Thursday assorted links

1. Why do so many new restaurant names sound the same?

2. Why do papers with shorter titles get more citations?  The paper on that is here, six words in the title (“The advantage of short paper titles.”)

3. Worries about Greece, still nascent but worth noting.

4. Good review of volume IV of Elena Ferrante.  And German literary critic reviews IKEA catalog.  Is it perhaps the world’s most widely distributed new edition?

5. Uber with goats — “goats out of context…”(link is safe but it is to Playboy, fyi)

6. Who supports the public administration major at Auburn?

7. Is value-added trade growing nonetheless?


I love that it is "public administration" that is the major too. It isn't like religious studies.

MPA programs were around 30-odd years ago and they were not novelties even then.

Comparative religion would be the study of same within the confines of the arts-and-sciences faculty rather than a divinity faculty or seminary. Not sure what you're objection is.

It is pretty comical that the least rigorous class is public administration

6. Who supports the public administration major at Auburn?

I do not understand why they do not let them major in something like "Sports Coaching and Leadership" and try to prepare them to be high school and college coaches.

Physical education is not a novel program either. A cousin in my mother's generation was awarded such a degree, appended to her degree in psychology -- in 1943.

Physical education requires anatomy and physiology which too many football and basketball players cannot pass, They would need to drop those classes or make them easier. The problem is that those classes are used to weed out would be nurses (as if ability to memorize is so important to being a good nurse but don't let he get on that subject.)

I would have gone with "Advantages of short paper titles"

2. Short titles? "!"

"Short titles good"

Terse titles!

Be Breif!

The rule being "e" before "i" especially after "r".

"Two words, good. Six words, bad"

"Short titles rule."

Titles lengthen because the authors need to position their paper within a particular niche of the literature to make it easier to find. The reported results hold ... conditional on the paper getting *successfully published*. A shorter title may trigger the attention of broader set of reviewers who may find a problem -- this means that those papers that survive may be stronger on average and thus draw a higher citation count.

Another possibility is that some published papers can have shorter titles because they enter the field when it is young and there is more fertile ground to explore. They are thus broader and more useful as a citation.

John Nash's dissertation title? "Non-Cooperative Games"

Also, big shots can use a short snappy title, and rely on their names to get people to read at least the abstract, just to see what they're doing.

Whereas papers by nobodies had better tell you why you should care right away, or they risk never getting a second glance. Hence the long titles.

My local metro univ offers a masters in public administration, or whatever they are calling it now. It's basically an MBA without all that profit, loss, supply and demand talk.

I have always assumed it was just a con by academics on state workers.

I'm getting a part time MPA at my blue collar commuter school. It's similar to an MBA but for non-profit and government folks. The required 7 core classes are:

Statistics 1 (including SAS)
Statistics II
Civics/Public Affairs
Economics (I think it's micro)

It's mostly legitimate stuff (except for the fluffy communications and management), but much of it is redundant to what I learned as an undergraduate (BBA). My brother has an MBA and he said a lot of it was redundant to his undergraduate work as well.

After the core 7 classes you major in something specific. I'm doing non-profit administration because I'm looking for a career change when my PENSION kicks in (ca-ching) but they also offer analysis, urban development, healthcare, food policy, etc. Then there's a 50 page final paper.

The non-core classes are really specific and are interesting: housing policy, telecommunications policy, social welfare policy, philanthropy, program evaluation.

It's not bad for a $20K degree - Columbia and NYU charge more than 3 times as much - but my beef is that I'm being forced to take things I should have been able to place out of. I took 6 economics classes as an undergraduate, so why do I have to learn micro 101 again?

The school offers an undergraduate program in public administration - but my area is home to 30,000 non-profits and dozens of city, state and federal agencies.

Go figure. Thanks for the response.

Why would studying budget preparation, fund-raising, personnel matters, program evaluation, &c be a 'con'?

Because it doesn't give them an advantage?

Might want to warn readers when you link to even an inoccuous article on (the goats), for those of us reading on our lunch break at work. I'll be getting a nasty message from IT later today.

I agree with Sean. Please take this into consideration in the future.

Echoing this as well.

