academic economists (top academic economist: this guy is a recipient of the John Bates Clark medal, for instance) to have had quite a wide range of top jobs (the ones outside the typical academic activity as professor at Harvard: Secretary of the Treasury, President of Harvard University, and now managing director of a hedge fund firm).

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