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Running New York

Ha! That headline probably got you thinking this was a post about?Governor Cuomo.? It’s not.? It’s about an economist trying to keep fit despite the rising demands of work, parenthood, and the shrinking supply of energy that comes in your mid- to late thirties.
Sunday is the?New York marathon, and I’ll be out there running through the five boroughs.? Twenty six point two miles is a heckuva long way.? But five boroughs – five boroughs! – somehow seems even further.? It’s all a bit daunting.? But exciting, too.
Okay, there should be some economics in a post on an econo-blog.? So here goes.?Ian Ayres has recently been writing about the?the value of public commitments.? I’ll play along.? I’m hoping to finish in under four hours.? I’ve never done it before, and there’s no reason to think that This Time Is Different.? But that’s my goal.? And now you know it, too.? I’m hoping this has a real effect: If I find myself on-target as I hit?the wall crossing from the Bronx into Manhattan, hopefully I’ll grit my teeth, remembering this public statement.? And this commitment has teeth because performance is verifiable: You can track my progress on the NYC marathon website on Sunday (I’m bib number 21042).? This commitment may sound like I’m trying to motivate myself with sticks – that the shame of failure will spur me on.? But it’s not.? This commitment is really a carrot.? I’m looking forward to my friends seeing that I’m not as slow as I look.
And to our New York readers: If you are out watching the marathon on Sunday and see a tired-looking economist with long blond hair wishing that he had trained harder, give me a shout out – I’ll need the boost!? But don’t just shout “Go Justin!” – that could be anyone (my name is on my shirt).? I want to know?if any blog readers recognize me, so I’ll be waiting to hear “Go Economist.”? While you may be powerless to cause the economy to speed up, your shout-out might cause an economist to speed up.? And I’ll be grateful.