Not me. I just jerked off to porn before reading this site and my hot 20-something Filipino gf (I am over twice her age) told me to come to bed, and is mad at me for wasting my shot. Just being honest here...

...there's no Great Stagnation.

Be careful. If that's her concern, she's thinking "baby" or "damn, this is going to take a long time..."

Uh-oh, Ray Lopez-bot has become self-aware

Innocuous? It's Uber with tits!

Kozy (literally goats) means "tits" in Czech.

On a related note, ponder hilarity or rather everyday blandness of the movie title "Men Who Stare At Goats".

Why didn't they call it, "The Advantage of Brevity"? Or, "Brevity Boosts Citations"?

Call a referendum and then do exactly what voters said they did not want to do? What could possible go wrong?

Über & Goats would be a good restaurant name.

Best comment.

I wonder: if short titles are better, does retaining grammar and syntax matter? For example, why not "Advantage short paper titles" instead of “The advantage of short paper titles”? I take it that most readers would still understand such a title, although some would probably wonder about the authors' linguistic competency, I suppose.

Long words ungood.

1) Sound the same? Come to Brooklyn. They all look the same. White subway tile, reclaimed wood, Edison light bulbs.

#6: Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno could not be reached for comment.

If I'm not mistaken, Paterno's teams were notable for not including many players having serious academic problems. What's Sandusky got to do with anything?

I think that was true of PSU teams until the early '00's, when their competitiveness in the Big Ten took a slide...then so did the standards for student athletes. The following quote:

Michael Stern, the chairman of Auburn’s economics department and a former member of the faculty senate, said athletics is so powerful at Auburn that it operates like a “second university.” Whenever athletic interests intersect with an academic matter, he said, “it’s a different kind of process.”

Made me think "well, other places, it's not just academic matters; it's criminal matters, as well, like when Graham Spanier, Paterno and their assorted lackeys scuttled the investigation into Sandusky's shower shenanigans."

Messrs. McCreary and Paterno reported what they knew to the appropriate authorities, among them the athletic director and the chief of the campus police force. It was these superordinate authorities who dropped the ball, not Paterno and McCreary. And there was no investigation to 'scuttle'. What was not done in that circumstance was to inform the city police.

Will the corruption, fraud, and dishonesty of college athletics ever finally reach an end point boil over? I'm sick of universities running fake academic programs offering fake classes for fake students, so that they can earn monopoly profits from an athletic league and exploit poor black unpaid physical laborers. Pay the athletes what they're worth! Have some decency! Enough of this!

I agree with most of this except the bit about exploiting the athletes, who'd all kill to be in the position they're in. Only the stars would get paid in a completely free market.

This is actually exploiting parents paying tuition, and whoever gets to clean up the student loan mess when that goes down. College athletics are just a fancy version of the unnecessary new student center.

Disagree. Thousands upon thousands of people make a very comfortable living off of major college athletics, off the backs of the 'student/athletes', most of whom are just churned up and spit out. It's a shame. The NCAA is a disgrace.

They're minor league teams. It's not a good living unless you're at the top and on the way up. The compensation is a shot at the big leagues. Those thousands of people making a living off the proceeds are accountants and marketers and lighting guys. They aren't people who'd do their jobs for free and they get no special benefit from being associated with college athletics. The college athletes are, by definition, people who'd do the job for free. That doesn't bode well for their ability to negotiate big compensation. If there were lots of great athletes refusing to go to school for the lack of pay, maybe there'd be a case.

I don't argue against compensation, I just think that realistically it's going to be low for the vast majority of student athletes in a competitive environment.

I also agree that it seems crazy to bundle sports consumption and all the dead weight that comes with that with a college degree.

"The NCAA is a disgrace."

And to be really clear, I think that's absolutely correct.

I'm nitpicking the economic point that student athletes would be paid much in some but-for world. In a free-for-all, there would be some highly paid examples but the median pay would continue to be a scholarship to a school you probably couldn't get into on your merits.

It certainly is exploiting most starting football players at large schools.

They're already getting a scholarship. What's the median salary of a AAA baseball player at the age of 20? That's what the vast majority of football players would get, even at the top programs. If they warranted NFL money, they'd be in the NFL.

