Matthew Olckers Economist by day; graffiti nerd by night.

Networks conference at Vanderbilt

In April I travelled to Nashville to attend a conference on networks in economics. Researchers from many fields presented and the quality was extremely high. I made some notes on a few presentations that caught my attention.

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My favorite papers at the ASSA Meeting 2018

Last year, I trawled through the list of papers which were presented at the ASSA Annual Meeting and picked a few of my favorites. It was interesting to look back on what caught my eye. I decided to do the same this year. Below are a selection of papers I find interesting from the hundreds of papers that will be presented in January.

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How to remember the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker first order conditions

I teach the maths refresher and microeconomics tutorial for the PSME program. Students need to maximize utility functions or profit functions and minimize expenditure functions or cost functions—but subject to constraints. I have trouble remembering the signs and direction of inequalities in the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker first order conditions. This blog post proposes a method to remember the first order conditions that should suffice for all the problems my students will tackle.

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Oomph versus sizeless science

I have been reading Ziliak and McCloskey’s The Cult of Statistical Significance. I am extremely relieved I stumbled upon their argument early in my research career. If I hadn’t, I would have continued on the path to sizeless science.

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Choosing M2 courses and PhD programs

A student who was in the microeconomics tutorial I taught last year asked a few questions about course choices in M2 (the second year of masters in France) and progression to a PhD.

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