Sunday, July 05, 2015

Fighting Crime Through Profiling and Paying "for Performance"

The NY Times reports that in Richmond, California (close to Berkeley) that young African-American and Hispanic men are being targeted for an intervention which they are paid not to commit crimes.  This "profiling" (it is argued) reduces crime and it is cheaper than hiring extra police.

A direct quote:

"Once we’d identified the city’s potentially most lethal young men, we invited them to a meeting (the first was in 2010). Then came the big innovation of the Operation Peacemaker fellowship program. We offered those young men a partnership deal: We would pay them — yes, pay them — not to pull the trigger.

The deal we offered was this: If they kept their commitment to us for six months — attended meetings, stayed out of trouble, responded to our mentoring — they became eligible to earn up to $1,000 a month for a maximum of nine months.

Predictably, this was controversial: Not everyone was a fan of this cash-for-peace strategy. We had skeptics and critics aplenty, including on the City Council. It was a bold measure, but would it work?"

MY Thoughts:

This is an interesting property rights issue. Who has the property rights here?  The potential victims or the potential "bad guys"?   Coasians, what do you say?  The weakness in Coase Theorem logic is the view that property rights are well defined and enforced.    In Richmond, the "potential bad guys" have the property rights and they are being bought off.  Note that profiling is used to reduce the number of people who qualify for this payment. So a grandmother of age  80 is unlikely to be offered this deal.  This targeted (profiling) of potential criminals gets close to the line.  Or does it?

I admire that this program resembles a NBER Working Paper.  A propensity score method is used to identify those individuals whose demographics are such that they have a high probability of being a criminal. This marginal group is believed to respond to incentives and the Richmond authorities are tracing out this group's supply curve of crime.   What is the lowest possible payment this subset of individuals needs to receive to "buy the peace"?

This echoes ideas in richard Freeman's work from 25 years ago.

Freeman, Richard B. Crime and the employment of disadvantaged youths. No. w3875. National Bureau of Economic Research, 1991.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

July 4th Climate Change Adaptation Economics

How costly is it for your city to adapt to new challenges posed by climate change? Today, the NT Times takes us to Cupertino, California and Seattle.  In Cupertino, (close to San Jose),  fireworks on July 4th have been canceled because of lingering drought conditions.    To prevent fire risk, water is needed to wet the field. This water is too valuable to allow the "show to go on".

"The much revered $75,000 show over Cupertino High School will not go on this Saturday night, as school district and City Hall officials, after some anguished debate, said they could not justify gushing a small river of water to protect the school’s artificial turf fields in a year when the state has imposed a mandatory 25 percent cut in urban water use."

So, a good IO economist can figure out the loss to Cupertino residents because they won't get their show.  In this age of Youtube, they could sit at home and watch the previous year's show.  How close a substitute is the "low water" option (last year's video) for the live show?

Note the ability to face tradeoffs by the Cupertino decision makers.  Enjoy the fireworks and use the water or stick to conservation goals?  The answer here is to have competitive water markets. Right now water is being rationed in California. If the price of water reflected scarcity, then the people of Cupertino could have had their fireworks and their safety (by purchasing more expensive water). No free lunches during a time of climate change!   This is free market adaptation at work.

Now let's go to Seattle.  Timothy Egan has published a preachy Opinion Piece.  You can read it here.  He clearly loves "his" Seattle and sketches what he loves about it.  He notes that Seattle is changing.

He writes:

 "Seattle is farther north than Maine and Montreal, and yet, over the last month or so, it’s been hotter here than Athens, Rome or Los Angeles on many a day. We had eight days at 85 degrees or higher in June. On Sunday, east of the Cascade Mountains, it hit 113 degrees in Walla Walla.

London and Paris, two cities that share a similar climate to Seattle’s, both set heat records this week — 98, the hottest July day in British history, and 103.5 in the City of Light.

As a native Seattleite, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a place where it’s sunny every day. Now that I’m experiencing something close to that, I feel out of sorts in a strange land. Wildfires burn today in the Olympic Mountains west of Seattle, a forest zone that is typically one of the rainiest places on earth.

Sure, my backyard grapes, my tomatoes, my Meyer lemons and my rosemary plants love it. This is Sicily in Seattle, with nearly 16 hours of daylight. June, known for its cloudy gloom, was “probably the sunniest month in Northwest history,” wrote the University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass on his weather blog."

The piece continues

"So, what’s not to like?

For starters, brown does not fit an emerald city. Not just every homeowner’s lawn, now the color of a baked potato, but alpine meadows, fields and deciduous trees that have given up for the year, shedding potato-chip crisp leaves as if it were October.

As anyone in California could say, get used to it. Or get a fake lawn. Or grow cactus plants. Summers in the Northwest are usually dry, mild and humidity-free — this is just an extreme version. Stop complaining.

In the withering heat, I can still look south and see the glaciers of Mount Rainier, holding the frozen legacy of winters long past. Water, as snow or ice, is not just the master architect of the Northwest, but the main reason the islands, the mountains, the forests of this place are so beautiful.

Take away the snow and change happens quickly. Salmon need cold water. Cherries, apples, peaches, wine grapes — all of which the Northwest grows in abundance — need that snowmelt as well. In mid-May, a statewide drought emergency was declared, after the snowpack in the Cascades was measured at the lowest level in 64 years.

Ahead, we could face major wildfires, in places where 500-year-old trees are draped with tendrils of green. Salmon-spawning rivers could be shallow and warm in early fall — lethal to this region’s iconic symbol."


So, note that this is an issue of non-market valuation.  The "new" Seattle differs from Egan's "old" Seattle.  Some of the attributes are better and some appear to be significantly worse. How much would he be willing to pay to live in the "old Seattle"?

Keep in mind that he is a middle aged guy, for the young considering Seattle; do they have the same preferences as him or will they be less nostalgic for the attributes he likes?

Note his pessimism about nature's ability to adapt to the new climate conditions.  What will grow in the wild and what creatures will swim in the rivers if the snowpack melts earlier in winter?

Urbanites with access to air conditioning are protected from many of the challenges he lists. Seattle's topography will continue;  which creatures, plants and trees continue to  surround Seattle remains an open question.  Egan does not offer convincing evidence of how Seattle's urbanites suffer as a function of nature's dynamics in its immediate surroundings.