College football programs make so much more than minor league baseball teams as to render the comparison silly. And, of course, by NFL rules, players have to have been out of high school for three years, so obviously they can't go to the NFL even if they wanted to.

They’re already getting a scholarship.

Yes but the problem with in kind compensation pop up here. Many players look at the fact that they have to go to class as worth less that $0.

"And, of course, by NFL rules, players have to have been out of high school for three years, so obviously they can’t go to the NFL even if they wanted to."

That's a fair point. There's no way it would survive a professionaliztion of college, but it is a fair point.

Has anyone done a serious analysis of what player salaries would be like with a liberalization?

"They’re already getting a scholarship"

They're getting free room and board, yes.

They are allegedly getting an education, and that might be a good deal if they really got it. But the pressure on student athletes by coaches to spend as much time as possible practicing is intense. There's typically a mechanism for coaches to be informed of players' grades, and they will tell you that this is to catch failing players, but they also use it to pressure high academic achievers to spend more time on sports and less time on academics.

Anyway, this is why sports programs cherish undemanding majors.

There's also an element of moving the goal posts here. This won't affect any female athletes. None of them are getting paid in any free market world. It will affect some male football players (100? 200?), and maybe a handful of basketball and hockey players.

All that said, I feel odd being on the other side of the argument here because I agree with most of the points being made. I think colleges should pay these guys if they can bargain for it. Bundling college and semi-pro-sports consumption makes no sense.

Around about 1982 a proposal was floated that any competitor in NCAA athletics have a combined SAT score of 750 according to the scales in use at the time. It was denounced by various constituency groups as raaaaacist. If I'm not mistaken, post-1995 scales are more lax and the standards the NCAA makes use re the revised scales of board scores are minimal if you maintain a given GPA. The incentive structure is fertilizing the cultivation of mickey-mouse courses and fictitious courses. Simply implementing the bar proposed in 1982 (amended in accordance with changes in the scales in use) might contain the problem. There's still the huge time sink involved in participation in collegiate athletics, of course.

The problem you get with collegiate athletics (which make no sense looked at dispassionately) is that they are a component not merely of mass entertainment but also popular culture. (Something I do not get on a visceral level myself). It would be sensible for state legislatures to eliminate them, but attempting that would induce an electoral revolt. So, what you can do is contain the problem, and the simplest way to do that is standardized tests.

Yeah you know the NCAA colludes on players compensation but does not collude on coach compensation. College sports is close to a zero sum game, so why not collude on coach compensation. Set a cap at say $200k/year for coaches. If all the good coaches quit, so what people will still watch college sports.

They don't have any authority over policy concerning non-students, do they?

When a school with a failing football program fires its coach and looks for a new one, they should hire the coach willing to pay the most to take the position. A fellow that actually knows what he's doing and can talk others into backing him financially would lead the school to football success and then be able to move on to a big-time school where he'd make the millions and be able to pay back his investors. Hard to believe nobody has actually done this yet.

Just abolish college athletics all together. In every other country in the WEIRD world Universities have sports programs and major sports run their own development/minor leagues. It is not difficult.

Indeed, this is ideal, but it's in the interests of both universities and the major sports leagues to keep it as it is. Baseball probably doesn't follow that model simply because the age of the sport (and given the international nature of their talent base, the wouldn't want to change to a university-based system).

What a weak argument. "France doesn't do it this way! Therefore we have to make it illegal!"

There is no institution or past-time in the history of the world that generates a consumer surplus as high as college athletics. Why do you hate the American people?

Another pet peeve of mine is that college sports are used by non-profits and state schools as marketing most teams lose money but attract more application so that they can accept a higher quality of student. That is good for the schools academics and university president but it does not server the taxpayer or the parents.

I live in Gainesville FL home of UF and my son got 3 B's and rest all A's in high school and got 1380 on the math and science SAT not great but good, but partly because of the success of the UF sports team UF was able to reject him meaning that he had to go to UCF meaning he had to move out of my home costing us about $10,000 per year extra in housing feeding costs. It also weakens family bonds.

I do not see that the evidence of the advantages of putting all best students together is worth that cost to taxpayers.

