Search the Site

Honor vs. Time

I just got a letter saying the American Economic Review was including me in a published list of exceptionally diligent referees.  I suppose I should be proud, but this “honor” has problems.  It is a signal to other editors that could increase the demands on my time.  Worse still, it indicates that I view my time as having relatively little value; and in so much of modern American society, signaling a high value of time (seeming very busy) is a status symbol.  The only virtue is that, being very senior in my profession, this additional signal adds very little new information for most observers. One friend requested that I be one of four people doing a tenure review on an assistant professor; and, after I agreed, the friend wrote back, “I have no doubt that I’ll get your review first.”

(HT: PG and MR)