Matthew Olckers Economist by day; graffiti nerd by night.

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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Messing about with Jupyter, Rise, and Reveal.js

Next week I will be teaching a maths refresher course for the masters degree I completed two years ago. Many students become frustrated in the first semester because they are not fluent in maths. They cannot enjoy economic theory without the necessary maths skills. My job is to teach the necessities.

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