IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.VWBus

  • The Great IPA Travel Podcast Playlist is out – we’ve got lots of links to podcast episodes to take with you if you’re going to be on the road – including Chris Blattman on Freakonomics, Andrew Gelman on voting behavior, and the Great Onion King, with links for more sources to explore. Feel free to point people to your favorite episodes in the comments there.
  • In PLOS ONE, an fMRI study of scientists finds journal impact factor triggers reward signals in brains of scientists awaiting publication.
  • GelmanBlogWhen Case & Deaton published a study on middle aged White mortality a few weeks ago it made a big splash. Then Andrew Gelman questioned some of the findings on his blog with dozens of graphs breaking out the data. This led to an interesting back-and-forth in the Science of Us, about how a journal article with space and an editor’s constraints can anticipate and debate future blog responses who have unlimited space. Some biostatisticians say get used to it, this is the new norm, and researchers should decide ahead of time when their article comes out if and how they’ll respond to criticism online.
  • Justin Wolfers suggested that even in economics, when men and women publish together, men usually get the credit. Two data-based observations based on Heather Sarsons‘ work: women who publish solo get tenure more than those who co-author (but not men). It’s possible that alphabetical listing of authorship (rather than by contribution as in other fields) creates ambiguity. Also an analysis by gender of the Chicago IGM survey of economists shows women economists are less likely to make strong predictions outside their core field of expertise or rate themselves as extremely confident in their responses. The researchers interpret this as a “confidence gap.”
  • David McKenzie looks at how development economics is taught in 200 courses around the world. He and Anna Luisa Paffhausen find courses in developing countries are a lot more varied and haven’t kept up with the U.S. move to more data/empirical topics over the past 20 years. They offer four suggestions for how to improve teaching of development econ where it might be most crucial.

And, just in time for the holidays, the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Zweig defines what an economist is. Take this handy guide with you for the family:

Zweig_EconomistDef