A Fine Theorem on David Donaldson winning the John Bates Clark Medal:
Donaldson’s CV is a testament to how difficult this style of work is. He spent eight years at LSE before getting his PhD, and published only one paper in a peer reviewed journal in the 13 years following the start of his graduate work. “Railroads of the Raj” has been forthcoming at the AER for literally half a decade, despite the fact that this work is the core of what got Donaldson a junior position at MIT and a tenured position at Stanford. Is it any wonder that so few young economists want to pursue a style of research that is so challenging and so difficult to publish? Let us hope that Donaldson’s award encourages more of us to fully exploit both the incredible data we all now have access to, but also the beautiful body of theory that induces deep insights from that data.
Jonathan Taplin in the New York Times: “Is It Time to Break Up Google?”:
At a minimum, these companies should not be allowed to acquire other major firms, like Spotify or Snapchat.
- Hunter Clark, Maxim Pinkovskiy, and Xavier Sala-i-Martin: “Is Chinese Growth Overstated?”
John J. Horton: “A Way to Potentially Harm Many People for Little Benefit”:
I spent 5 years in the Army as a tank platoon leader & company executive officer, after 4 years at West Point. Of my active duty time, 15 months were spent in Iraq (Baghdad and Karbala). It was, without a doubt, the worst experience of my life—nothing else even comes close, and I got off easy.
Nate Silver on whether polling errors have become more common and differences between Trump and Le Pen:
Ironically, the same type of sloppy thinking that led people to underestimate the chances for the Trump and Brexit victories may lead them to overestimate Le Pen’s odds.
- Philip Guo: “Five Years After My Ph.D. Thesis Defense”