Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The importance of screening

Will Wilkinson points to a comment thread over on the Econ Job Rumours bulletin board where a bunch of folks finishing up their PhDs and looking at the job market complain about the Ostrom Nobel on grounds that she isn't an economist, that she didn't publish in the top economics journals, that her work wasn't mathy enough, that they never saw her stuff on any of their course reading lists, and that it was just a token throw to a woman. And, the occasional comment from someone claiming to be from the "demand side" warning these idiots that the market is weighing more heavily interdisciplinary work and that they might expect to be asked questions summarizing Ostrom's work when they get to the ASSA meetings.

The Ostrom Nobel of course now makes an Ostrom question a much coarser screen than it once would have been: they'll at least now have heard of her and the sensible ones will have a few canned answers prepped up.

I still like to ask candidates who their favorite economics bloggers are and what recent working paper from outside their dissertation area they've found most interesting. 'Cause why would I want a colleague who can't talk about anything beyond what he or she's currently working on? Boring....

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