01 June 2010

The Life of an Academic

Marginal Revolution | Alex Tabarrok | Understanding Incentives

I had the following conversation with a friend who wishes to remain anonymous (it wasn't Tyler).
A: Heh, how's it going?

Anon: Oh, so, so. I had a paper rejected today.

A: Ah, sorry, I get depressed when that happens.

Anon: Well in my case it's not all bad. My wife and I have an understanding that whenever I have a paper rejected we have sex.

A: What! That's a terrible system for getting papers published. What kind of economist are you?! Don't you understand incentives!

Anon: What kind of economist am I? What kind of economist are you?! You have failed to understand what I am maximizing!
I bowed down before the greater wisdom of my friend.

I got a paper accepted this weekend. I never thought I would even consider feeling disappointed about that news, but the notion crossed my mind briefly after reading this.

Speaking of that paper, WTF reviewers? Did you read the same article I sent you? I am sorely tempted to respond to one of them, Damn right, my model doesn't do FOO. It doesn't cook you a delicious omlette either. It's not supposed to. I'm trying to build a model of some human behavior on task X, and two of the three reviewers criticized me because the model doesn't exhibit behaviors Y and Z, but failed to notice that the humans didn't either.

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