Friday, November 27, 2015

Econ Job market: send two signals by this weekend!

If you are a new Ph.D. economist on the job market, Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and now is the time to send two signals through the AEA. (The deadline is Monday, but if you wait til then you might forget to get your signal in in time: it's 5pm Eastern Standard Time.) The idea is that you can help break through the congestion for interviews at the AEA meetings, by sending signals to two employers who might otherwise think you were unlikely to be interested enough in them for them to devote one of their interview slots to you.

Don't over-think this (it's not that big a deal), but do send two signals to places at which you'd be glad to get an interview but which might not realize that about you.

Here's the link:

The AEA coordinates a mechanism through which applicants can signal their interest in receiving an interview at the January meetings. In mid-November, each registered JOE candidate on the economics job market will have the opportunity to register and designate no more than two departments (or other employers) to whom to send a signal of particular interest. The AEA will transmit these signals to the departments the candidates choose. (Signals will not be made public.) Employers do not need to do anything to register to receive signals; signals will be sent automatically to the email address provided at the time the JOE listing was submitted.
Please see Signaling for Interviews in the Economics Job Market for a detailed description as well as theTerms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2015 Signaling Timeline:

-2015 Signaling Registration & Signal Selection is now open.
-2015 Signaling Registration & Signal Selection will close on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
-2015 Signals will be sent to employers on December 2, 2015.
Please contact aea_signals "at" with any questions or problems.
You must be logged in as a candidate to participate in signaling.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A deportation delayed, to allow for a kidney exchange.

Here's a complicated story:

KIDNEY TRANSPLANT: Brother gets reprieve before deportation to Cambodia

"A life-and-death fight by two Stockton brothers to delay the deportation of one of them for humanitarian reasons appears headed toward a positive outcome for the men, who came to the United States from Cambodia as refugees in 1985.

"A recent ruling by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will allow Touch Hak, 38, to remain in this country for three more years before his deportation for a past drug offense.

"Those three years will allow Hak to participate in a paired kidney-donation program intended to help his brother, 50-year-old Puthy Hak, receive the transplant he needs to remain alive.

“I did my (prison time) for nine years,” Touch Hak said Monday. “I tried to really rehabilitate myself. It’s a lot of weight lifted from our shoulders. All I want to do is give my brother another chance. This will open another door for him.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Speaking about market design in Moscow (2 photos)

Where the red star is not a Christmas ornament...

Here I am at the Financial University

And here's a brief bio, in Russian:
Специалист по практическим приложения экономики
(Goog translate: Specialist in practical applications of the economy)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Alcott and Kessler on behavior and welfare changes from 'nudges"

An NBER working paper:

The Welfare Effects of Nudges: A Case Study of Energy Use Social Comparisons
Hunt Allcott, Judd B. Kessler
NBER Working Paper No. 21671
Issued in October 2015

"Nudge"-style interventions are typically evaluated on the basis of their effects on behavior, not social welfare. We use a field experiment to measure the welfare effects of one especially policy-relevant intervention, home energy conservation reports. We measure consumer welfare by sending introductory reports and using an incentive-compatible multiple price list to determine willingness-to-pay to continue the program. We combine this with estimates of implementation costs and externality reductions to carry out a comprehensive welfare evaluation. We find that this nudge increases social welfare, although traditional program evaluation approaches overstate welfare gains by a factor of five. To exploit significant individual-level heterogeneity in welfare gains, we develop a simple machine learning algorithm to optimally target the nudge; this would more than double the welfare gains. Our results highlight that nudges, even those that are highly effective at changing behavior, need to be evaluated based on their welfare implications.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kidney Exchange: Algorithms and Incentives: video of my lecture at the Simons Institute

Here's a video (about an hour, with Q&A) of the talk I gave at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, at Berkeley, on Monday Nov 16.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making the market for medical marijuana a little less medical

The NY Times has a story on how easy it is to get a prescription for marijuana in states like California, where medical marijuana is legal but recreational marijuana is  not supposed to be:
Silicon Valley Tries to Alter Your Perception of Cannabis

"One morning in September, I logged on to the website of HelloMD, a medical start-up that promises to connect patients with doctors instantly over the Internet. I filled out my personal details, explained my ailment — I often get heartburn — and entered in my credit card number to cover the $50 consultation fee.

"Within 10 minutes, a pediatrician based near Washington who is licensed to practice medicine in my home state of California popped up on my screen. ...

"The doctor asked about my medical history, current symptoms and familiarity with certain medicines. The interview lasted about three minutes, after which she announced what everyone who visits HelloMD expects to hear: According to her diagnosis, my heartburn made me a candidate for medical marijuana, which has been legal in California since 1996."
Marijuana may eventually be legalized for recreational use in California (as it already is in Colorado, Oregon and the state of Washington). But the market isn't waiting for that:

Prescriptions: HelloMD: "Join and get a Doctor recommendation for medical marijuana. Fully Legal. 100% Online. Secure. Approved in 20 mins."

Find a medical dispensary: Weedmaps