The professor at the heart of a rankings scandal at the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management has resigned, The Kansas City Star reported. The controversy centers on an innovation-management program that the professor, Michael Song, founded in 2005 and led until last year.
In 2012 a journal article ranked the university as the top institution in the world in the field of innovation management, and Mr. Song as the field’s top researcher. But an investigation by the Star last year raised questions about how the rankings had been obtained, and suggested that Mr. Song had been inappropriately involved in preparing the journal article. The newspaper also questioned whether he had played a role in the submission of misleading data about the Bloch School to Princeton Review, a college-preparation company that ranks universities and programs.
Mr. Song has denied any inappropriate involvement in the journal article or in the submission of flawed data to Princeton Review. An independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, however, confirmed many details of the newspaper’s investigation. Princeton Review has withdrawn its 2014 ranking of the Bloch School. ...
I guess you would conclude that the inflated rankings weren't worth it. Here is the link.
I received my hard copy of JEEM (January 2015) in the mail last Friday. Some questions and comments:
Why did I receive a hard copy of JEEM in the mail? I sure as heck didn't pay for it.
There are only four articles and 62 pages. Are the new editors clamping down on the drivel and tripe that has lately made it into the pages of JEEM?
The website says that the January 2015 issue is volume 69.
Volume 68 (July, Sept and Nov 2014) had 3 issues, 23 articles and 526 pages.
Volume 70 (in progress) is dated March 2015.
Is Elsevier going with 6 volumes, sans issues, each year? Maybe Elsevier is trying to catch up with the JPE (only 50 more volumes to go!)?
Whatever is going on, we can be sure the changes are designed to increase the price charged to university libraries.
And no, I'm not still angry about having a revise and resubmit, that we thought we had nailed (or nearly so), rejected due to a relatively closed-minded referee who failed to consider an alternative approach and made a number of incorrect assertions in the process of writing the second report. I'll post the rebuttal letter that I wrote to the editor someday (I sent it to the editor after we had resubmitted it to another journal). And no, I'm not still angry.
The 2015 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) & the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society (CAES) Annual Meeting and Workshop will be held June 27-30 at Hotel Viking in the historic seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island.
The 2015 conference features many opportunities to interact and learn including: Selected Paper sessions, Symposia, Plenary Talks, and Workshop Sessions. The Annual Meeting will begin with an opening evening reception at Hotel Viking on Sunday, June 28; the academic program will follow on Monday and Tuesday. We encourage participation from academic, public, and private sector agricultural and resource economists as well as graduate students. A two-day pre-conference workshop on“Economics of Water Quality”, led by Todd Guilfoos (URI), will start at noon on Saturday, June 27 concluding in the afternoon on Sunday, June 28.
Abstracts: Abstracts for the Annual Meeting Selected Papers and Symposia are due February 1, 2015. Abstracts for the Workshop (Economics of Water Quality) are due February 13, 2015. Please submit your abstractsthrough http://www.narea.org/2015/proposal/submit.asp.
Keynote speakers: We are delighted to announce the two keynote speakers for the Annual Meeting.
Dan Dudek, Environmental Defense Fund: Dr. Dan Dudek is one of the world's leading experts in developing cap-and-trade programs to reduce pollution at the lowest possible cost. He is widely credited with developing the cap-and-trade model that led to dramatic reductions in sulfur dioxide, the leading cause of acid rain, in the United States. Dan now leads EDF’s China office, where he designs carbon demonstration projects and develops market mechanisms to address large-scale environmental problems. Dan focuses on market-based instruments for environmental protection, emissions cap-and-trade programs, environmental governance, and environmental commodities markets. http://www.edf.org/people/dan-j-dudek
Christian Vossler, University of Tennessee: an applied microeconomist and applied econometrician whose research primarily focuses on environmental and public economics issues. Much of his research has centered on non-market valuation methods used to estimate the benefits of environmental and other public goods, with special attention on mechanism design and validity issues related to survey-based valuation methods. Other research areas include environmental pollution control instruments, regulatory compliance, and public goods provision. https://sites.google.com/site/christianvossler/research
Blocked rooms are available at the government per diem rate from June 26th through July 1st. Hotel Viking is nestled in the Historic Hill district, a stroll away from the seaside heart of Newport, Harbor, the beaches, historic mansions, award-winning restaurants, and more! Bring your family and enjoy Newport at its best.
If you have any questions related to the Annual Meeting paper and symposium submission, please contact Martin Heintzelman (email@example.com). Questions related to the workshop can be directed to Todd Guilfoos (firstname.lastname@example.org), while those related to local arrangements can be directed to Emi Uchida (email@example.com).
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been hearing plenty on that topic since he remarked this week, during a discussion of his proposal to cut state appropriations for the University of Wisconsin system by $300-million over two years, that the universities “might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class a semester.” ...
The question is part of a larger public debate that goes back to at least 1967, when another Republican governor, Ronald Reagan of California, asserted that taxpayers should not be “subsidizing intellectual curiosity.”
