Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recommended Posts

From Organizations and Markets:
The release of the Handbook of the Economics of Innovation (Intro, Vol I, II)
Nicolai Foss on the Assumptions in the Management Research (also some comments there)
A Recent Workshop on Organizational Economics and Organizational Capabilities

From the Project Syndicate:
Identity Economics (also a talk here by Akerlof, and Q&A)

Aside: why acupuncture could reduce pain?

From Scientific American.

"Scientists tried the technique on mice that had a pain in the paw, inserting and rotating the needles in the mouse version of one of the most effective acupoints in Chinese medicine. And they found that the tissues around the treated acupoint get flooded with adenosine, a chemical that provides relief by preventing pain signals from reaching the brain.

This biochemical blockade reduced the animals’ discomfort, as did treating them with drugs that boost the amount of adenosine in the tissue. The scientists say the pain relief stems from the body’s natural response to minor tissue injury. So acupuncture’s analgesic effect may have finally been pinned down."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Randomized Control Trials...or not?

Do we need more field experiements and RCTs in doing empirical economics or do we need to rely on alternative methods and develop new econometric techniques? Duflo's Clark Medal has triggered some methodological debates among the development economists recently (see here and here). One possible alternative (as they cite Acemoglu's piece) is to rely more on structural models in which data for counterfactuals could easily be simulated rather than collected via field trials.

To me, this is just another around of methodology debate between the reduced form school and the structural school. Any deep issues aside, for graduate students, it might be a safer strategy if we can do both.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Curbing Risk on Wall Street

Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales promote again (here for the previous piece) their ideas for a market-based trigger (rise in CDS price) to induce regulators' actions in regulating financial institutions and restraining risks on Wall Street.