I bet that he wrote his piece in the comfort of his study. His productivity continues during the hot summer as he works inside. If he is miserable in Seattle, he has hundreds of other cities to move to. He has choice.  The urbanite named Egan will adapt.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

First Day on the Job

I now have a key to my USC Econ office.  As you can see below, I plan to keep this office sparsely furnished.  There is a desk, three chairs, a computer screen (with no computer box) and a printer.  The room features no book shelves, no blackboard, no whiteboards, and no filing cabinets.  There is a window and a door. I can't get rid of those.    I may get rid of two of the chairs and the printer.  I will swap out the chair for a metal one with firm back support once I find one.    

I brought one copy of my Climatopolis Book.  This will be the only book I will keep in the office.

Even at the advanced age of 49, I must admit that it is exciting to start out on a new adventure.   USC is on a sharp upward trajectory and I'm eager to see if I can help accelerate this progress.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The NSF's Investment in the Social Sciences

An Opinion Piece in the LA Times argues that the NSF should do a better job prioritizing its strategic investments in basic science.   Here are  some direct quotes:

"Do the mandarins of the social sciences really believe that a study of depictions of animals in National Geographic magazine (which the foundation funded) should take precedence over research to identify markers for Alzheimer's disease or pancreatic cancer? A large fraction of highly ranked, important grant proposals are not accepted because of limited resources.

The House of Representatives passed legislation in May that would go a long way toward stopping the creep of mediocre scientific research funding at the foundation.

In recent years, Congress has annually approved a $6-billion allocation to the NSF to spend as it sees fit. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 would instead designate some scientific disciplines as more important than others by restoring the congressional practice of allocating funds by research areas. It also sharply reduces the foundation's ability to fund the social sciences and the geosciences.


"The proposed changes are no-brainers. Some of the SBE directorate's projects — such as a major program to develop the next generation of mathematical and statistical algorithms for the detection of chemical agents and biological threats — are worthy. But only some.

The foundation has directed millions of taxpayer dollars to studies such as how to ride a bicycle, whether political views are genetically predetermined, whether parents choose trendy baby names, when is the best time to buy a ticket to a sold-out sporting event and why the same teams always seem to dominate the NCAA basketball playoffs.

As for the geosciences, research on climate change is legitimate — when it is performed by meteorologists, oceanographers, physicists and biologists. But the NSF and other federal agencies have been funding redundant, politically overheated and even ludicrous climate change boondoggles. For example, the NSF has wasted millions of dollars on projects that include a climate change musical ($697,177), a series of games ($449,972) and art shows ($2.51 million)."

THIS discussion made me flashback in time.  Back in 1990, I had lunch with a prominent economist who is now a Nobel Laureate.   Being a wiseguy and a very young man at the time, I asked him why economists deserved to receive any money from the NSF.  He looked at me with slight disgust and then he answered and said that the social value of;  1. Milton Friedman's work on the causes of hyperinflation and the 2.  the Black/Scholes Option Pricing Formula were of such value as to permanently justify ongoing NSF Funding of Economics research.  I heard him and had no witty response. I just munched on my muffin and pondered his point.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Self Protection Against Air Pollution in Urban China

Back in 1972,  Issac Ehrlich and Gary Becker wrote a very important JPE paper on endogenous probabilities.   Consider a simple example of a fire that burns down your house.  This event is a random variable that every family fears.  The probability of this event is partially under the family's control. If nobody in the house smokes or lights candles, this reduces the probability of this horrible event.  If the members of the family enjoy smoking, then it is costly for them to "self protect" by choosing not to smoke.  Avoiding smoking is an ex-ante choice that lowers the probability of a fire.  Market insurance represents an ex-post payoff if you suffer from a disaster such as your home burning down.   Interesting cases arise in economics (namely moral hazard) when the expectation that you can access market insurance at a relative low price causes a household to take ex-ante risks (such as smoking in the house).   As we teach young economists, ex-post insurance implicitly encourages ex-ante risk taking (i.e smoking in bed).

This is a long winded introduction to my discussing my new co-authored NBER paper.   Everyone knows that cities such as Beijing have extremely high air pollution levels.   Urban China’s high levels of ambient air pollution both lowers quality of life and raises mortality risk.  China’s wealthy have the purchasing power to purchase private products such as air filters that allows them to offset some of the pollution exposure risk.  Using a unique data set of Internet purchases, we document that households invest more in masks and air filter products when ambient pollution levels exceed key alert thresholds. Richer people are more likely to invest in air filters, which are much more expensive than masks. Our findings have implications for trends in inequality in human capital accumulation and in quality of life inequality in urban China. 

For an example of another self protection paper take a look at Mu and Junjie Zheng's very nice recent paper available here.  

Crowd Sourced Metrics of Worker Quality

Tyler Cowen's Uber Column  makes several very interesting points.  Every time I'm in an Uber car, the driver starts talking about his Uber rating.   This rating is some moving average of how his last X riders have rated him.  Today, Uber knows this rating for each driver at each point in time and each driver knows his rating.   Many potential employers of Uber drivers would like to know this working quality rating.    Suppose that Uber could sell this information to potential employers of this person.  Would Uber make money from this?

Just as Car Fax allows you to track a vehicle's history over its life,  this Uber rating would provide some useful information about a potential employee's reliability, driving, and personality traits.  Some businesses would greatly value this information. It would interest me if the Uber rating does a better job predicting actual workplace performance than the interviewers who currently handle such recruiting.

Uber would face a tradeoff.  Does it make its money from having people drive for it?  Or by having people drive, earn a reputation and then move on to another job?

From a worker's perspective, if you earn a good reputation at one firm --- how do you cash in on this fact with firms that don't know you have a good reputation? How do you signal your quality? In the past, an Ivy League degree or a Mensa membership card helped but in this economy --- will workers soon have a vector of crowd sourced metrics that they can display to potential employers? A future labor economist could then run hedonic wage regressions to test how the labor market rewards each of these metrics.

This world already exists in academic economics.  REPEC does a pretty good job of ranking us.  For those at public universities, you can look up our salaries and correlate it with our REPEC rankings. You will see a very high positive correlation.   Academic economics can be modeled pretty well as  a perfectly competitive labor market.  There is an element of crowd sourcing to REPEC rankings as citations and paper downloads are some of the metrics used to create the single index of economist "quality".

