General von Hammerstein’s lessons for the (not only) Romanian (not only) Economics academe

Since I’ve lately (and anew…) got quite an unexpected lot of questions concerning the ‘optimal allocation of existing human resources in the Romanian Economics academe’ (never ad litteram formulated as such, but you get the point…), I’ve now decided to briefly depict publicly what I typically answer(ed).  → Read more

Funniest dating ad ever?

I hate you all. I hate London. I hate books. I hate critics. I hate this magazine, I hate this column and I hate all the goons who appear in it. But if you have large breasts, are younger than 30 and don’t want to talk about the novel you’re ‘writing’ I’ll put that aside for approximately two hours one Saturday afternoon in January.

  → Read more

What I have been reading

A couple of books I have read within the past few weeks, most of them on my Kindle 3G device(*):
Scott Berkun’s “Confessions of a Public Speaker” (get the Kindle edition): the author is a professional speaker, in front of audiences large and small, hence he has got some very helpful tips for anyone who ever needs to engage in public speaking, mostly drawn from his own experiences.  → Read more

George Stigler could do anything–anything but be boring

 […] I must out of courtesy and caution reserve judgment on any laws that Professor Stigler may unveil. For, as I learned when our friendship began long ago, George Stigler can do anything– anything but be boring.

-Paul Samuelson-
Here’s the Sunday read I recommend to you: a great 1963 dialogue on the “proper economic role of the state” between two intellectual giants, George Stigler(*, **) and Paul Samuelson.  → Read more

The Manski Critique

Chuck Manski’s recent NBER working paper, “Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude” (non-gated version) ought to be a must-read for anyone doing or interested in policy analysis.
The study is written in an accessible way, such that it can be in principle followed without explicit academic training in Economics/Econometrics (there are plenty of further references for the technical details), and essentially sums up some of Manski’s conclusions from his well known research agenda on empirical methods in social sciences such as partial identification, and using decision theory with credible assumptions, for policy inference– see for instance his books on these topics (which any applied econometrician should have on his/her shelf; though I confess, my copies are currently still in Aarhus, awaiting my shipping/bringing them to Chicago), Identification Problems in the Social Sciences (1995), Partial Identification of Probability Distributions (2003), Social Choice with Partial Knowledge of Treatment Response (2005), and Identification for Prediction and Decision (2007).  → Read more

Weekend econlinks: The quest for perfection

  • Gelman writes a useful overview on causality and statistical learning (caveat lector: I have only read through Angrist and Pischke’s book, among the three Gelman mentiones; that one is very well written, but aimed at junior graduate students at best: hence, the book’s tag “an empiricist’s companion” is overselling it; and that has nothing to do with Josh Angrist kindly “advising” me to change my PhD topic/focus, sometime in my beginning graduate years, because ‘nobody serious would be interested in structural modelling’ :-)).
  → Read more

Indignation. Leila. Zigeunerweisen. Leila

For some reason I (once in a while) remember something Supachai Panichpakdi, then-WTO boss, said at a keynote speach in a Rotterdam conference celebrating 100 years since the birth of Jan Tinbergen (earlier on this blog, in Romanian): namely that we, then-PhD students in Economics, should stop reading [all sorts of books, papers etc.] and start writing immediately [papers, books, anything?], without wasting any further time (footnote here: — which I do not know if Blogger can handle– next to that, Dr.  → Read more