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[学术治理与讨论] 纽约时报:斯坦福大学经济系是如何后来居上的?   [推广有奖]

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wwqqer 在职认证  发表于 2015-9-12 00:44:30 |显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 wwqqer 于 2016-9-15 17:48 编辑


斯坦福大学经济系正大张旗鼓地招徕学术界新星,更重要的是它正引领着经济学研究的最新发展方向:不再以经济学派划分,而是以更开放的心态利用大数据和新计算技术进行
跨学科研究

“shifted away from theoretical modeling and toward “empirical microeconomics,” the analysis of how things work in the real world, often arranging complex experiments or exploiting large sets of data. That kind of work requires lots of research assistants, work across disciplines including fields like sociology and computer science, and the use of advanced computational techniques unavailable a generation ago.”。


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正在为自己的出路犯愁的博士们,这个是你们的未来。。。


How Stanford Took On the Giants of Economics
SEPT. 10, 2015
stanford.jpg

The center of gravity for economic thought in the United States has long been found along the two miles in Cambridge, Mass., that run between Harvard University and M.I.T. But there is new competition for that title, and it is quite a bit farther west.

Stanford University has lured an all-star lineup of economists to Palo Alto, Calif., in the last few years — and fended off Harvard’s and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s attempts to woo Stanford economists.

The newest Stanford professors include a Nobel laureate — Alvin E. Roth, formerly of Harvard — but the shift is more noticeable among top young economists. Of the 11 people who have won the John Bates Clark Medal for best economist under age 40 since 2000, four are now at Stanford, more than at any other university. Two of them joined in the last few months: the inequality researcher Raj Chetty, who came from Harvard, and Matthew Gentzkow, who left the University of Chicago.

Stanford’s success with economists is part of a larger campaign to stake a claim as the country’s top university. Its draw combines a status as the nation’s “it” university — now with the lowest undergraduate acceptance rate and a narrow No. 2 behind Harvard for the biggest fund-raising haul — with its proximity to many of the world’s most dynamic companies. Its battle with Eastern universities echoes fights in other industries in which established companies, whether hotels or automobile makers, are being challenged by Silicon Valley money and entrepreneurship.

And it is a reflection of a broader shift in the study of economics, in which the most cutting-edge work increasingly relies less on a big-brained individual scholar developing mathematical theories, and more on the ability to crunch extensive sets of data to glean insights about topics as varied as how incomes differ across society and how industries organize themselves.

“Who wouldn’t want to be where the future of the world is being made?” said Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University (and regular contributor to The New York Times) who often blogs about trends in academic economics. Stanford’s economics department, he said, “has an excitement about it which Boston and Cambridge can’t touch.”

In economics, Stanford has frequently been ranked just behind Harvard, M.I.T., Princeton and the University of Chicago, including in the most recent U.S. News & World Report survey of graduate school rankings, conducted in 2013, and in calculations of which department’s scholars are most frequently cited in academic literature. That might change. In the last four years, Stanford has increased the number of senior faculty by 25 percent, and 11 scholars with millions in cumulative salary have either been recruited from other top programs or resisted poaching attempts by those programs.

That said, Stanford’s reputation in the future may depend less on a few big-name recruits than on its ability to train the Ph.Ds whose scholarship is widely cited and reshapes important economic debates, or who become influential policy makers who advise presidents and lead central banks. The last 10 people to serve as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers have all had a Ph.D from either Harvard or M.I.T. (the last without one was Janet L. Yellen, who left the job in 1999, and received hers from Yale). Among the Ph.D economists who have exerted great influence on global economic policy in recent years, the former Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke; the European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi; the retiring International Monetary Fund chief economist, Olivier Blanchard; and the Fed vice chairman, Stanley Fischer, all studied at M.I.T.

Unsurprisingly, many of those with top East Coast programs view Cambridge’s intellectual leadership role as safe. “Stanford’s keen interest in recruiting Harvard faculty is testimony to our strength,” said David Laibson, chairman of the Harvard economics department. “We’ve got a big target on our back because many of the world’s most exciting, creative, and innovative scholars are on our faculty, and Stanford is rightly going for some of them.” He notes that his department has lots of collaboration with other schools at Harvard, and that nearby M.I.T. and the National Bureau of Economic Research create a deep concentration of economic thinking, and said the department is on a recruiting push of its own.