In such a "metrics" based labor market, would this be a more efficient market? It would create strong ex-ante incentives for people not to shirk (to show up late, to drink on the job) because your quality ratings would decline. Asymmetric information issues (the lemons problem) would vanish in labor markets and this would encourage ex-ante skill formation and ex-post efficient rewards.  A better, more fair society would emerge.  Would "inequality" rise?   This hinges on the investment phase of the game.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Residential Choice Patterns by Middle-Class Black and Hispanic Households

David Leonhardt has written a nice piece about a recent 2015 Stanford Study by some Sociologists.  The Stanford Study is available here.     I am slightly amused because Denise DiPasquale and I made this point 16 years ago in our published 1999 Real Estate Economics paper.   An ungated version of our paper is here.    While our paper has only generated 38 cites, I think its results are still interesting and relevant.   The empirical sociologists would be wise to read some of the older literature.

Here is our abstract:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ed Lazear's WSJ Piece on the Role of State Policy as a Determinant of Economic Growth

In today's WSJ, Prof. Lazear has written a piece highlighting the importance of a state's "business climate" as a driver of local growth.  He focuses on "Right to Work" legislation as a key empirical benchmark for identifying "business friendly" states.   While I agree with him, it is important to note that "unfriendly" states such as California can thrive because it has unique exogenous attributes (climate and amenities) that cannot be found anywhere else in the U.S.  A deeper question is whether the "high tax" leadership of state and local policy in California use the tax revenue to implement regulations that makes California an even better place to live such that it attracts the Zuckerbergs despite the high taxes?  To repeat that point again, Conservatives implicitly assume that a state's high taxes just subtract income from the motivated.  A more optimistic narrative (that may or may not be correct) is that taxes create a pot of $ that can be used to supply a set of local public goods that the successful value.

A revealed preference economist would say that the proof is in the pudding. For states that raise their taxes or have high taxes, do the mobile skilled stick around or do do they leave? If they stay, then a revealed preference argument suggests that the locality but have desirable attributes (either exogenously or due to the taxes that have been enacted on this group).

My own research provides empirical support for several of Ed Lazear's points. In our 2013 Journal of Public Economics paper, Erin Mansur and I conduct the following exercise.

We use County Business Patterns for every county in the United States for a time period of roughly 15 years. For each County, we observe its count of establishments and employment in hundreds of industries.  Industries differ along 3 dimensions;  Some industries are labor intensive, some are energy intensive and some are pollution intensive.   Counties differ along 3 dimensions. Some counties are located in anti-union Right to Work States (think of Texas), some feature low electricity prices and some are lightly regulated by the Clean Air Act.    We use an econometric approach that compares "border pairs". Intuitively, these are physically adjacent counties and we exploit variation in the 3 factors listed above.    We find that labor intensive industries tend to locate on the anti-union county (relative to its adjacent county twin --- which is our control group). We find that energy intensive industries tend to locate in the low electricity price county and same for pollution intensive industries.  Why do firms engage in this behavior? Cost minimization is an obvious explanation. A labor intensive firm can reduce its costs by avoiding a geographic area that has strong labor protection. If there is a nearby geographic area which features more lax regulation, then why not produce there?   Our results highlight that progressive states do "leak" jobs as a direct consequence of their policies.

Our results suggest that state policy does shape the set of industries that tend to cluster in a given geographic area.   Governors such as Jerry Brown of California face a disadvantage that our state features high electricity prices,  union protection and several major cities are regulated under the Clean Air Act.  What light manufacturing jobs will continue to be in California?  Few.  So, what opportunities will lower middle class workers have outside of the service sector and the construction sector?  Few.

If Jerry Brown sat down and with an open mind read Ed Lazear's piece, what thoughts would run through his smart mind?  What does Jerry Brown believe is California's future golden goose for non-college graduates in the state?  As the minimum wage increases in California's major cities, what jobs will remain here?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Will I Raise Average Teaching Quality at USC?

I will spend the 2015-2016 academic year at USC.   I'm running this "field experiment" to see if I'm a better match teaching USC undergrads and advising USC graduate students than what I've achieved at UCLA.   While my UCLA undergraduate classes feature too many students, I have tried my best to deliver a serious education.   Go to "Bruinwalk" and you can read this description of my past teaching.

An Anonymous UCLA Student Wrote the Following; 

Took his Econ M134

All I can say about this professor is that obviously he devotes his life to the research of environment economics. He's not only a genius but also a crazy, enthusiastic environmentalist. I am not a fan of protecting environment or doing research, but I found his class very interesting even from the first meeting, not only because of his great sense of humor(includes the way he talks) but also because he uses his real world experience to help you realize the concepts. The tests are not hard. Lots of past exams will be provided. Even if the test is difficult, there will be a reasonable curve. Definitely recommend to take this class.

Some Brooklyn Real Estate Economics 101

In gentrifying Brooklyn, early property owners are getting rich. In this piece, we learn about the life story of several residents. Here I would like to provide a couple of direct quotes that provide some useful insights about urban housing markets.

1.   Information on the real time value of housing is a valuable commodity.  Proof?  Consider this quote:

"She would go on to sell the house for $1.7 million through Ban Leow, a well-known broker in the neighborhood who moved to New York from Malaysia 22 years ago to work in his family’s restaurant business. The sale cemented Mr. Leow’s reputation as an unlikely hero among some older black residents. “When I sold my house for 1.7, I ran and told everyone because I didn’t want people getting ripped off anymore,” Ms. Sidbury said. “Nobody shared information. Your neighbor would sell a house and nobody would know. ‘Don’t let anybody know your business.’ That’s what some people think. Everything is a secret. We’re still in a slave mentality.”

Zillow should solve this information asymmetry problem.

2.   Gary Becker's 1956 work on discrimination is still relevant for today.  Race preferences can be costly.    A DIRECT quote:

"Ms. Sidbury has worked to balance her real estate interests with an eye toward profit and preservation. A few years ago, she told me, she chose to sell another house she owned to a young black psychiatrist who offered her $830,000 instead of selling it to a white buyer who had offered her over $1 million. While the notion of privileging one race over another might seem problematic, the women see themselves as agents of a continuing history that seems more and more under assault. When Ms. Fryson and her husband bought their house four decades ago, she said, the seller told her a white buyer had come to the house with a bag full of cash. “She said, ‘But I wanted you children to have this house.’ ”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Big City Mayors Seek to Raise the Local Minimum Wage: Intended and Unintended Consequences

On Twitter, I am a "follower" of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Here is a "retweet" from Twitter and a happy photo of a set of big city mayors.  This group of optimistic and happy people is convinced that they have helped the 99% by raising the minimum wage.   Why are they so confident about their supply and demand economics?  Given that econ 101 rejects the basic logic of their policy experiment, why is this group so proud of itself?  Are they right or are the grumpy economists right?

