Parag Pathak wins the John Bates Clark Award

Parag Pathak, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor whose research suggests that school choice can lead to improved student performance, won the John Bates Clark award for contributions from a young economist.

Pathak, 37, was honored for his work on market design and education policy, the Nashville, Tennessee-based American Economic Association said Friday in a statement on its website. It said his work “blends institutional knowledge, theoretical sophistication, and careful empirical analysis to provide insights that are of immediate value to important public-policy issues.”

That is from Bloomberg.  Here is scholar.google.com.  There is lots on his home page.  Only 808 Twitter followers!  His Wikipedia page is good.  He is a protege of Al Roth, and overall this prize is a victory for the notion of market design.

Comments

"school choice can lead to improved student performance": would it lead to the writing of clearer English?

The "can" versus "does" is obviously the crux.

As is "market design" vs "markets."

Post-libertarianism left to the reader.

Kim Jong Il has declared a halt to nuke tests; North and South Korea talking about ending war.

How does Trump not win Nobel Peace Prize?

Why did Obama win the NPP again?

Seems good, but I still remember when Bush II was (according to Conservatives) to tame Kim Jong-il ("he plays poker, not chess" was the chorus back in the time) and when Clinton the Only (it is hard to believe there will not be a president Clinton II - how is Chelsea doing?) was to achieve peace for our time with the same ditactor. Some skepticism is warranted.

Also, I've never bombed, invaded or destabilized any country (that I can remember). Where is MY Nobel Peace Prize? Arafat got one! Kissinger got one! Le Duc Tho got one!

How does Trump not win Nobel Peace Prize?

And his infamous "grabbing them" comments show that he is pretty much au fait with the culture at the Nobel Committee.

Maybe that is why they didn't vote for him - they have his number. As with Weinstein terrible private behavior is excused by expressing public pieties.

Congratulations to Parag Pathak. Whom I had never heard of before. Presumably something else besides School Choice was behind this award?

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (as chairman of the IPPC). Trump is a saint to women compared to him.

I'm pro-Trump but I think it's a little early to declare peace on the Korean peninsula....

From his name I was guessing that he's of Indian background but his wikipedia article says that his parents immigrated to the US from Nepal. Still with Raj Chetty (and before them, Amartya Sen) we're seeing the first of what I expect will be a continual stream of recognition to top economists of South Asian ancestry.

But AFAIK, no Bates or Nobels have been won by economists of East Asian ancestry. Stereotypically, maybe the smart East Asian students are more likely to go into medicine or law than into a PhD econ program?

Let's not use the term "South Asian".

Nepal is culturally Indian. It is more HIndu than India. Its state religion is Hinduism, unlike India which tries hard to be a "secular" Republic

If you were to call a Pakistani or Sri Lankan someone from Greater India to their face, you would not get a very encouraging response.

I would not.

I used the expression to refer to Nepal - which is culturally Hindu in a way Pakistan and Sri Lanka are not.

Though one can say that Sri Lanka is Indian in culture, as its main religion is Buddhism and its people are for the most part migrants from India in the centuries just preceding Christ (mostly from the Eastern Coast of India) (modern day Bengal and Orissa)

I object to the use of the term South Asian.

All of South Asia is India. A part of the Indian cultural universe. Sure, two of the three major countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) have converted to Islam. But that's just an error on their part. The mother country never gives up hope of a homecoming of the erring kids.

Hinduism is relativist devil-worshipping.

No chance of a Nobel for you, Thiago.

What if I bomb Libya or secretly spend more bombs on Laos than the Allies spent on Germany? If I declare I may eventually accept Israel's existence, does it help my chances?

These statements significantly boost his chances though.

A wiki page that sheds some light on the cultural antecedents of Pathak. There's nothing "south asian" about it. He is a part of Greater India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathak

South Asia is the correct geographic designation despite what jingoism and chauvinism may make weak-minded people think . It is the southern part of Asia. Cf. East Asia, Central Asia, Middle East.

By the same token, you don't call Milton Friedman a Ukrainian-American. Nor do you call Paul Krugman a Belarussian-American. And you never ever call them merely "East European-Americans". That's much much worse.

We clearly call out their cultural antecedent. We clearly spell out that they are JEWISH.

Similarly one has to call out that Parag Dubey is not merely South Asian. Nepalese is better. Hindu is even better. A Hindu brahmin from northern subcontinent is most accurate.