6. How did UVA and Vanderbilt end up in the finals of the college baseball world series the past two seasons? Here's my guess: college baseball allows only 11.7 athletic scholarships per D-1 team, but an unlimited number of academic scholarships. Smart kids from families with limited resources who want to play baseball in college will choose UVA or Vanderbilt over, well, fill in the blank. Of course, it's football not baseball that drives college sports. What we know about football, however, isn't compatible with college (or what college is supposed to be); hence, I suspect that the best colleges will soon drop football, triggered, unfortunately, by a brain injury to a popular (and smart) player, and when they do, they will form their own athletic conference and adopt rules (such as the number of athletic scholarships) that emphasize academics not sports. No more bogus majors for them. This scenario complements my prediction about college: with rising costs and declining opportunities, it will soon be Goodbye, Columbus!

For those who don't follow college baseball, both UVA and Vanderbilt were in the college baseball world series the past two seasons (Vandy beat UVA in 2014 and UVA beat Vandy this year). My comment wasn't clear about that.

There is an alternate path to pros in baseball. The bad students go to the minor leagues right out of high school.

6. This seems like kind of a non-story. University administrations serve diverse constituencies, and offer a lot of fluff courses. Why is the athletic department lobbying for a public administration major any different from a group of gay students taking over a building and demanding a program in gay studies? Or an Italophile donor offering to endow a chair in Italian studies? These sorts of things happen all the time.

Public administration is a specific vocational training program like two dozen others. It's not a novelty and the posited venues to exercise those skills are well-established institutions. 'Gay studies' so posited is an arts-and-sciences boutique major that is likely unsustainable from the supply side without a staff ideology and unsustainable from the demand side without heavy cross-subsidies. I cannot figure why you would compare them or regard the supposed constituencies as at all equivalent.

O, I agree with you. My point is just that neither the WSJ nor the Auburn faculty nor any accrediting entity would complain at all about a gay studies program being introduced as a result of student protests, even though the same purported issues about faculty autonomy would obviously exist. Neither, incidentally, would Prof. Cowen complain: you recall he indicated that a person's attitudes on GLBT issues are a major factor in evaluating their academic ability, and he would be deathly afraid of being thought "homophobic."

Cowen and Tabarrok either do not hold or are at pains not to discuss any preferences on their parts that would be deal-breakers at faculty tunks, though implicit in their stated views is an indifference to 'equality' NOS. That having been noted, when did Cowen ever say that academic performance (or candidates for employment) should be evaluated on that basis?

In his discussion of David Brat's academic work.

I found the two threads I think you're referring to, and while he strikes some silly poses (fussing that David Brat does not refer to Donald McCloskey as 'Deirdre McCloskey', I'm not seeing any statements such as you describe. The one making an ass out of himself in those threads is not the moderator but Prof. Whatshisname from a different college in Virginia.

I don't object to your phrasing over mine: given a chance to discuss David Brat's academic work, Cowen struck silly poses. I'm pretty confident he would react to a gay studies department with similar silly poses.

Once the athletic dept subsidizes the teaching of a particular major, you have a serious conflict of interest over its rigor. Especially because its lack of rigor is why they like it now.

(To be clear, there are excellent and rigorous MPA programs out there.)

But, two points for working some of your favorite hobby-horses into a conversation about something else.

First paragraph is absolutely correct. But it is also true that, in any university, there will be one department that is by definition the least rigorous. There's really no way to stop the less serious students from flocking into that major. This is true for non-serious athletes and non-serious non-athletes of course; I've known both.

8. Hilarious story about Vox soliciting a "provocative" piece from a philosopher, then turning it down when it turns out it was provocative:

9. The glorious birthplace of freedom bans Tyler the Creator due to his lyrics:

Why is it hilarious that they refuse to publish something? And why do I care what Brian Leiter fancies?

It's not that they refused, it's why. And Leiter is just the messenger.

"Why is it hilarious that they refuse to publish something?"

I'm unsure about the veracity, but if the posted column is truthful, it is amusing and mildly damning to Vox. They asked for something provocative, and then refused to run it because: "I ran the piece by some other editors and they weren't comfortable running it; I think the concern is that people will misinterpret it as implying opposition to abortion rights and birth control, which, while I know it's not your intent, is a real concern."

