Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sobre el complejo rol del “publicar bien” en la actividad científica

Hola estimados/as

Hace un tiempo publiqué un post sobre el tema de las publicaciones y la estructura de incentivos que generan en los investigadores (por si alguien quiere recordarlo)

Aquí les paso otra opinión en ese sentido, aunque esta vez es de alguien “importante” (al menos alguien que ganó uno de los Nóbel de verdad, no el trucho)

Aquí va

viva la rev

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La envidia de todo interesado en la Historia Económica

Uno podría decir que lo más complicado de una investigación es encontrar un setting donde la pregunta que queremos responder pueda responderse de forma transparente. Siguiendo a Angrist (http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.24.2.3) esa parece ser la clave de la, así llamada, ¨credibility revolution¨.

En esta búsqueda del setting adecuado, uno muchísimas veces trompieza con la desprolijidad de los registros. Algunos países tienen más suerte que otros en contar con registros sistemáticos, de los cuales es fácil sacar bases de datos. Otros países nos dan mucha bronca, y nos prLlegada a la Tierraoveen de anécdotas graciosas que contamos después de la frustración. Así, intentando armar bases sobre política fiscal me enteré que en Uruguay en un momento dejó de haber presupuestos (así nomás dejaron de mandar el presupuesto al parlamento para que los partidos políticos de la oposición no pudieran controlar) y que en Suecia siempre fueron muy ordenados con las estadísticas hasta que por varios años se cansaron y no tienen muchos registros. Siempre las anécdotas iban por el lado de la falta de datos, hoy me encontré con esta foto en twitter.

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DNA test for Brazil’s 1973 economic miracle? Roberto Campos strikes back.

From the New York Times, January 28, 1973

SAO PAULO, Brazil

Did Columbus go over the edge when he reached Latin America? Most North American opinion molders seemed to think so last year, apparently holding steadfast to the belief that the Western hemisphere ends somewhere south of Miami.

Only international businessmen, it seemed, were able to see the emergence of three distinct  “continents” on the southern horizon-Brazil, Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
They saw, judging from their reports in 1972, Brazil blast into the industrial world’s orbit. “A new Japan,” is a phrase often used to describe Brazil.

In many interviews during the last year businessmen seemed fascinated by Brazil-in fact, they poured at least $3-billion into Brazil, more than they invested in all the rest of Latin America.
The Brazilians added $9-billion of their own money and smashed all economic records for the fifth consecutive year. Few-if any-nations in Latin America have made so much economic progress in so short a time.

By harnessing a mere fraction of their natural resources with ample cheap labor, the Brazilians continued to forge an industrial machine. Basically, Brazil is today where Japan was a dozen years ago, according to Roberto Campos, “father ,of Brazil’s economic ‘miracle” and former Minister of Planning. Only this country’s economy wm not require 12 years to reach Japan’s present industrial level, he maintains.

 

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First Universities in Latin America

So this paper by Noam Yuchtman and Davide Cantoni just made it to the Quarterly Journal of Economics:

We present new data documenting medieval Europe’s “Commercial Revolution” using information on the establishment of markets in Germany. We use these data to test whether medieval universities played a causal role in expanding economic activity, examining the foundation of Germany’s first universities after 1386 following the Papal Schism. We find that the trend rate of market establishment breaks upward in 1386 and that this break is greatest where the distance to a university shrank most. There is no differential pre-1386 trend associated with the reduction in distance to a university, and there is no break in trend in 1386 where university proximity did not change. These results are robust to estimating a variety of specifications that address concerns about the endogeneity of university location. Universities provided training in newly-rediscovered Roman and canon law; students with legal training served in positions that reduced the uncertainty of trade in the Middle Ages. We argue that training in the law, and the consequent development of legal and administrative institutions, was an important channel linking universities and greater economic activity in medieval Germany. 

And I started to wonder about the first universities established in Latin America and found this document. It seems that the first Latin American university, at least in the European sense of the word, was established in Santo Domingo in 1538, although some people claim the first legal one was established in Peru in 1551. It would be cool to know what was the role of this universities in the society of the time.

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