Links round-up

Hi all,

I’m going to be honest: my brain is fried. The CSAE conference started on Sunday morning, and I was either in a session, picking brains for opinions about my own research design or pickling brains with Matt in The Bear pretty much constantly until Wednesday morning; then there was the one-day GrOW conference, about research on women and economic growth; and after that a half day in DFID where I spent some time lobbing grenades of ill-informed speculation at some of the smartest researchers out there on gender and jobs, growth and the economy, trying to work out what the frontiers for new research are. So, if this week’s links are even more incoherent than usual, that’s the reason; that and the fact that I’ve spent the day trying to get my own ideas into some kind of coherent shape for transfer of status. They are putting up an enormous fight against my attempts to impose order, like a group of highly persistent anarchists in my brain.

  1. The CSAE conference is amazing. The sheer range of research being presented by researchers from the US, Europe and Africa was mind-boggling, and logistically what must have been a nightmare to synchronise went off without a hitch. I wrote something about each of the three days: on the first, talking about Pamela Jakiela’s paper with Owen Ozier, considering the links between ‘gendered language’ and female outcomes; on the second I focused on Rachel Glennerster’s fantastic keynote, while noting that I think not all researchers are good at communication, nor should focus too much on becoming so; and on the final day, talking about optimisation, and how the limits to how people make decisions can help frame our understanding of the world. If that’s not enough, check out Markus and co’s set of one-line summaries of most of the research presented; and the #OxCSAE2018 tag on twitter. My only gripe: when the chair asks for a short question, please stop with the speeches disguised as questions.
  2. Raj Chetty has just released the latest paper from his gargantuan equality of opportunity project, and it’s a barn-burner. He shows that while being born to wealthy parents is typically a great predictor of one’s own wealth, this is not true for black males, who have large gaps in their employment and wage results compared to similar white males. Paper here, NYT coverage here.
  3. While we’re being pessimistic about the world, Seema Jayachandran blogs on the persistent and substantial gender gap in the kind of things men and women study in academic economics. Also depressing: a court case is raging in California, about who should pay for climate change. 538 have a fantastic summary of how it’s being argued, and it boils down to whether you blame fossil fuel companies for digging the stuff up, or society for wanting it.
  4. I really liked this research from Japan, using an experimental design to elicit attitudes about migration from elderly Japanese without really making it clear that it was about migration at all. Two interesting things: first, it manages to partly separate out the economic and cultural objections to migration; and it manages to induce people to change their attitudes towards migration by providing information on the former.
  5. In a kind of empirical economics version of Pacific Rim, Guido Imbens brings the ruckus to Angus Deaton’s critique of RCTs. I feel strongly that you should only read this while listening to the GZA verse of Bring da Ruckus.
  6. Brian McCaig and Nina Pavcnik look at the effect of a trade agreement between Vietnam and the US on labour demand. We were literally discussing the need for more research on the demand effects on employment yesterday. This fits the bill.
  7. Lastly, with March Madness in full swing, a reminder that DeAndre Ayton may not be in the Elite Eight, but he could still fold you up and play you like an accordion.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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