Exactly. If you don't want provocative, don't ask for it.

What? Vox reflects in the most thoughtless way the social ideology of the sort of twit who manages to land a job at a metropolitan newspaper in this country? Say it ain't so.

Rod Dreher, not the most appealing of figures nor the sharpest tack in the box, sometimes offers stories from his days as a newspaper writer. One tale, from his time at the Dallas Morning News, concerned a memorandum he wrote to other editors summarizing the content of the features section of late and suggesting the paper actually cover stories of interest to the newspaper's readers (which market research indicated were modally late-middle-age suburban dwellers with white skin). The response from his colleagues was nil. They simply took no interest in what might interest their readers. Dreher offered for his readers some statistics which showed that the real value of newspaper ad revenue had declined by 2010 to what it was in 1950 (when the population was half what it was in 2010 and total real income perhaps 20% of what it was in 2010). If ever a commercial line of business deserved its own demise, it's this nation's metropolitan daily newspapers.

I am surprised you don't care. They refused to publish the article because it could have been construed as offering an argument against abortion.

Vox isn't "explaining the news", Vox is pushing a leftist agenda while lying about its logic and data based conclusions. The left always screams "science", we know it's a lie.

Well Vox also made a tweet today that "The head of the NRA used to support severe restrictions on gun ownership", but it turns out that NRA was the National Recovery Administration in the 1930's. Vox isn't exactly a place one goes to for serious and considered thoughts.

There was never any such tweet and it was already thrown down the memory hole anyway. Voxania was always at war with Reasonia.

You're confused.

Vox used the wrong logo, yes: they used the National Recovery Administration logo.

But the "sharply restricted" quote is genuinely from National Rifle Association President Karl Frederick in 1934 Congressional testimony:

"Mr. FREDERICK. I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. I have when I felt it was desirable to do so for my own protection. I know that applies in most of the instances where guns are used effectively in self-defense or in places of business and in the home. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses."

Since when did the National Coalition to Ban Handguns (now the 'Coalition to Stop Gun Violence') or the National Council to Control Handguns (now the Brady Campaign) ever advocate the use of guns to defend homes or businesses? Since when did they ever suggest someone be armed in public places for any reason?

And here's what's wrong with modern politics. The gun-control crowd point out that the head of the NRA used to have a sensibly moderate position on gun ownership, as a way to perhaps find common ground, and the gun-nut crowd (Art Deco) makes a disingenuous and vaguely connected comment about unmentioned gun-control organizations that somehow means to, I don't even know, say you can't have a moderate position because some organizations don't?

I have no love for the NRA but this is a perfect example of how awful Vox is. They position themselves as the grown-ups of the Internet, straight down the middle "just the facts ma'am." But they are trying to play gotcha with a eighty year old quote from Congressional testimony? Come the fuck on.

Vox is unbelievably awful. It invariably reads like a parody of terrible millenial writing, but it's completely earnest. Ezra Klein's open letter explaining the decision not to publish the article *literally* starts with the word "So,"
Vox is so bad that they've somehow made Brian Leiter into the good guy. I can't think of a more damning insult.

The short-title thing has to have a "laffer curve" type effect.

Zero (or maybe one) letter titles and 10000 word titles probably get the fewest cites :)

#5 I like the pictures, but I don't see the to Uber seems to be clickbait.

This is just a traditional goat-mowing service[1]. Though presumably 21st-century goat-mowers advertise on the internet, in all other ways, it resembles the business described in some my assinged reading when I was in high school.

[1] A goat-mowing service does not mow your goats for you.

excellent footnote

Short Paper Title Advantages

as terse as it can be...

Why do papers with shorter titles get more citations?

Maybe people who can sum up their research in fewer words are generally better at expressing themselves on paper, and therefore their papers are more worth citing. Just a theory

Re devaluations w/o exports:

The discussion of REER devaluation's effects on gross v net exports is interesting, but the whole premise seems wrong. Exchange rate policy, assuming that monetary policy and capital account closure permit an independent exchange rate policy, is not to affect exports (or even the current account) per se, but to keep the prices of tradeable and non-tradeables consistent with full employment; i.e. to allow monetary policy to work.

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