The Wednesday Lecture Tradition

I get invitations to guest lecture at English universities on Wednesdays, but almost never for Wednesdays in the U.S. I didn’t know why this difference exists, until one of the inviters mentioned that many English universities keep Wednesday afternoons free of regularly scheduled classes, historically so students can engage in inter-scholastic athletics.  Universities thus have created a positive coordination externality.

We economics professors don’t engage in these athletic endeavors, but the athletic coordination creates a positive externality for economists:  In scheduling seminars, we know that most faculty members at other universities are free to visit, and most of our colleagues should be available to attend the seminar. (HT: NT)

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  1. steve cebalt says:

    “Positive coordination externality.” I guess that’s how an academic economist says, “a good thing.” But no one would pay them to speak so plainly. So they gussy it up. That’s basic economics.

    “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

    — Mark Twain

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  2. Christine says:

    That sounds like a great policy! I don’t think it will help support my “meeting-free Fridays” policy I’d like to recommend at work, but it seems like a similar concept.

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  3. greg says:

    Doesn’t the Premier League play their games on Wednesday Night too? Its probably a holiday for the country to watch the Premier League.

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