Best LEED for developing countries

Word goes that Portugal is likely to soon join the category of developing countries (as you might have heard). However, before you start sobbing, consider this: not all is doom. In fact, this could well be heaven for economists working with the famous Quadros de Pessoal longitudinal “linked employer-employee data” (LEED), and, eventually– as I will try to convince you– it would materialize in tremendous success in improving the state of the whole world.  → Read more

On multicore Stata MP performance

Since I am in the middle of some very interesting discussions and experiments concerning this topic: it really does look like the difference in speed between the different multi-core/multi-processor Stata/MP versions is considerable. Right now I am performing a comparison exercise* with my friend and co-author Miguel, where, it turns out, a number of certain estimations with a 8-core Stata/MP 11 take about 10 almost 15 times less real time (I know, I hardly believe it myself) than (almost) the same estimations done with a 2-core Stata/MP 11.  → 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’ :-)).
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Mating, development aid, and the econometrics of it all


I recently helped one of my single male graduate students in his search for a spouse.

First, I suggested he conduct a randomized controlled trial of potential mates to identify the one with the best benefit/cost ratio. Unfortunately, all the women randomly selected for the study refused assignment to either the treatment or control groups, using language that does not usually enter academic discourse.

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Sunday morning econlinks

  • Incentives and globalization, a brief but very interesting interview with Luis Garicano. Topics tackled here are CEOs, football, and…everything else.
  → Read more