Mayors have united to in their cities in order to create for their residents.

Embedded image permalink

The Mayor of Los Angeles has signed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2020.

Are economists brave enough to predict what will be the general equilibrium impacts for the liberal cities that enact these laws?

Last month, I posted my predictions here.

In this age of Keynesian Economics and Behavioral Economics, are there still economists who believe in the basic ideas of neo-classical economics?  I am one of these folks but I don't know how many others there are.

For everyone out there who received a grade of B+ or higher in their econ 101 course, how can these happy Mayors (see the photo above) have just helped their local economy by passing this legislation?
Would the Liberal City mayors be willing to run a field experiment, where we randomly assign 1/2 to raise their minimum wage and the rest to a control group who does not implement this policy?  In this age of field experiments, how can we randomly assign policies to learn whether they are effective or not?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Faculty Quality and Research Progress at Universities that Do Not Offer Tenure

Slate has a thought provoking piece about the quality of future Universities if faculty do not have tenure.  Economics offers a few insights here.

Point #1:   Salaries would rise to compensate faculty with outside options for taking on the "risk premium" of being fired by their Deans.

Point #2:  Faculty contracts would become much more complicated as a type of "piece work" would arise where some engineers who have other jobs at companies would agree to teach one course a semester.  The line between consultant and Professor would be blurred as more academics in bio science, medicine, economics and engineering would be both.

Point #3:  Risk averse people would be less likely to enter the field.   People who expect to run out of new ideas when they are 50 will be less likely to enter this field.

Subtle Point #1:  Which Deans are smart enough to evaluate each member of the faculty each year to see if Professor Jones merits a new contract?   Deans will certainly use this monopoly power to pursue their own agendas.  For example, a Dean who seeks to diversify the faculty demographics would keep few older white men on the faculty.   A Dean who views economists as overpaid and overly fond of free-markets would seek to congest the Economics major to deflect students to other subjects such as political science, sociology and statistics.

An optimist would posit that Deans seek for their schools to be top rated and thus will be objective in keeping excellent research faculty.  The challenge here is that  faculty produce several dimensions of output and Deans may have a different view of the index weights concerning which output is most valuable.  With our current tenure system, the most weight is placed on academic output and external letters are crucial for evaluating promotion candidates.  There is no way that Deans could ask outsiders for letters on each faculty member every 3 years.  The quality of these letters would plummet to 0 and they would not be informative.   Also, who appoints these Deans? Ultimately the Provost and President of a University would have a monopoly on power.  Who picks these powerful people?  The Board of Directors of the University.  These tend to be very successful people but what do they know about running a University?

As Carmichael pointed out a long time ago, in a world without tenure --- incumbent faculty have incentives to nominate idiots to be their colleagues because the idiots will make the incumbents look good.  Tenure provides an implicit stake in the long term  health of the institution and this incentivizes the faculty to take a long term perspective in making key hiring and retention decisions.

Carmichael, H. Lorne. "Incentives in academics: why is there tenure?." The Journal of Political Economy (1988): 453-472.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Climate Change Adaptation Will Offer a Sharp Test of the Claims of Behavioral Economics

The Economist's Voice has just published my short essay that states six predictions about how we will adapt to climate change. I contrast predictions based on behavioral economics model of expectations and investment behavior and contrast this with the predictions based on a rational expectations investment under uncertainty model.  I argue that climate change offers us an excellent "laboratory" for testing whether Berkeley or the 1980s University of Chicago has the right model for explaining and predicting human behavior in the face of an known unknown.

You can access my piece for free at this website.    You will have to register with the publisher.

Spotting (and Creating) the Next Uber

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most creative economist of them all?  For those worn out talking about multipliers, austerity, interest rates, and the 1% --- focus your attention on identifying the next big Internet Startup.  Aren't these the engine of our prosperity?  This article names ten fledgling businesses that will be housed at the University of Chicago as they attempt to grow.  Are they just looking for free rent or is there something inherently productive by being on the South Side of Chicago? Will the bosses of these firms audit Kevin Murphy's Econ 301 lectures or try to schedule an appointment with Dr. Heckman?   Why does physical proximity to an excellent (but cold) University raise a small business' chance of success?

Here are the big ten:

Here's a look at the ten startups working out of UChicago's accelerator this summer:
  • BallotReady is an online voter guide that aggregates information from news sources and candidates' websites in order to help people feel more informed when looking at a ballot. BallotReady won this year's Social New Venture Challenge. Read more about them here.
  • Eislee is an alpaca scarf social enterprise startup. The company makes scarves and other apparel made from alpaca yarn, which is sourced from low-income communities in Peru.
  • LabRepo is a web-based laboratory information management system for scientists. The idea behind the platform is to provide an affordable way for labs to manage proprietary information and data management.
  • Markit Medical is a patient referral platform that provides referring physicians with tools to help patients navigate the cost, quality, and convenience of in-network specialists.
  • Nip delivers meals in 20 minutes, with a curated selection of mid-range price meals from neighborhood restaurants.
  • Nomwell is an app that allows users to create interactive, location-based lists of restaurants they want to try. There are also features to rate and remember favorites at each restaurant a user tries, and a "starter list" that gives users city-based recommendations.
  • Tap is an audio organization application for iOS that allows users to create, annotate, and share audio recordings.
  • TripWeave organizes trips for like minded young adults connected through business schools and other networks, with an emphasis on local connections and authentic experiences.
  • VirtualKEY is a cloud-based access management platform that allows for safe exchange of virtual keys between hosts and guests using short-term rentals such as AirBnb and Vrbo.
  • Wink-edit is an online e-learning platform that provides written feedback from real proofreaders to English language learners working on mastering grammar and syntax.
Each of my blog readers should write down a ranking of these 10 and post it as a comment and then we can double check 3 years from now which of my smart readers have a good nose for "picking winners".  I agree that this is a small sample experiment but it is a good example of the challenge of sniffing out which ideas will lead to future billions.   

