Friday, July 24, 2009

Bracara Augusta et al

After a few days of touring Transylvania---inter alia, fighting bears & beers in the Carpathians-Bucegi mountains---, followed by a most interesting microeconometrics workshop in Copenhagen (blended with excellent July jazz evenings), I've been enjoying the latest week in wonderful Braga, Portugal. Main purpose: visiting the Department of Economics at Minho University, giving an invited seminar, and working hard on exciting research projects with my co-author and terrific host, Miguel. A short detour to Porto was also very much appreciated; given time constraints however, for now I had to roughly settle for the 6-bridges-Douro river cruise and a taste of exquisite Sandeman port wines (ex post though, if they are to choose one of their vintage ports for tasting, I would prefer a 20+, rather than an 8 years old one... reason why I appreciated more their white port on offer), but I will surely go back in the near future and revisit. Meanwhile, a couple more days left for the city which some call the Portuguese Rome, and its surroundings. And--obviously-- for ever more bacalhau and vinhos verdes, all in fado rhythms. Saúde!

PS. This should also be read as an excuse for not having written much on the blog recently. But I'll be back online soon!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


  • A quite old, but still interesting and revealing article on Sergey Brin. I like this bit from Eric Schmidt: "Evil is whatever Sergey says is evil".

  • Ambition-adjusted (Economics) journal ranking. Some (my) highlights: 1. No matter how you measure it, top 5 is top 5 and has been virtually the same over many years (and, caveat lector, it is certainly not a top 6... or more; in particular maybe somebody from the Finance group(s) at my former Tinbergen Institute reads this and eliminates the Journal of Finance from their current top "5+1": I think it is the only place in the world where they have recently altered the very top by adding this extra field journal, though they would be happy to confirm that their best papers are submitted always to one of the other top 5's...); 2. JEcGrowth, Review of Econ Dynamics and JEEA are the very strong newcomers and they continue to go up the rankings; 3. EJ is a champion of self-citations; 4. Some formerly very prestigious journals recently lost quite some ground, examples being JHumResources, Journal of Credit, Money and Banking, JDynControl etc.

  • Italy outsourcing peer-review to NIH: it could potentially be a solution also for other countries where finding decent referees for grant proposals etc. has been notoriously difficult (think Romania and the like). Via Liviu Giosan, on Ad Astra.

  • "The secret to The Economist’s success is not its brilliance, or its hauteur, or its typeface. The writing in Time and Newsweek may be every bit as smart, as assured, as the writing in The Economist. But neither one feels like the only magazine you need to read. You may like the new Time and Newsweek. But you must—or at least, brilliant marketing has convinced you that you must—subscribe to The Economist. " More about the Economics of The Economist.