Search the Site

Posts Tagged ‘Awards’

When It Comes to Awards

A friend of mine received three prestigious academic awards in the same year.  I asked him, “Wouldn’t you have been happier getting them in separate years? After all, the marginal utility of an award probably is decreasing within a particular period of time. So wouldn’t getting these awards in separate years have increased your lifetime utility?” 

He said that my observation was probably correct.  However, he was so surprised to receive even one of them, and the increase in his happiness was so great, that he just wasn’t able to think in this narrow economic way. I guess there are occasions (probably very few!) where even simple economics isn’t 100 percent relevant.

An Economist on the Oscars

The “best” picture of 2012 was Argo

At least that’s the film that won the Oscar for best picture.  According to the Oscars, the decision to give this award to Argo was made by the nearly 6,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As notes, “the Academy numbers among its members the most gifted and skilled artists and craftsmen in the motion picture world.”

In other words, this choice is made by the “experts.”

There is, though, another group that we could have listened to on Sunday night.  That group would be the people who actually spend money to go to the movies.  According to that group, Marvel’s the Avengers was the “best” picture in 2012. With domestic revenues in excess of $600 million, this filmed earned nearly $200 million more than any other picture. And when we look at world-wide revenues, this film brought in more than $1.5 billion.

Thanks for the Stitcher Award!

Freakonomics Radio, which recently celebrated its 100th episode, got a piece of happy news the other day: a Stitcher Award. Thanks to Stitcher and to everyone who voted, and thanks especially to our amazing production team: Suzie LechtenbergKatherine WellsDavid HermanBourree LamCollin Campbell, and Chris Bannon. Congrats also to all the other winners. It is amazing how much talent and great content is floating around in the podcast pool these days.

Please Submit Your Nominations for a Freakonomics Hall of Fame (and Hall of Shame, Too)

We are working on a Hall of Fame project that will pay tribute to people who have used a “freakonomical” way of thinking to better the world in some way large or small. Since a lot of people have a lot of interpretations of what it means to “think like a Freak,” we will leave the criteria up to you. It may have something to do with a creative use of data, or understanding incentives, or challenging the conventional wisdom.

The person you nominate for this Hall of Fame might be prominent or totally obscure. You may know them personally or perhaps you’ve only read about them. They might work in academia, sports, medicine, philanthropy, entertainment, development — or even politics!

We have tried to feature such people on the blog over the years but now we need your help in coming up with the best pool possible. Please send this request to everyone you know!

Why We Love to Hate Awards

Obama expressed his disappointment recently when rapper Kanye West stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to protest singer Taylor Swift’s win of the “Best Female Video” trophy. Soon after, Obama himself was Swifted by critics who felt he was undeserving of his Nobel Prize win. This process is “not wildly out of character with how awards generally work,” writes Jonathan Chait at The New Republic.

"The Briefest Abstract Award" Goes to …

Is this the only academic paper ever written where the total number of letters of the abstract (36) is less than the number of letters in either the title (42) or the authors’ names (46)?

Tougher to Get Than a Nobel Prize in Economics

The University of Chicago likes to brag about its Nobel laureates. Well, my son’s kindergarten teacher Christina Hayward pulled off a feat that is far tougher statistically than winning the Nobel prize: she took one of ten Golden Apple awards given annually to the most outstanding Chicago-area teachers.

Roland Fryer Makes Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential List

Some first-grade classrooms perform “Acknowledgments,” wherein children sit in a circle and take turns publicly praising a classmate for some good or wise act. Bloggers can do this too. Here is the first of three Acknowledgments you’ll read on this blog today. It is with great pride that I report that my good friend Roland Fryer was honored by Time . . .

The No-Cigar Medal

Other than winning the Nobel Prize, getting the John Bates Clark medal is the best thing that can happen to an economist. Without question, winning the Clark medal in 2003 totally changed my life. It was because of the Clark medal that Dubner came out to interview me, and eventually Freakonomics was born. The Clark medal used to be awarded . . .

The Economics of Economics Awards

At the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, its president announced that the Clark Medal, presented biennially to the top economist under age 40 (former winner Steve Levitt), will henceforth be given annually. Along with other medals, this will mean that we give up to four medals each year. Sounds like a lot, but in this profession the supply . . .

An Award Even Gary Becker Doesn’t Have

Hats off to economist Roland Fryer, Joel Klein, the rest of the folks in the New York City Department of Education, and Droga5 for taking home the Titanium Lion prize at the Cannes Lions advertising festival for their work on “Million.” Million is the innovative NYC schools program that puts a specially designed cellphone into the hands of every NYC . . .

Older Economists Want the Oscars

The Society of Labor Economists, a professional organization, gives awards to worthy scholars. One is for lifetime achievement, the other to a scholar who finished his/her education within the past 12 years. The American Economic Association does the same thing. Because most scholars — in economics and most sciences — do their best work while young, all these awards are . . .

A Very Good Year

Whatever the reason may be, Freakonomics had a very good year in 2005. It has been recognized in year-end roundups from Milwaukee to India and in publications specializing in sports, music, celebrity gossip, and, of course, economics and books. It’s been called everything from hip and sexy to dry and grating– and those were just the positive reviews. For those . . .

Most Blogged-About Book of the Year

According to the New York Times, the most blogged-about book of the year is Freakonomics. Here is the complete list; and here is a rather exhaustive list of Freakonomics blog citations. (Thanks to Connie Sartain for the links.)

What a difference a week makes

Last week’s issue of The Economist gleefully (and a bit prematurely, I might add) reported that everything in Freakonomics was wrong. This weeks edition finds Freakonomics occupying a highly coveted spot as one of The Economist’s “books of the year.” We’re crossing our fingers regarding what next week’s issue will bring.

More End-of-Year Stuff

Now we learn that iTunes has named Freakonomics its Editors’ Pick for 2005. Very nice. That and $2.00 will get you a subway ride — unless, of course, NYC transit workers really do go on strike on Friday, as they are threatening, in which case $2.00 will get you one cup of strong Starbucks coffee to fortify you for a . . .

The Worst Review Ever?

Here’s what New York Magazine‘s year-end roundup thinks of Freakonomics: “This book has no thesis, an annoying title, a phony humility, and sundry other grating tropes.” Pretty grim, huh? But in fact the magazine gave Freakonomics a 2005 Culture Award. Here’s the rest of the blurb: “Yet it makes such interesting arguments and compiles such counterintuitive data that you can’t . . .

If You’re Not Too Exhausted to Vote Again …

On a few occasions in the past, we’ve asked you to vote for awards for which Freakonomics was nominated, and you did, and we were and remain grateful. Now, if you’re not too exhausted to vote again, there’s another award (albeit a very small one, given the posted vote tally), and it’s actually a little closer to home because it’s . . .

London Bound

Once again, Levitt is sending me off to an awards ceremony. The last time it was the Quill Awards, which Levitt thought we’d win and I thought we wouldn’t. Happily, Levitt was right. This time, neither of us think we’ll win but since the ceremony is bing held in London, I thought it’d be fun to go. The award is . . .