August 2009 Archives

Tyler Cowen had a nice post in which he commented on an expertly written article--expertly written in every sense of the word--by Preston McAfee on what makes a good editor. I would expand this description to say that this article is extremely beneficial for junior economists on how to write good papers, and how to avoid writing really bad ones. I would recommend reading the whole article to any economist whose job depends on publishing articles in refereed journals, but here are a few of my favorite quotes and nuggets of wisdom from the paper.

...A personal agenda is a bias, and when it matters, will lead to bad decisions. As everyone has biases, this is of course relative; if your reaction is "but it isn't a bias, I'm just right" you have a strong personal agenda.

American Time Use Breakdown

Score another one for the New York Times interactive graphics department. [Thanks to Jason for bringing this to my attention.] They wrote a cool little article highlighting the differences between how the unemployed and employed use their time in a given day using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) for 2008, which includes data from our current recession. The best part is the interactive graphic (shown below) that allows you to see what percentage of people in the given classification are doing each different activity each minute of the average day.



  • Richard W. Evans is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University

  • Jason DeBacker is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Middle Tennessee State University

  • Kerk L. Phillips is an Associate Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University