Abstract: The policy of the American Economic Review (AER) to publish unrefereed papers in the same volume as refereed ones gives economists the opportunity to pad their resumes by trying to pass Papers & Proceedings off as refereed AER articles. Using unique data on curricula vitae of economists at the top 25 U.S. economics departments, we provide preliminary evidence in support of deliberate obfuscation. Economists with more Papers & Proceedings are more likely to list them in a way that is difficult to distinguish from refereed ones. We then go on to provide support for a more benign explanation, that the convention guiding how one should document Papers & Proceedings is in transition and varies across communities of scholars. We provide a series of difference-in-differences analyses of citation behavior, both at the level of demographic groups and individuals, showing that economists who cite Papers & Proceedings more tend to be the ones who “pad” more, suggesting both are correlated with an additional latent factor — a judgment about the journal’s prestige.
Abstract: We construct and analyze a database consisting of the words used in speeches made by the candidates in the 2008 Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary. We present findings in two key areas. First, we estimate which candidates are more negative by counting the number of times they mention their opponents by name. Both Obama and Clinton are among the least negative. John Edwards is 3.7 times more negative than Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is 4.7 times more negative than Obama. We also compare the speeches of the candidates to speeches delivered by famous political figures and orators such as Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy. For example, we can ask whether a candidate's words are more like those of MLK versus Ronald Reagan. Using our metric, John McCain and Mitt Romney are the most like Ronald Reagan whereas (within the set of primary candidates) the words of Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama are the closest to those of Martin Luther King. Hillary Clinton is by far the candidate closest in oratory to Bill Clinton.
Coverage: Freakonomics, Greg Mankiw's Blog