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Durable but Crumbling Urban Infrastructure: The Political Economy of Spatial Investment in Public Capital

The NY Times reviews Rosabeth Kanter's new book called "Move".  Keynesians like to point to "infrastructure" as a leading example of a public capital stock that we are under-investing in.   For example, here is a FT piece by Larry Summers.  Why are we turning down investing in projects with positive present discounted value? These projects would create locate construction jobs and would increase safety, and urban speed.  So, why is JFK Airport so nasty? Why are so many of Los Angeles roads filled with potholes? Would these issues exist in China?  Why is the USA under-investing in a capital stock that would create USA jobs?

There are some lessons from the Boston Big Dig;

1.  The total cost of the urban project is always way higher than first forecast (what role do unions play here?).

2. The time until completion is always longer than is first forecast.

3. People anticipate the inconvenience during the rebuilding process and may not be able to imagine how nice the final product will be.   What dimensions of quality will be enhanced when the project is completed?   Can voters appreciate these features before they experience them?

Also, don't forget that we are a suburban nation. If suburbanites pay the bulk of the taxes but the but bulk of the infrastructure is located in the crumbling center cities, then do suburbanites view these investments as spatial redistribution?  I realize that suburbanites do travel to center cities but more and more suburbanites live and work in the suburbs and have little contact with the center city.  Read Glaeser and Kahn 2004.  

Also, don't forget that the U.S consists of old and new cities. New cities such as Las Vegas have less "crumbling infrastructure" because the capital stock was built in the last 30 years. Older cities such as Detroit and Cleveland and even Los Angeles have an older public capital stock (roads, sewer pipes, airports).  As more people move to new cities, the old cities have fewer Congressmen representing them and this leads to less pork flowing to such places.

Spatial cross-city political economy is an important subfield that political scientists should be working on.  Yet, I believe that only 1 UCLA political scientist works  on this topic and he only does a little bit of work in this area.  Why is urban political science a "2nd rate field"?

As we celebrate diversity, we should also incorporate its consequences for political outcomes.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Shedding Possessions (or the Marginal Utility of Stuff)

The NY Times has embraced the Piketty Agenda of sharply raising taxes on the wealthy.  Such new taxes will increase government revenue and allow the state to expand government services, public goods and providing a more generous safety net.  In today's edition, this elite newspaper argues that the rich would be made directly better off if they have fewer toys in their attic.  We are introduced to a quirky young man named Fabrice Grinda .  Mr. Grinda has succeeded in the United States (he left France) but he no longer wants what he once did.

A direct quote:

"People turn 40 and usually buy a shiny sports car,” Mr. Grinda said during an interview in a penthouse suite at Sixty LES, a downtown boutique hotel. “They don’t say, ‘I’m downsizing my life and giving up all my possessions to focus on experiences and friendships.’ ”

But that is exactly what Mr. Grinda did. He moved out of the Bedford house in December 2012, ditched the city apartment and got rid of the McLaren. He donated clothes, sports equipment and kitchen utensils to the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Lower Manhattan. He gave his furniture to Housing Works and he packed a Tumi carry-on suitcase with 50 items, including two pairs of jeans, a bathing suit and 10 pairs of socks.

He dubbed it “the very big downgrade”: He was going to travel the world, working on the fly while staying with friends and family. He was purposely arranging things so that he would have a chance to focus on what was meaningful in life.

“When I looked back at the things that mattered the most to me,” he said, “they were experiences, friendships and family — none of which I had invested much in, partly because I was too busy, and partly because I felt anchored by my possessions.”

I agree that Mr. Grinda is an interesting data point and would make an excellent sociology case study but are there big lessons to be learned from his journey?  How many Manhattan residents will read this section of the newspaper? How many will now say "eureka!" and will follow his path?   Which successful people doubt that they are living a good life along the path they are currently following?  Who is haunted by self doubt and the sense that this life could be even more fulfilling?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sunday Graduation at the UCLA IOES

In June 2014, I was in Rome when UCLA graduated and I missed this event.  This Sunday I will be one of the faculty sitting there to the right as the 2015 graduates receive their diplomas.   During my 9 years on the UCLA faculty, I have taught hundreds of environmental science majors.  Since we are not in the social science division, my environmental economics course is often their one and only exposure to "environmental social science".   Given the many environmental issues that span so many different branches of applied science, what is the right way to construct a sustainability major?   Some very talented and passionate teachers have designed UCLA's undergraduate major and many of the details about the major are posted here.

UCLA actually has two environmental majors.  The Geography Department offers a second one and here is a link.    Note that their department takes a wider view of what counts as "environment".

How should "sustainability" be taught to undergraduates?   Prof. Jeffrey Sachs has recently published a book that sketches his vision for how the subject should be taught.  Here is an Amazon Link.    In the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Economic Literature, I will publish a slightly tough long review of his book.  His book has many strengths but it lacks humility.  He does not engage on the key subject of how empiricists go about their craft of stating and testing hypotheses. He exudes amazing self confidence that he already knows the answers of how to achieve "sustainable development".  I wish I had his self confidence.   With such confidence, I would spend my days accepting research awards, and my nights attending Hollywood Red Carpet events,  while during the afternoons I would be dunking basketballs and hitting holes in one on the golf course.  In my spare time, I would fly airplanes, author a novel, and lead a Seal Team 6 to rescue some hostage in some remote location.

My recipe for excellent undergraduate education is to try to capture their attention that there are interesting open questions and that the rise of big data and faster computers makes us ever more able to answer these questions.  If students anticipate that there are big open questions, they will invest more effort in the foundational hard classes such as;  probability classes, statistics classes, micro theory and GIS training and then they will actually be able to make some progress on these questions rather than just talking about stuff they have read in the NY Times.   So, Professor Sachs and I have a very different vision for undergraduate education.  He appears to be looking to entice young people to join his cause.  My goal is to encourage  to combine their passion (which they have plenty of) with hard skills that are rewarded in the marked place and that offer high intellectual returns.    We know that there is a huge amount that we do not know about the causes and consequences of achieving environmental sustainability.  The next generation offer the best chance to make progress.

In a distracted world, how do we nudge students into devoting more effort beyond scaring them with the threat of bad grades?    Passionate students who are well trained represents a worthy goal. Such young people will be quite productive adults.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Some Quotes from Harvard President Faust's 2015 Commencement Speech

This Sunday I will participate and attend the UCLA IOES graduation.  To prepare for this event, I skimmed this Commencement Speech by Harvard President Drew Faust.   Here I will reproduce some quotes for you to ponder:

I see a rejection of the "invisible hand".  Would Adam Smith's baker be admitted to the modern Harvard with his narrow focus on his own self interest?    Has President Faust talked to Robert Barro about what "Harvard ideals" they share in common?    If the "selfish", pay their taxes and commit no crimes and raise their kids to the best of their abilities, have they done enough to "promote the common good" (see the first paragraph below)?   President Faust appears to answer "no".  What does the economics profession have to say to this worldview?


