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August 2018

"Academic Sequitur"

I haven't used it, but it might be useful to some people.

Academia is a fast-paced environment, and being up to date on others’ research is important. But most of us are too busy to spend a lot of time sifting through journals’ table of contents, personal webpages, and working paper series to find all the papers we should know about. Academic Sequitur is designed to keep you up to date on research while saving you time. We make sure you get the information you want, nothing more and nothing less.

$1.99/month and they offer a free three-month trial.

"Do Economics Departments Improve after They Appoint a Top Scholar as Chairperson?"

Research article in last November's Kyklos. Abstract:

There has been almost no research into what makes an effective chairperson in a university department. This paper constructs a historical longitudinal dataset on economics departments in 58 US research universities. It documents evidence that a department's research output tends to improve substantially when the incoming department Chair is himself or herself an outstanding scholar (in particular, is highly cited). The analysis adjusts for a set of other possible influences, including the standing of the department, university resources, the previous Chair, the trend in the department's productivity, and time‐lags. Possible interpretations, and implications for future research, are discussed.

"A Striking Similarity: The Revolutionary Findings of Twin Studies"

With this important result:

One of the consequences, I point out to my classes, but that does not really seem to get into the public consciousness, is that as we create more and more egalitarian and equal societies with equal opportunity, the differences between individuals become increasingly more and more genetically based. The differences don’t go away. The overall range may be reduced somewhat, but the differences don’t go away. They become more and more genetic. This is sort of a paradoxical finding, if you are an environmentalist. But if you believe that there are genetic differences, then it’s a natural consequence.

It's a very good thing that this isn't more in "public consciousness". I'm certain that if it were some folks would impose on us a policy like the one in Vonnegut's famous story, "Harrison Bergeron".