Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Econlinks today

  • Here's the most ridiculous thing I've heard so far, within the academic publishing business: deliberately slowing things down by sitting a whole month on each submission before doing anything with it. Via Andrew Gelman. Something like this might well be practiced by more journals and in many fields ( and surely I am thinking mostly about my own field here...) than currently known: could explain a substantial part of (complementing the fact that referees are not easy to find and they might be slow themselves, see also here) the often exaggerated times before one gets back referee reports etc. I think it just shows the incapacity of those editors to function as editors, if that is the case. And obviously excessive crowding/queueing can be solved in this context, similar to many other contexts involving congestion, by raising submission fees (despite the apparent objection of some people, which Gelman also mentions, that people don't have the money for it-- give me a break, I'd say: if you are indeed such an underpaid academic, probably you can't produce the quality required for that top journal anyway; and for universities in places that really run low on budgets and remuneration in general, like Africa, Eastern Europe etc., some reduction or waiver could be in place).

  • "Econometrics: qu'est-ce que c'est?" or econometrics as taught at University of Michigan (where also other Econ professors seem to be very talented inasmuch as music is concerned) :-). I think many economics/ econometrics professors elsewhere could learn something from this-- it isn't for nothing that most students consider econometrics courses the most boring courses they (have to) take... Here's the academic website of the excellent performer above, in case anyone wants to contact him for advice in teaching.

  • Discussion on the merits of (further/ re-) regulating financial markets: Becker and respectively, Posner. I believe Posner is for some reason becoming too skeptical of the powers of the free market, so I'll strongly recommend only Becker's analysis this time :-).

  • Collected advice for young economists (via Tyler Cowen on MR), from senior economists. I have read all of these pieces before (though, unfortunately, haven't always followed the advice in there...), but it is excellent to have them in one place.

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