Friday, November 20, 2009

Econometric Society Fellows: A Tale of Two Duncans

The Fellows of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Econometric Society are an elite group of economists, numbering less than 500, nominated and elected by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir peers:
To be eligible for nomination as a Fellow, a person must have published original contributions to economic cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory or to such statistical, macá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365matical, or accounting analyses as have a definite bearing on problems in economic cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory... Candidates elected to Fellowship are those with a total number of check marks at least equal to 30 percent of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 number of mail ballots submitted by Fellows. Over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 past decade about 15 candidates per year have been elected as new Fellows.
Among cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most recently elected fellows is 84 year old R. Duncan Luce, who by most accounts should have been elected decades ago. Jeff Ely (himself a newly elected fellow) explains why it took so long:
The problem is that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are many economists and its costly to investigate each one to see if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y pass cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bar. So you pick a shortlist of candidates who are contenders and you investigate those.  Some pass, some don’t.  Now, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 next problem is that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are many fellows and many non-fellows and its hard to keep track of exactly who is in and who is out.  And again it’s costly to go and check every vita to find out who has not been admitted yet.
So when you pick your shortlist, you are including only economists who you think are not already fellows.  Someone like Duncan Luce, who certainly should have been elected 30 years ago most likely was elected 30 years ago so you would never consider putting him on your shortlist.
Indeed, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 simple rule of thumb you would use is to focus on young people for your shortlist.  Younger economists are more likely to be both good enough and not already fellows.
This makes sense. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 proliferation of blogs makes cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 costs of identifying individuals who have been unfairly overlooked much lower, because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 task can be decentralized. Anyone anywhere in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 world can make a case and hope that some existing fellows take notice.
In this spirit, let me make a case for Duncan Foley. While still a graduate student in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 1960's, Foley introduced what is now a standard concept of fairness into general equilibrium cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ory. Here's what Andrew Postlewaite wrote in 1988 about this innovation:
Nearly 20 years ago Duncan Foley introduced a notion of fairness which was completely consistent with standard economic models. This notion was that of envy, or more precisely, lack of envy. An economic outcome was said to be envy-free if no one preferred anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r's final bundle of goods and services to his or her own bundle. The concept is both compelling and easily accommodated in standard economic models. It is attractive on several grounds. First, it is ordinal - it does not depend upon cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 particular utility function representing one's preferences, and thus avoids all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 problems associated with interpersonal comparison of utilities. Second, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 concept relies on precisely cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same economic data necessary to determine cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 efficiency or nonefficiency of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 outcomes associated with a particular policy. After Foley introduced this concept into modern economics a number of economists, including Pazner, Schmeidler, Varian, Vind, and Yaari, analyzed and extended cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 concept.
It is now more than 40 years since Foley developed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se ideas. For cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 concept of envy-free allocations alone he deserves to be elected, but this is just one of several notable contributions. His papers on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 core of an economy with public goods (Econometrica 1970), equilibrium with costly marketing (Journal of Economic Theory 1970), portfolio choice and growth (American Economic Review 1970), asset management with trading uncertainty (Review of Economic Studies 1975), and asset equilibrium in macroeconomic models (Journal of Political Economy 1975) all continue to be widely cited. He has made influential contributions to Marxian economics (Journal of Economic Theory 1982) and used ideas from classical cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rmodynamics to understand price dispersion (Journal of Economic Theory 1994). And he has written several books, including a pioneering effort in 1971 with Miguel Sidrauski on monetary and fiscal policy in a growing economy.

It is my hope that someday soon he will be nominated and elected a new fellow of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Econometric Society, an honor he so richly deserves.

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