But the recent recruiting success of Stanford shows something broader about how the economics profession is changing. The specialties of the new recruits vary, but they are all examples of how the momentum in economics has shifted away from theoretical modeling and toward “empirical microeconomics,” the analysis of how things work in the real world, often arranging complex experiments or exploiting large sets of data. That kind of work requires lots of research assistants, work across disciplines including fields like sociology and computer science, and the use of advanced computational techniques unavailable a generation ago.

That trend is evident across leading economics departments — the traditional powerhouses have plenty of scholars doing work in the same vein, including work by Esther Duflo at M.I.T. on how to test ways to fight global poverty and by Roland G. Fryer Jr. at Harvard on the roots of racial inequality. But the scholars who have newly signed on with Stanford described a university particularly well suited to research in that vein, with a combination of lab space, strong budgets for research support and proximity to engineering talent.

“I was very happy where I was in Chicago, but it felt like there is a sense of excitement and really building something at Stanford,” Mr. Gentzkow said. “Stanford as a university is in a really strong position right now, and has a lot of resources, and seems very committed to using those resources to build on the frontier of economics.”

Recent hires said that their compensation packages were about the same as their previous employers offered, though in some cases with more generous research budgets. Provost John W. Etchemendy argued that the university’s recruiting had benefited from cross-departmental work as economists share ideas and resources with, for example, computer science and statistics departments.

Mr. Roth, who joined Stanford from Harvard in 2012, cited his own work on kidney transplants as an example. He has led efforts to build a “paired exchange” system through which people who cannot donate a kidney to a loved one because of a mismatch in blood type, antigens or antibodies can instead donate a kidney to a recipient who is a match and who has a donor willing and able to donate to the other recipient. He collaborates with colleagues from the medical and engineering schools. “This gets very computationally complex,” he said.

Mr. Chetty, meanwhile, saw benefits in the concentration of research that uses Big Data, large sets of research that are hard to compile and analyze. His work has examined, for example, whether the quality of a kindergarten teacher has long-lasting effects on a person’s life and earnings.

“Some of the attraction of the Bay Area is simply the fact that there are exciting opportunities with data and methods and machine learning,” he said. And that type of work requires lab space that more closely resembles that needed in the hard sciences — a fact Stanford has exploited.

Less clear is whether the agglomeration of economic stars at Stanford will ever amount to the kind of coherent school of thought that has been achieved at some other great universities.

The Chicago School, under the intellectual imprint of Milton Friedman, was a leader in neoclassical thought that emphasizes the efficiency of markets and the risks of government intervention. M.I.T.’s economics department has a long record of economic thought in the Keynesian tradition, and it produced several of the top policy makers who have guided the world economy through the tumultuous last several years.

“There isn’t a Stanford school of thought,” said B. Douglas Bernheim, chairman of the university’s economics department. “This isn’t a doctrinaire place. Generally doctrine involves simplification, and increasingly we recognize that these social issues we’re trying to figure out are phenomenally complicated. The consensus at Stanford has focused around the idea that you have to be open to a lot of approaches and ways of thinking about things, and to be rigorous, thorough and careful in bringing the highest standard of craft to bear on your research.”

In other words, it is less about the specific conclusion a scholar reaches, and more about how they get there.

“My sense is this is a good development for economics,” Mr. Chetty said. “I think Stanford is going to be another great department at the level of Harvard and M.I.T. doing this type of work, which is an example of economics becoming a deeper field. It’s a great thing for all the universities — I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game.”

And in its recent recruiting, Stanford may have had a secret weapon, coming from the skies. “Even the weather cooperated with us this year,” Mr. Bernheim said. “Nine feet of snow in Boston this past winter couldn’t have hurt.”



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wwqqer 在职认证  发表于 2015-9-12 00:46:58 |显示全部楼层
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Edwardliu 在职认证  发表于 2015-9-12 01:02:41 |显示全部楼层
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Edwardu 发表于 2015-9-12 01:34:23 |显示全部楼层

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good case
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caifacai 发表于 2015-9-12 06:14:20 |显示全部楼层
了解一下人家的先进经验!感谢分享!
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Crsky7 发表于 2015-9-12 11:35:26 |显示全部楼层
Soon there will be a new profession called "IT economist"
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Crsky7 发表于 2015-9-12 11:55:59 |显示全部楼层

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How Stanford Took On the Giants of Economics
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Jealy 在职认证  发表于 2015-9-12 20:09:42 |显示全部楼层
感谢分享!
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JTWSH 发表于 2015-9-13 00:58:02 |显示全部楼层
还行
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