A Debate on University Tenure

With only 8 percent of private employees belonging to trade unions, job security outside government employment has become a sometime thing. One group of employees, however, does have nearly total job security: tenured university professors. Faculty tenure is under attack as never before in the past 50 years.

I like tenure, but why should my group of workers get special protections against the vicissitudes of demand for our “product?” Self-interested arguments about job protection are unsatisfactory. I recently “debated” a journalist on this issue, with the resulting short video from the Texas Tribune:

Technology and Tenure

Should publishing requirements for tenure go up for scholars in the humanities and social sciences?

Why Don't Reputations and Salaries Rise Together?

Our new study poses a conundrum: in a professional market (for economists), having more scholars pay attention to your research raises your reputation and your salary. Conditional on that attention, though, writing more papers lowers your reputation — but it raises your salary!

An Academic Does the Right Thing

A few years back Dubner and I wrote a piece on Slate heralding a remarkable young economist, Emily Oster. She has continued to do great work. She also has done something incredibly rare for an academic economist: she has admitted she was wrong. In places like India and China, there are many “missing women.” In […]

‘Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is’

That’s the clever title of the latest paper from Dean Karlan (one of the founders of StickK.com, who was featured in this New York Times Magazine article yesterday along with my colleague John List) and co-authors Xavier Giné and Jonathan Zinman. The researchers had surveyors approach people on the streets of the Philippines and offer […]

Does College Football Cause Higher Crime? A Guest Post

A few days ago, Levitt blogged about an interesting study finding that violent movies reduce crime (at least in the short run). The reason, according to the study’s authors, Gordon Dahl and Stefano DellaVigna, is simply that more violent movies means fewer drunken louts on the streets. It is simply an incapacitation effect. One way […]

Schwarzenegger Lowers Crime

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is one politician who can credibly claim that he is truly responsible for reducing crime, at least if you believe a new study by economists Gordon Dahl and Stefano DellaVigna. It isn’t his policies as governor, however, that he can take credit for, but rather his acting roles. In their new […]

‘I Know a Lot About Gas…’

… just one of the choice quotes delivered by my father in this informative article about his life’s work.

Congratulations to Dean Karlan

Yale economist Dean Karlan recently received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor given by the federal government to young researchers. I believe the prize comes with half a million dollars of research support to use over the next five years. Dean has been doing important and innovative work, […]

College Football Polls Aren’t What You Think

It may not be surprising to you that Trevon D. Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University, is interested in college football. Ohio State is, after all, a football mecca (as we experienced first-hand some time ago). What may surprise you, however, is what Logan has concluded about college football polls. In a new […]