"Yet now, nearly four centuries later, we find ourselves in a challenging historical moment. How do we “enlarge” our graduates in a way that benefits others as well?  .... Or have we all become so caught up in individual and personal achievements, opportunities, and appearances that we risk forgetting our interdependence, our responsibilities to one another and to the institutions meant to promote the common good?

This is the era of the selfie — and the selfie stick. Don’t get me wrong: There is much to love about selfies, and two years ago in my Baccalaureate address I concluded by urging the graduates to send such pictures along so we could keep up with them and their post-Harvard lives. But think for a moment about the implications of a society that goes through life taking its own picture. That seems to me a quite literal embodiment of “self-regarding” — a term not often used as a compliment. .... As one social commentator has observed, we are ceaselessly at work building our own brands. We spend time looking at screens instead of one another. Large portions of our lives are hardly experienced: They are curated, shared, Snapchatted and Instagrammed — rendered as a kind of composite selfie.

Now, a certain amount of self-absorption is in our nature. As Harvard’s own E.O. Wilson has recently written, and I quote him, “We are an insatiably curious species — provided the subjects are our personal selves and people we know or would like to know.” But I want to underscore two troubling aspects of this obsession with ourselves.

The first is it undermines our sense of responsibility to others — the ethos of service at the heart of Thomas Shepard’s phrase describing Harvard’s enduring commitment to graduate students who are “enlarged” to be about more than themselves. Not just enlarged for their own sake and betterment — but enlarged toward others and toward the world." 

How does modern economic theory evaluate this "sense of responsibility to others"?  Do we write down a model of interdependent preferences (see Joel Sobel's JEL paper)?   If the population differs with respect to its intensity of preferences for others, do we shun the selfish?   Or, do we acknowledge that different consumers have different tastes?  

Ed Lazear and Kendall have written a paper on how different types of jobs have different types of production functions. In some settings, people have to work as a team (even Lebron James and the Cavs) while in other setting such as stock brokers and cold calling, guys work individually and do not have to look out for each other.  

Monday, June 08, 2015

Environmental and Urban Economics at USC

Tomorrow I will sign the official paperwork as I join USC as a Visiting Professor.  USC is making a larger investment in environmental and urban economics than UCLA.   Antonio Bento will be joining the USC Price School.   He is an old friend of mine and he has dozens of new research ideas every time I see him.   Rodney Ramcharan will also be joining the Price School as well as Jorge De la Roca.    The four new guys (including me) will join a group that already features Gary Painter, Raphael Bostic, Chris Redfearn, Adam Rose, Peter Gordon, Marlon Boarnet and Richard Green.   So, that's a total of 11 faculty before you add in Post-Docs and Visiting Scholars and well funded graduate students.   I expect that USC will make additional hires in energy, urban and environmental economics in the near future.

My plan for this group is very simple. I want to build the best environmental and urban economics group in the world. UC Berkeley has great strength in energy economics and the University of Chicago's EPIC Research Center is impressive but these two universities have under-invested in urban economics and that's where USC has an edge.  USC's recent investment in its Spatial Sciences Institute  will further interdisciplinary discussion and research progress.  I'm really looking forward to the next year and I feel energized and ready to provide public goods and leadership.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

NSF Budget Dynamics and Equating the "Bang Per Buck" Across Research Fields

Republicans in the House Science, Space and Technology Committee have crafted legislation that will increase the National Science Foundation's budget by $253 million above this year's actual funding level. "The legislation proposes funds for the agency's individual directorates, adding more than $100 million each to the offices for biology, computing, engineering, and math and physical sciences. But those boosts appear to come at the expense of others. The bill recommends a $140 million cut -- roughly 45 percent -- to the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and a $165 million, or 8 percent, cut to the Geosciences Directorate."

So, the Congress believes that the marginal product of an extra $ spent on "real science" is more valuable than an extra $ spent on "social science".   The Congress could be correct but how would a unbiased researcher evaluate this provocative hypothesis?

In intermediate micro, we teach our students that a rational consumer equates the marginal utility per dollar spent on each good.  Shouldn't the U.S Congress follow this same strategy?

Let's introduce a household production function to explore this:

Suppose that a U.S Congressperson seeks for America to be safe and for his district to be prosperous.
Utility = U(safety, prosperity)

Following Gary Becker's household production function framework , we then must confront the issue of how $ spent on NSF social science versus $ spent on NSF science impacts safety and prosperity.   As we invest more in physical science, are there diminishing returns to such investments or are there increasing returns?

What is the marginal NSF submission that will be funded in the physical sciences if this budget allocation takes place?

What is the marginal NSF social science submission that will now be rejected if this budget allocation becomes law?

Which is more valuable?

Permit me to point out a source of optimism, for social scientists who are not able to raise
NSF $, I bet that they will increasingly turn to new sources of funding such as crowdsourcing.

Take a look at this website for an example of such activities. The fat tail of the web allows those with sexy projects that they are able to explain to raise some resources to pilot their ideas.   I realize that if a social science project has a fixed cost in the millions that this route won't work.  But, my point is that the NSF does not have a monopoly on being our "sugar daddy" for funding social science.

The decline of federal funding has contributed to the trend of more empirical social scientists seeking to work at private universities that can provide private endowments to fund their research centers.  This suggests that social science research conducted by public university researchers with large fixed costs will be the subset of research that will suffer from the Republican regime shift.  One can ask how costly this will be in aggregate.

Take a look at the ranking of economics researchers over the last ten years.    By my rough count only 15% of them are at public universities.  This suggests that the bulk of top social science researchers have already clustered at private universities.  Will this productive subset's work suffer from public budget cuts?   No.    Also note that another 15% of the top 100 scholars are located outside of the United States and they will not be affected by U.S cuts.  

So, this raises an awkward empirical question.  What % of all economics discoveries are made by economists at the richest 30 private universities?  (note that I currently teach at a public university)  I would guess that the answer is 75%.  With this concentration of productivity centered at rich private universities, is economic science progress at significant risk from budget cuts?