Gov. Walker is correct. Universities could save in labor costs by having professors teach one more course. That would certainly be a benefit to the taxpayers. But then there is an opportunity cost -- the value of what has been given up by the reallocation of professors' time. This is more difficult to quantify but let me try to describe it. Most professors at most universities conduct research in their field. Some of this research advances knowledge in important ways (and is the stuff that fills up textbooks, by the way) and some ... not so much.
For most professors, the act of engaging in research makes them better teachers. It gives them a deeper understanding of the topic, keeps them current in their field, and adds excitement to the classroom. For example, I'm sure I could teach micro principles and do a halfway decent job without conducting any research on the side (or teach "out of the book" in macro principles). But, my teaching in upper level courses, the courses taken by economics majors that they hope helps get them jobs, would certainly suffer as I lose the important insights about what is currently being done in the field.
Professors who don't do research ultimately become less effective teachers. Having all professors teach one more course would have this as a long term opportunity cost to taxpayers. Of course, I'm a professor and I think the long term cost of less effective teaching outweighs the short term benefit of cost savings. I'm also a parent with kids who'll be thinking about college in less than five years. One thing I'll want to know is how intellectually curious their future professors might be. If taxpayers don't subsidize intellectual curiosity there will be less intellectual curiosity amongst the people who are teaching young adults to be intellectually curious.
One of the underlying themes is that state politicians think that professors are lazy. I know research active professors who seem to work a lot and I know research active professors who seem to work a little (but who can really tell?). I also know professors who don't do research (say, as soon as right after getting tenure ... I'm not so worried about those who shelve their research agenda a few years before retirement). Some of these non-research active professors work a lot of hours on teaching and others don't work a lot of hours (but who can tell, really?). In my college and department we rightly give these professors an extra course to teach.
But I don't think effort should be the issue when it comes to state university funding. When state politicians cut budgets with the intent of getting professors to work more that is simply micro-management borne out of ignorance. At the university we are very interested in labor productivity. We have annual reviews, third year reviews, tenure and promotion reviews and post-tenure reviews (every five years in the UNC system). We measure outputs (i.e., publications) and not inputs (i.e., hours worked) because we value the output and not the input. Honestly, I really don't care if a talented professor goes home early, gets a publication in a reputable journal each year and teaches effectively. But, if there are no outputs professors are routinely penalized. No one claims on their annual review that they put in 50 hour weeks to write a crappy paper that will never get published (i.e., I punched the clock). The game is different than in more traditional jobs. The state politicians that are currently in charge in a lot of places don't seem to care to understand that.
And they don't seem to care to understand about the long term costs of reducing subsidies for intellectual curiosity.*
This article traces the history of economists’ treatment of environmental problems prior to the establishment of environmental economics as a separate field in the 1960s. I examine the economics literature from the late eighteenth century onward, searching for an awareness among early economists of both the effects of economic activity on the natural and social environment and the feedback from the environment to the economy. I argue that the way in which economic theory developed made it increasingly relevant for the study of environmental issues and the design of appropriate economic policies. (JEL: B00, Q30, Q50)
My problem is I want to conduct extraneous empirical analysis:
The Senate on Wednesday voted that “climate change is real and is not a hoax” as Democrats used the Keystone XL pipeline debate to force votes on the politically charged issue ahead of the 2016 elections.
The “hoax” amendment to the pipeline bill from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) passed 98-1, with only Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm, voting “no.”
In a surprise, the Senate’s leading skeptic of climate science, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), voted in favor of the amendment — but made clear he doesn’t believe humans are the primary driver of climate change. ...
Republicans backed Inhofe’s stance in a second vote, rejecting an amendment from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) that stated, “climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”
The “significantly” in the provision is what many Republicans pointed to as a point of contention as they blocked the amendment in a 50-49 vote, short of the 60 that was needed for approval. ...
In an attempt to provide political cover for Republicans, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) put forward an alternative that expressed the sense of the Senate that the Keystone oil pipeline would not significantly impact the environment or contribute to global emissions. The provision included a line stating that humans contribute to climate change but without the word “significantly.”
Fifteen Republicans voted for that amendment ...
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ... said the Senate would vote Thursday on his amendment, which goes one step further by stating that climate change is “already causing severe problems all over the world, we have a window of opportunity and we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency.”
Wednesday’s votes came after senators duked it out on the Senate floor in a wide-ranging debate over climate change and its relationship — or lack thereof — to the $8 billion pipeline project, which is undergoing federal review.
“It starts by admitting you have a problem, just like many other areas of human life,” Whitehouse said of Republicans’ skepticism on climate change.
In case you want to write a paper on all this, I'll get you started. Here is the linear probability model of the votes on the Hoeven amendment regressed on ideology and political party using data from govtrack.us. The dependent variable equals 1 for yea and 0 for nay. Political party and ideology, which ranges from zero (liberal) to one (conservative), explains 62% of the votes.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous