Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The next thing is to inquire whether the saints are listening...

The empirical conclusion from this analysis is important. A little prayer does no good and may make things worse. Much prayer helps a lot.

If Jim Heckman says that, it's gotta be true.
So, either stop praying altogether, or pray 24/24, nothing in between helps...

PS. Andrew M. Greeley's letter attached at the end of Heckman's paper deserves praise on its own.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Econlinks this week

  • The death of the Renaissance man: "If knowledge accumulates as technology advances, then successive generations of innovators may face an increasing educational burden. Innovators can compensate through lengthening educational phases and narrowing expertise, but these responses come at the cost of reducing individual innovative capacities, with implications for the organization of innovative activity - a greater reliance on teamwork - and negative implications for growth." This is from a super interesting, forthcoming ReStud paper, by Benjamin Jones.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Quantifying artistic value

This is about a very interesting, though quite controversial at the same time, project of David Galenson, economic historian at the University of Chicago: quantifying 20th century artwork based on market and visual citations. While I think his proxies for art quality can be debated, Galenson is clearly onto something important-- and that despite the fact that I do not take Clement Greenberg's statement (used as motto within Galenson's forthcoming book) ad litteram (though I am also far from a 100% disagreement with it): "Quality in art is not just a matter of private experience. There is a consensus of taste."


PS. This should probably be an extremely interesting theme for my good old friend, Daniel. I wonder what he makes of this new attempt of Economists to take over other fields :-).