Sunday, June 23, 2019

Book: Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times by Mark Leibovich

Leibovich, Mark. 2018. Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times. Penguin Press.

The author is NYT reporter (who normally covers politics); as a result, he obtains amazing access into the world of NFL owners and players, particularly Tom Brady. He is a Pats fan, but a very sarcastic and self-aware one. Think of this as a snarky ethnography of the world of NFL owners and you will not go far wrong.

Recommended as bedtime / beach reading if such a thing sounds appealing.

Amazon book page
Barnes and Noble book page

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Book: Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero

Cowen, Tyler. 2019. Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero. St. Martin's Press.

If you like Tyler's posts on Marginal Revolution, then you will like this. It is thoughtful, wide-ranging, suprising, and academically informed but not written for academics.

Footnote 12 of Chapter 9 was perhaps my favorite bit of the book - not sure why it ended up in the notes rather than the main text. One pair of good sentences: "The irony is that American popular culture is itself, for the most part, big business at its core. One of the best arguments against trusting big business is the (largely inaccurate) portrayel of business from popular culture itself."


Amazon book page
Barnes and Noble book page

Friday, June 7, 2019

Great moments in understatement: econometrics edition

"... these bounds are in princpal identified, although the infinite-dimensional optimization problem that defines them may complicate estimation ..."

From Frandsen and Lefgren (2018)

Monday, May 27, 2019

Three pointers

I was explaining to my daughter the other day how much basketball has changed since I was her age. This article from 538 proved helpful.

Emi Nakamura

Congratualtions to Emi Nakamura on winning the John Bates Clark medal!

As most readers will surely know, the Clark medal is awarded annually (these days) by the American Economic Association to the best economist under the age of 40.

Some remarks:

1) The award strikes me as very well deserved.

2) I raised Emi's name last year as someone to possibly hire here at Wisconsin. Maybe my colleagues will pay more attention to my hiring suggestions in the future.

3) Emi has more economist relatives than anyone I know. They include her husband, her mother, her father, her aunt, and her maternal grandfather. That is a lot of economists!

4) I once went on a blind date with Emi back in my Western Ontario days. Now, before you get excited I must clarify that Emi and her mom were chaperones on the blind date, which was with someone her mom thought would be a good match. As it turned out, the date went off the rails during a lunchtime discussion of the substantive importance of Princess Diana to world affairs, about which my blind date (whose identity I will not reveal) and I disagreed rather drastically.

5) Emi is nice even by the high standards of her native land.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

APPAM / Westat one-day conference on "mixed methods" evaluations of social programs in DC on June 5

I will be reacting to Steve Bell of Westat (and formerly, for a long time, of Abt).

Conference details here.