Now, I realize that the NSF funds graduate fellowships and this lures excellent young people to enter the field to become the next generation of profs.  But again, in a worst case suppose these vanish. Schools such as MIT would bear the incidence of these cuts as they would still accept the best applicants but they would now have to provide a scholarship for these young stars (while in the past the NSF and the U.S taxpayers paid this bill).

The United States needs to have an honest discussion of how private capital substitutes for public capital.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Why Is Environmental Economics Flourishing?

The American Environmental and Resource Economics Association just held its Summer Meeting in San Diego. Here is the program.   Roughly 350 economists attended and the old Grant Hotel in seedy downtown San Diego was rocking.  While I never made it to the water,  I had a great time.  I arrived Thursday in the mid-afternoon and was only able to hear half of Scott Taylor's keynote address.    Scott is a great scholar and he presented a slightly controversial paper arguing that "fossil fuels are here to stay".   He knows that this is a controversial thesis and he knows that it isn't politically correct.  Scott and I spoke after his talk and I congratulated him for "rocking the boat".  We both agree that the boat needs to be rocked.   Once he circulates a clean version of his keynote paper, I will blog about it.  After Scott's talk, I attended several sessions and talked to dozens of old and new friends.

Folks know that I like to talk and I knew about 1/2 of the people at the conference, so this was a chance for non-stop talk. I've reached the age where a number of young people want to tell me about their work and sketch how it relates to my past work.  As you can imagine, I like that.

While I'm always an optimist, I sensed great optimism at the conference -- that environmental economists love their job.  They are "in the game" for the right reasons.  While I sometimes worry about the political passions of environmental economists leading to the lines between research and political activism being blurred,  the benefit of passion is a commitment to "high effort".    Today in academic economics, a lot of guys my age are consulting, writing textbooks or doing other things (such as talking to their children) rather than staying "in the game".  While privately optimal, such opting out has social costs for the profession as aggregate learning and human capital spillovers slow.   Progress in economic science would accelerate if more scholars over the age of 45 continued to be full time researchers.

Environmental economics features a very young scholar base.  Most of the people at the conference were under age 40.   I am optimistic that this crew will be less likely to opt out of doing research than similar aged scholars in other fields.  The net effect of such research effort will (in aggregate) be a more vibrant research field that makes more progress and attracts the next generation of young people to enter the field.

Why am I optimistic about this sub-field?

1.  Big Data ---- as electric utilities partner with economists there are all sorts of interesting issues that researchers can work on using observational and experimental research designs.  Increasing energy and water efficiency through behavioral change will continue to be a major topic.

2.  Passion for improving the lives of people in the developing world --- environment and development will only continue to rise as a key research topic;  in the urbanizing LDCS, how do we set up incentives to allow for the benefits of free markets without unleashing the air pollution that Chinese and Indian urbanites have been exposed to?

3.  Mitigating climate change ----  many many environmental economists are focused on cap and trade and carbon tax implementation to reduce global GHG concentrations.

4.  Adapting to climate change --- a growing cadre of scholars (including myself) are working on this topic.

Better data, important (policy relevant) questions, and idealism create a formidable combination that leads to a rising sub-field.  While in the past environmental economics was viewed as a quirky subfield of mainstream economics, I am optimistic that this impression will fade.   My only slight concern with the subfield is self-selection.  I sometimes have the feeling that the field tends to attract scholars with some suspicions about free markets.  Milton Friedman's books and videos could be handed out to all scholars at the 2016 conference as a registration gift!  I will pay for them.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Weitzman on "When does the world wake up and address climate change?"

I am reading the transcript of Martin Weitzman's recent appearance on Econtalk.    Professor Weitzman seeks to attract readers for his excellent new book Climate Shock (joint with Gernot Wagner).   At the 28th minute of the interview, here is an exact quote. Keep in mind that the guest is Martin Weitzman and he is being interviewed by Russ Roberts (Russ).

"Guest: So you've got to negotiate with n parties somehow.

Russ: It's not going to happen.

Guest: Yeah.

Russ: I want to read a paragraph from the opening of your book. It might be the first paragraph. I can't remember. But I cut and pasted it. It says:

Climate change is an urgent problem. But you're fooling yourself if you think getting off of fossil fuels would be simple. It will be one of the most difficult challenges modern civilization has ever faced, and it will require the most sustained, well-managed, globally cooperative effort the human species has ever mounted.

Well, 'sustained, well-managed, and globally cooperative'--I can't think of anything that we've ever done that fulfills those adjectives. So, it's a long shot. One nation--a particular nation can put a tax through its own political process on its own carbon emissions. The odds that we will as a globe come together to figure out and solve the problems you are talking about seems to me to be close to zero.

Guest: Well, this gets into another point, which is: When does the world sort of wake up? And the pessimistic side of me says it would take the perception of a catastrophe, of a climate change catastrophe, in order to make this be an issue on the grass roots level. Like analogous to the 2008 Recession.

Russ: To give it salience. For it to rise to the level of fear and panic on the part of the everyday person, you'd need to see things like there are no vegetables in the grocery store or they are only available on a limited basis because of agricultural change. Right? And then it's too late--probably, as you'd suggest.

 Guest: That's right. But, the pessimistic part of me says that that makes the perception of the catastrophe not exogenous but endogenous. Because if we go up by another hundred parts per million and there's no terrible outcomes perceived, we'll go up another hundred parts per million. And then another hundred. Until there is this perception on a grass roots level that this is really biting, this is really hurting. Though, then it becomes a question not whether there will be a perceived--it's the perception that's important--a perceived catastrophe, but when that will occur."

SO, note that any discussion of the possibility of successful adaptation to the emerging threat is dangerous for Prof. Weitzman's hope to scare the hell out of people for their own good.

Permit me to propose an alternative vision for how we will cap global GHG emissions.

1.  India and China continue to ramp up their exports of renewable power equipment such as wind and solar panels and EV production. Given global supply chains, world prices for these goods decline and their quality increases due to competition. Read my 2012 paper.  

2.  Liberal/progressive states such as California with its nascent AB32 continue to be green guinea pigs creating a field experiment environment for attempting to integrate green products into the economy.  Rich progressives purchase these products and learning by doing takes place.  Non-environmentalists buy these products as their quality increases (i.e Tesla or households who are on the upper pricing tiers for electricity and swap out grid electricity by installing solar). Read my 2014 paper.  

3.  As solar panels and EVs grow cheaper, suburbanites will buy them and the median voter's carbon footprint will shrink and this will increase their propensity to support carbon taxes because their own carbon burden is declining over time (as their carbon footprint shrinks).  Read my 2013 paper and my 2015 paper.  

