A Brief Pause in Blogging


Writing about error in economic data has been harder than I predicted, so I regret that I must halt posting at Truck & Barter for at least two weeks, while I crash on my dissertation proposal. I will still be posting to Always Low Prices daily.

As of today, my dissertation is composed over a hundred pages of partially-edited material, formatted into a single discursive screed, rather than the three-essay structure preferred by those facing publish or perish incentives.

However Ian, Bob, and the rest of the T&B contributors will continue to provide the posts you really come here to read. Except for Paul, who sends along his own apologies, as his work duties preclude him from blogging until January.

Advertisement: Come next year, I'll be a Ph.D. Economist with 5 years work experience in top-notch research organizations. More importantly, I'll be looking for employment. So spread the word; I'd love to be hired through a blogging connection...


Hi Kevin,

I work for the Price and Index Number Research Division at the BLS. We are hiring this year. You are invited to apply.

Since on paper it might look like you don't fit our advertized needs in the "junior search" opening, you'd have to make the case that your experience entitles you to be considered at the "senior search" position. I have no idea if this would "work" but it might be worth considering.

The research environment is fantastic here.


I guess I am curious... what is the customary objective when one gets a PhD in Economics? Is it not an academic post? And why don't you want to go back to RAND? Seems like the econ PhD would have a lot of application there.

It does seem unusual to earn a Ph.D. in Economics and then not seek an academic post, but escaping academia is probably more common for econ than humanities Ph.D.s--I don't have data on that.

I simply believe that I'd be a lot happier not being a professor. But I'm keeping all my options open, or rather, I'm trying to discover what my options are.

RAND does have a lot of fine econ Ph.D.'s, but it is not certain--to them and me--that I "fit" well with them as an economist.

You just might check with the National Association of Business Economists (NABE)
about job opportunities. It is a whole
profession out there that except for a few bank and wall street economists gets little attention.

On economic data, did you ever look at US -Canadian trade data. That ought to be the best data set in the world -- it is a 100% sample conducted by two of the best stat organizations in the world. But Canada reports a trade deficit with the US and the US reports a trade deficit with the US. The biggest reason for the problem apparently is transfer pricing.

I was a member of NABE for a year, but have let it expire.... time to regroup.

As for the best data... it took decades for statisticians to agree that having a

You didn't suggest this, but I think a full count for gas station prices would be no better than the sampling procedure currently used--and a hell of a lot more expensive.

In general, for the same total survey cost, a sample almost always reduces non-sampling errors more than it adds in sampling error.

I haven't thought about the US-Canadian trade data recently. Shouldn't they be having major problems with the prescription medication trade?


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on December 2, 2004 3:48 PM.

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