Similarly Raj Chetty is not merely Indian. He is a Tamil. And more specifically a Tamil Chettiar. That's essential to get to the nub of their background.

*Parag Pathak sorry.

Similarly nobody should ever call VS Naipaul merely a Trinidadian or a West Indian. That tells you nothing! What does Naipaul have in common with Brian Lara or CLR James or Usain Bolt? Nothing.

Naipaul is a Hindu brahmin from North India / Nepal. That tells you something about his cultural make-up. And helps you understand the man better.

Krugman is a Jew? I can not say that fact has ever shaped my view of his life and ideas. What about Ayn Rand (real name: Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum)? Jewish or Russian? Herbert Aptheker (a famous communist intellectual)? Jewish or American? This Jewish thing seems to be little predictive power if it makes us put Rand, Friedman, Aptheker and Krugman (not to mention Marx and the Rothschild family) together.
Let's be blunt: Nepal is a real country (even if a devil-worshipping one). Some individuals and some families have come from it. Their heritage should be respected.

Nepal actually showed some signs of wanting to join the Indian Union at the time of independence. Unfortunately the man at the helm (Nehru) did not respond positively.

According to famous Brazilian writer Medeiros e Albuquerque, Ecuador asked to join to Brazil's Republic as soon as it was declared. Brazil's government refused. It does not mean me call Ecuadorians Brazilians.
Nepal is a country, part of South Asia.

I never object to the term Nepalese. But Nepal is culturally Hindu. Some of the greatest characters in the Hindu epic Ramayana (Sita included) are from Nepal.

It is "South Asian" that I object to.

Parag is not an Indian. But he is Nepalese. And a Hindu. To call him South Asian is to rid him of his cultural influences.

"To call him South Asian is to rid him of his cultural influences."
No more than calling someone an European or East Asian instead of Jewish, atheist, Shintoist or descended from Huguenots. It is basic good sense calling someone from South Asia a South Asian. It doesn't matter for the economic analysis if he believes in idols or in the real God.

"Charter schools are treated as their own independent school districts and are not subject to the teachers’ union contract. Pilot schools have most of the flexibility of charter schools, but continue to be covered by the union contract provisions for the teachers. The authors use the random assignment nature of lotteries for entry into over-subscribed charter and pilot schools in Boston as a plausible identification strategy (that is, they compare students with similar backgrounds who applied and were not accepted to an oversubscribed school to an accepted student) and examine test score impacts three years after getting access to these schools. The results are striking. Winning the lottery to get into a charter school is associated consistently with large increases in test scores, but that getting into a pilot school does not improve student performance." - From the AEA statement.

"Charter schools are treated as their own independent school districts and are not subject to the teachers’ union contract. Pilot schools have most of the flexibility of charter schools, but continue to be covered by the union contract provisions for the teachers. The authors use the random assignment nature of lotteries for entry into over-subscribed charter and pilot schools in Boston as a plausible identification strategy (that is, they compare students with similar backgrounds who applied and were not accepted to an oversubscribed school to an accepted student) and examine test score impacts three years after getting access to these schools. The results are striking. Winning the lottery to get into a charter school is associated consistently with large increases in test scores, but that getting into a pilot school does not improve student performance." - From the AEA statement.

A rather noteworthy finding that unsurprisingly has not gotten much play.

Based on how pretty much everything else in the world works, it would be very surprising if a (usually large) near-to-total monopoly supplier produced the best results, or the best ROI.

Yes. The science is settled. We must abolish teachers unions. For the children.

Trump! Trump! Trump!

Hold it - isn't another commenter supposed to say this? I'm not used to it.

So is this a theory guy or an empirical guy?

You may find it interesting if not amusing that Pathak comes from long lineage of royal priests in Nepal. His grandfathers and great grandfathers were big thinkers, scholars of Sanskrit, and strategists and advisors to multiple generation of Kings of Nepal. They were powerful enough to be assigned their own small battalion of soldiers called “Priest’s Battalion” (गुर्जुको पल्टन) which Pathak must’ve seen in his Nepal trips. You may know Nepal sits between two behemoths – India & China, and role of such royal scholars and strategists were vital for its survival and operation. So Pathak’s families still enjoy quite a stature back in Nepal even today, although no King rules Nepal anymore. That gene and that brain still clearly lives on!

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