Archive for the ‘Cleetus posts’ Category

“Good” people

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Cleetus posts

During my travels this summer I met a pair of New Yorkers who claimed that people living in NY are sooo aware, conscious, environmentally friendly and on and on and on. Their basic argument is that living in a big ass city is so much more sustainable compared to hillbillies in Nebraska with their pick-ups, bon fires, meat-eating etc. I must say that I do not know if people in cities are more sustainable than others but given the overall a need for energy, water, produce etc I’m not so sure. It really doesn’t matter, what matters is the moral licensing that these people utilize. Moral licensing refers to doing something you think is good that actually makes you more likely to do something dubious later. It would be interesting to compare different parts of the country with regard to this issue and in particular to relate it to philanthropic giving. Here is another good example with the terrific name the organic path to obesity: “when evaluating a person with a weight-loss goal, forgoing exercise is deemed more acceptable when the person has just chosen organic rather than conventional dessert”



Show Me state

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Cleetus posts

I would love to attend this, perhaps I should call in sick for the next 14 weeks.


Several exciting folks are hiding within the University of Missouri system, perhaps I should move to the Show Me state. Peter Klein at Mizzou is a personal favorite. With an Austrian economic focus he actually wants to discuss organizations and organizing. In Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City) a bunch of crazy economists are running the econ department. For those of you interested in old style institutional economics James Sturgeon has posted tons of readings for your pleasure. Nothing beats an afternoon with Veblen and a moose drool. Recently UMKC also added this dude to add to the bubbling soup in the econ department. Maybe a field will do, they say they have good BBQ too.


Sociology lesson

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Cleetus posts

It is great to be back in the Midwest after some marvelous adventures in South America and the northwest. I have plowed through 36 books (thank you K for the Kindle) and conducted 90 interviews. There is so much to talk and discuss but I don’t have time right now. Instead, why not indulge in some sociology. I learned that Scandinavians loves Foucault and can not use the word reality without using “the rabbit ears of forced irony”. I also realized I must go to Iceland and that complexity theorists apparently enjoys talking about social entrepreneurship.


Study entrepreneurship

Posted: July 3, 2010 in Cleetus posts

Where can I get a degree in entrepreneurship? Even though there is an ongoing debate whether entrepreneurship can be taught, colleges keep building entrepreneurship courses and programs. There are few programs devoted to social entrepreneurship (Duke and Stanford have some interesting stuff) but we believe that getting a degree in entrepreneurship is just as good because you can use whatever prefix you want, unless you get entrepreneurship you will not grasp social- public- or whatever type of entrepreneurship you are interested in. The magazine Entrepreneur published a list of the best graduate programs in 2009 and this is a good entry point.


Creative research?

Posted: July 1, 2010 in Cleetus posts

One reason I enjoy going into databases and find some strange sounding journal and randomly scan articles in that journal is to spot interesting methods and in particular samples. It doesn’t matter if it is obscure science parks in rural Vietnam or UFO observers or people that live in really tall buildings (find them at Goggle Scholar). Bubba is fond of organic metaphors but I often use sports because even the redneck dudes in class seem to be able to relate. One of my friends at Yale told me about this paper that investigates race discrimination by analyzing NBA games. She uses it in her classes and the students really respond to it. Here is the abstract:

The NBA provides an intriguing place to test for taste-based discrimination: referees and players are

involved in repeated interactions in a high-pressure setting with referees making the type of split-second

decisions that might allow implicit racial biases to manifest themselves. Moreover, the referees receive

constant monitoring and feedback on their performance. (Commissioner Stern has claimed that NBA

referees “are the most ranked, rated, reviewed, statistically analyzed and mentored group of employees

of any company in any place in the world.”) The essentially arbitrary assignment of refereeing crews

to basketball games, and the number of repeated interactions allow us to convincingly test for own-race

preferences. We find — even conditioning on player and referee fixed effects (and specific game fixed

effects) — that more personal fouls are called against players when they are officiated by an opposite-race

refereeing crew than when officiated by an own-race crew. These biases are sufficiently large that

we find appreciable differences in whether predominantly black teams are more likely to win or lose,

based on the racial composition of the refereeing crew.


Economics and economists

Posted: June 30, 2010 in Cleetus posts

Economics and economists are being beat up really bad from both the left and right these days. We do not like to generalize about an entire academic field and perhaps the problem is not so much economics as it is some of the people calling themselves economists. Since we belong to the fringe division of economic thinking (which includes OLD institutional economics, Austrian economics and the voodoo field of development economics and Stockholm School of Econ. inspired thinking) it is always entertaining to see how “mainstream” economics deal with their issues. So when the politically correct Krugman writes (in 09) “As I see it, the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth” it appears as if the problem are really big egos and the inherent problem of taking theory and turn it into policy. (read the full NYT column here) Interestingly the mainstream is now attempting to band aid its issues by coming up with new fancy terms and ideas to move forward. This is good, but new? For example, here you can read about Austrian economist Peter Klein’s (at Mizzou) irritation with behavioral economics. We like to think of entrepreneurship as irritation so perhaps a good beating is what is needed at this point.