Thursday, October 3, 2013

Background Materials for Class Session

Roy Radner - paper on competitive equilibrium under uncertainty preceded The Market for Lemons by 3 years......but nobody understood it's implications.  It was too abstract to communicate the core ideas successfully to a wide audience.

George Akerlof - The Markets for Lemons was rejected first by the American Economic Review (AER) then by the Journal of Political Economy (JPE).  It was ultimately accepted in the Quarterly Journal of Economics (QJE).  It was a key reason why Akerlof won the Nobel Prize.

John Rawls - Justice as Fairness (Philosophy essay which gives some basis for arguing that the pooling equilibrium is socially preferred to the separating equilibrium.)  
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Background activities for building a people network
1.  Doing favors
2.  More generally, acting in the social interest.
3. Schmoozing or Soft Skills - intelligent, empathetic, and engaging conversation.  People need to argue, to express their point of view and get serious feedback on that.  The goal is not to win the argument.  The goal is to increase the understanding of the people in the conversation.   This, in turn, requires being prepared via outside reading, or other conversations, or experiences, or still something else so that one can add to the original expressed view and likewise so one can form an opinion on one's own.   

Q:  How does one learn how to be good in one-on-one conversation?  We're not talking about interviewing for a job here.  We're talking about informal conversation over your favorite beverage with a friend or colleague. 
A:  Need to be a generalist so can interact with a wide range of people.  This requires A LOT of practice.  College affords a fantastic opportunity to get started on this.  

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