Assorted links

by on January 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Japanese macaque monkeys optimizing (not just satisficing) in hot springs.

2. First issue of Review of Behavioral Economics, a new journal edited by J. Barkley Rosser and Morris Altman.

3. The guy who hacked OKCupid.

4. Norwegian geoengineering, sort of.

5. Predicting the popularity of the obvious method.   And the classic jam experiment does not replicate.

6. The hurdle model and what makes for a good paper.

7. Further interpretation of the new Chetty mobility results.

Sam Bhagwat January 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

What happened to 1?

bluto January 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It’s either the first or the second 4. I’m missing the reason why, as well.

Thor January 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I did buy the first issue of the Review of Behavioral Econ., with every intention of reading it, but now I find I need a nudge…

david January 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Japanese summers can support more macaques than can fit comfortably in the thermal springs. Remaining at the springs (rather than descending to warmer altitudes) is essentially a gamble.

So low-ranking members of the tribe who unwisely attempt overwintering are bitten and beaten into leaving the pool and out to the harsh alpine winter, where they freeze to death. The heartwarming image of macaques cuddling in a thermal spring belies a murderous reality.

Junior macaques are too dumb to ally against the elite macaque pair dominating the spring, even if it means their death. You need a chimpanzee-sized brain for that sort of politics.

Brian January 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I navigated over to whatever the link on jam is, but there were too many choices about how to see the article to make it worth bothering to continue.

FE January 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Even if the jam experiment replicated, the question was whether it could be extrapolated. Typical formulation used to be along these lines: people get annoyed by too many flavors of jam, therefore people would be happier if the government dictated 401k plan investment options.

Rory Sutherland January 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

I agree with this – it is a bit of an extreme mental leap. But at least intelligent pension companies could be persuaded to limit options and improve choice architecture out of simple self-interest.

JWatts January 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm

“5. Predicting the popularity of the obvious method.” Those are interesting questions. It’s obvious when you dig into polls that the pollster is often trying to elicit certain responses. The inherent researcher bias is a difficult issue to address.

it's up to us ... the readers January 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Actually it is “simple” to address … don’t believe results until you see them from multiple researchers using different data sets and different methodologies. And how to address the reader biases? Here’s a great link on critical thinking: (No one said this would be easy, obviously.)

RR January 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Assorted numbering ?

Anon January 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

7. I notice the authors are listed in alphabetical order. No one denies Chetty’s brilliance , but I have always wondered about the recognition of the authors whose names are the first 20% of the alphabet vis-a-vis the last 20% of the alphabet . Discrimination on basis of alphabetical order is more common than realized. How about some mobility to the X, Y and Z to the front of the list?

Frank Somatra January 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm

The Benefits of Being Economics Professor A (and not Z)

Alphabetic name ordering on multi-authored academic papers, which is the convention in the economics discipline and various other disciplines, is to the advantage of people whose last name initials are placed early in the alphabet. As it turns out, Professor A, who has been a first author more often than Professor Z, will have published more articles and experienced a faster growth rate over the course of her career as a result of reputation and visibility. Moreover, authors know that name ordering matters and indeed take ordering seriously: Several characteristics of an author group composition determine the decision to deviate from the default alphabetic name order to a significant extent.

JWatts January 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm

“How about some mobility to the X, Y and Z to the front of the list?”

Sign, and once again the W’s get screwed. LOL.

Barkley Rosser January 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for plugging ROBE, Tyler, :-).


Turkey Vulture January 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

1. A picture of a Japanese Macaques monkey in the snow makes me happy. I can’t explain it.

Thor January 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

You are a turkey vulture … c’mon, admit it, you are just waiting for one of them to die.

Joking slightly aside, who says they aren’t satisficing? There could be an even better and more pristine hot spring further up the mountainside, but it takes too much energy to get there.

mark January 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I am puzzled as to why John Cassidy thinks it is “bad news” that “the Horatio Alger myth is still a myth”. I struggle to understand why constancy is “news”, but also why it is “bad” that a “myth is still a myth”.

There is no Santa nor any Easter Bunny.

Brandon Berg January 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

7. Any analysis of this topic that doesn’t discuss genetics is garbage.

DK January 26, 2014 at 4:16 am

McKinlay’s dissertation was relegated to a side project as he dove into the data

And why not? Taxpayers *love* to pay academic salaries to people who creatively pursue ways to date women.

Rory Sutherland January 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

I don’t understand the monkeys are said to be optimising? Anyone? Surely they are adopting Nassim Taleb’s barbell strategy of enjoying two alternating extremes rather than an unvarying average?

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