Business Week Notes Our Blog

Posted on May 28, 2006 by

5


Earlier in the week I received an e-mail from Business Week expressing interest in our blog.  The e-mail asked if we were planning on posting often, and if we were not then they would link to some other site.  I answered that we were of course going to post frequently, primarily because I was thrilled that someone at Business Week had noticed our work.  Since I said this, though, I have had second thoughts.

To understand my trepidation, one needs to understand the life of a college professor.  Our job consists of two activities, teaching and research.  When it comes to research, Marty and I average between two and three published articles per year.  Given that the average economist in the 23-campus California State University system averages about one publication every three years, Marty and I can be thought of as above average researchers.

Of course, if you shift to a different reference point then we don’t appear to work quite that hard.  Steve Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has published across his career about five academic articles per year. So relative to Levitt, Marty and I get to make excuses for why we can’t write more. 

Even if we were as prolific as Levitt, though, we are still only talking about five papers per year.  Basically if you can come up with five ideas per year, and write as well as Levitt, then you can be a star in our profession. 

Although five ideas per year is amazing in academia, in the world of journalism one has to try harder. And Business Week is in the world of journalism.  So when Business Week asked if we would post on a regular basis they were not asking if we would come up with five posts per year.  In fact, if that is all we do, Business Week will think I was lying and furthermore, I don’t think people are going to keep visiting our site.

Luckily we have managed to come up with more than five ideas.  A little over one month into this venture and we have made about 40 posts, although I am not sure that we have quite reached five good observations.  Still, our plan is to keep up this pace.  I have to admit, though, that this is a bit time consuming. 

Perhaps the problem is in what I hope we can accomplish on this forum.  My hope is that The Wages of Wins Journal can present stories each day that not only help people better understand our research, but also further their appreciation of both sports and economics.  On top of that, I hope we are interesting and entertaining. 

Consequently, posts like this where I'm just rambling for several paragraphs are not going to work.  Hopefully I can do much better with the next item I post.

— DJ

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