#Economics (updated) Reply

This afternoon I told my Average is over story to the new Honours class. Part of it is to say that everyone of us need to keep learning and one of the best ways to build a personal learning network is through Twitter. What follows is my list of recommendations for students starting to use Twitter for academic purposes, updated for 2015.

01COWAN-blog427Step 1: Follow your lecturers on Twitter. In the School of Economics @ekonoom is on Twitter, but you will also find Requier Wait (@RequierWait), Carike Claassen (@carikec), Alicia Fourie (@Alicia_Fourie), Dr Henri Bezuidenhout (@HenriBez) and Prof Marianne Matthee (@MattheeMarianne). You can add Prof Parsons (@RWKParsons) to your list as well.

Step 2: Follow other South African academic economists. At Stellenbosch I recommend Johan Fourie (@JohanFourieZA) and Neil Rankin (@NeilRankinZA). The Bureau of Economic Research tweets as @BERcoza. John Luiz (@JohnMLuiz) is at UCT Graduate School of Business and first President of the Economic Society of South Africa who is active on Twitter. Ed Kerby (@Edkerby) is an economic historian working at UCT and the LSE. Adrian Saville (@AdrianSaville) is a visiting Professor at GIBS. There are a few others out there, but they tweet very little. More…

Come for the signalling, stay for the human capital 1

This afternoon we are welcoming the honours class of 2015. It is a select group about to start a tough fourth year specialising in Economics, Risk Management or International Trade. Now there is a lot of good advice out there for students and this blog hopes to add to that stock throughout the year. To start:

  • Prof Jonathan Jansen recently had some strong words for the first years of 2015.
  • Johan Fourie makes some great points: don’t follow the crowd, ask questions, build your network etc.
  • Chris Blatmann’s advice to post-grad students are always popular.

I draw some inspiration from a Noah Smith post. He argues that “college” is not about signalling, it is about building human capital.

The job market signalling model holds that employers have difficulty determining the ability of prospective employees – you can get to the job interview and tell them you are smart and dedicated, but they unlikely to believe you. Consequently, potential employees signal their ability by obtaining certain qualifications – going to the interview with the certified copy of your honours degree will signal that you are smart and dedicated! More…

Secular Stagnation 2

Secular Stagnation – not about church or politics – instead the idea that the developed world could be constrained to a future of persistent slow growth.

Base rates of the UK,  EU and USA central banks.

Base rates of the UK,
EU and USA central banks.

Most people have never heard of secular stagnation (unless they lived in 1938) until Larry Summers’ (Harvard University) speech at the IMF in November 2013 breathed new life into the phrase. He claimed that since the recession of 2008, the “zero lower bound” on interest rates had become an almost familiar sight, when most economists had expected it to be merely a temporary adjustment following the recession. More…

Building international links Reply

Our early 2015 research efforts continued this week by building some international ties. Prof Maria Santana-Galego of the University of the Balearic Islands visited the School and met with colleagues the the TRADE and TREES research entities.

Maria SantanaOn Tuesday she presented a paper on how trade linkages serve as a channel for the transmission of different types of crises (exchange rate, financial, sovereign debt crises). Instead of looking only at the volatility of the exchange rate during a crisis, she considers and controls for different exchange rate regimes.

In the process we learned about two cool resources:

Maria also discussed the gravity model approach with colleagues working on export margins and the identification of export opportunities. We hope to see some co-authored papers in the future.