Underappreciated economists: a continuing series
Today I will pick E. Glen Weyl, a mere Youngling, who is studying at Princeton University. Here is his paper on neural networks, and the abstract:
I consider a potential neural basis of overconfidence, the well-documented tendency of individuals to overestimate the precision of their predictions. I present a simple, classic connectionist model for predicting a binary variable. I show that while the network initially makes weak predictions (in the middle of the probability range) regardless of input, after observing randomly generated data it learns to be overconfident in the sense that when presented with other, unrelated random data it makes strong predictions. The model matches behavioral data in that it shows overconfidence growing with experience and then, eventually, declining. The model shows how overconfidence, far from being a surprising fallacy, can be seen as a natural outgrowth of statistical over-fitting in the brain.
Glen probably won’t be underappreciated for long. Here is his seminal paper on two-sided markets (e.g., Match.com). There is already talk he will be a leading economist of the next generation.
Here is Glen’s home page, and his other papers.
Here is Dave Warsh on Weyl. Here is an article full of praise. (He’s already looking non-underappreciated; note the CV, A.B. 2007, Ph.d. expected 2008.) Here is Glen’s commencement address. Here is Glen’s fight against protectionism. Here are Glen’s film reviews. Here is Glen’s dining guide for Princeton cuisine (hmm…).
I very much liked Glen’s paper on Simon Kuznets: Economist of the Russian Jewish Diaspora.
Here is Glen’s muse, Alisha Holland. Here is Glen’s path to Unitarianism.
Let us all be grateful for people like Glen Weyl.