4.  China and India and the rest of the developing world are the wild card.  They have not "locked in" to fossil fuel infrastructure yet.  There are multiple equilibria here. The resulting GHG emissions from their future GNP growth is a function of what choices they make. If renewable power does become cheaper, then the GHG emissions associated with GNP growth will shrink.

Note that unlike Professor Weitzman, I do not need to evoke "silver lining" of disaster hypotheses to point out a smooth adjustment path to the climate change challenge.   My optimism concerning our ability to adapt to climate change is due to innovation, competition and migration (read this) but also due to steps 1, 2, 3 listed above.   As U.S suburbanites decarbonize their lifestyle, there will be greater support for carbon pricing (even without a "big disaster").  As the U.S leads a global coalition, global emissions will flatten out and adaptation will naturally take place and because the world is urbanizing this process will be relatively straightforward as compared to the damage that would have taken place for a bunch of small isolated farming areas (i.e they would suffer greatly due to the volatility of climate shocks).

A final point.  Successful adaptation means that Professor Weitzman's "devastating shock" never actually occurs.  He appears to reject rational expectations models of how risk averse and forward looking people respond to an emerging threat.   I will soon publish a piece in the Economist's Voice that explores the different predictions between behavioral economists and rational expectations economists concerning the consequences of climate change.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ranking California Economists as of May 2015

While Southern California features high taxes, drought and earthquakes, plenty of economists continue to live here.  Here is the REPEC ranking of the top 100 California economists.  You will see some talent on this list. If you search hard, you can find me ranked somewhere between #41 and #43.  I count 9 Clark Medalists and/or Nobel Laureates ranked ahead of me.  They will be hard to catch.

Over 900 economists are ranked in total in California.

Top 25% authors in California (United States)

This ranking is based on registered authors only, and only those who claimed some affiliation in this region, and this affiliation is listed inEDIRC.
1[4]Ross Levine 2.95
2[5]M Hashem Pesaran 3.29
3[7]Robert Ernest Hall 3.42
4[3]Barry Julian Eichengreen 3.91
5[8]Maurice Obstfeld 4.2
6[9]John B. Taylor 8.74
7[11]Paul Milgrom 9.73
8[18]James Hamilton 10.81
9[13]Joshua Aizenman
Department of Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
University of Southern California
10[17]David Neumark 12.91
11[12]Alan Auerbach 13.01
12[16]Guido Imbens 13.63
13[22]Robert C. Feenstra 14.03
14[15]Alvin E. Roth 14.6
15[21]B. Douglas Bernheim 14.82
16[19]Sebastian Edwards 14.85
17[25]Matthew O. Jackson 17.52
18[26]Edward Lazear 17.83
19[23]Darrell Duffie 18.01
20[27]Matthew Rabin 19.3
21[28]James Andreoni 20.89
22[32]Gordon Hanson 25.81
23[6]David E. Card 25.9
24[33]Emmanuel Saez 26.2
25[14]Andrew Kenan Rose 27.41
26[31]Charles I. Jones 27.51
27[35]Charles Raymond Plott 27.78
28[2]Thomas J. Sargent 28.07
29[42]Marcel Fafchamps 28.63
30[38]Glenn D. Rudebusch 31.06
31[39]Kenneth L. Judd 32.13
32[46]Alan M. Taylor 33.57
33[36]Daniel L. McFadden 33.6
34[43]Pete Klenow 34.03
35[51]David Zilberman 34.57
36[41]Robert Butler Wilson 35.62
37[10]George A. Akerlof 36.44
38[45]Carl Shapiro 36.66
39[29]Kenneth J. Arrow 38.83
40[47]David M. Kreps 40.25
41[49]Gary Charness 41.87
42[64]Matthew Edwin Kahn 42.67
43[20]Patrick Kehoe 42.83
44[52]Edward E. Leamer 42.93
45[56]David Hirshleifer 44.15
46[53]Uri Gneezy 44.98
47[54]Ivo Welch 45.18
48[62]Jan K. Brueckner 45.26
49[40]Vernon L. Smith 46.19
50[63]Richard J. Arnott 48.6
51[61]Avanidhar Subrahmanyam 48.67
52[48]Enrico Moretti 48.74
53[65]John C. Williams 48.91
54[69]Cheng Hsiao 50.17
55[66]Scott Rozelle 52.49
56[34]Finn E. Kydland 52.64
57[73]Pranab K. Bardhan 53.08
58[80]Giovanni Peri 53.5
59[70]Edward Andrew Miguel 54.73
60[37]Bronwyn Hughes Hall 56.02
61[72]Roger H. Gordon 57.26
62[74]Richard Roll 59
63[77]Kyle Bagwell 59.68
64[81]James Bradford DeLong 60.05
65[85]Carl Walsh 62.75
66[55]GĂ©rard Roland 63.37
67[78]John Roberts 64.41
68[93]Mark M Spiegel 64.9
69[79]James E. Rauch 66.01
70[82]Myron S. Scholes 66.02
71[24]David Romer 69.24
72[86]Romain Wacziarg 69.65
73[84]Hayne Ellis Leland 70.69
74[92]Joseph Farrell 73.19
75[91]Francis A. Longstaff 73.43
76[60]Valerie Ann Ramey 73.76
77[90]Kevin J. Murphy 73.84
78[83]Caroline Hoxby 74.41
79[100]Lee Edward Ohanian 77.51
80[44]Nicholas Bloom 78.29
81[106]Oliver E. Williamson 78.68
82[97]Harold Linh Cole 78.78
83[50]Allan Timmermann 80.09
84[95]John Graham Riley 81.92
85[104]Christina Duckworth Romer 82.49
86[109]Gordon C. Rausser 83.06
87[101]Gary D. Hansen 83.17
88[67]Michael Brennan 83.34
89[102]Ted Bergstrom 83.54
90[108]William R. Zame 83.7
91[98]Kenneth Train 86.41
92[103]Michael D. Hurd
RAND, Santa Monica
93[110]Severin Borenstein 86.95
94[117]Daniel Friedman 87.32
95[68]Timothy Bresnahan 90.16
96[132]Larry S. Karp 91.46
97[114]Jonathan Levin 93.71
98[112]Joel Sobel 96.71
99[120]Harold Demsetz 97.91
100[148]Arnold C. Harberger 98.17
101[125]Michael Dooley