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June 19, 2008

Hiring Chairs for 2008-09 Make Yourself Known!


Posted by Brian Leiter on June 19, 2008 in Professional Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

Sunstein v. Volokh on Liability of Bloggers for Comments that Defame and/or Invade Privacy

Here.  Professor Sunstein points out that real people are harmed by lies and invasions of privacy on blogs, and Professor Volokh points out that if he had to be responsible for the comments on his blog, he would have to shut down the comments function.  Professor Sunstein is too kind to point out that this means making bloggers liable would have a double benefit!  But, seriously, this section of the debate is really very revealing, especially given Professor Volokh's special history on these matters.   A simple solution, of course, would be to do what I and some others do, namely, open comments selectively, discourage anonymity, and hold comments for moderation. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 19, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

June 18, 2008

"Feminist Fundamentalism"?

Mary Anne Case (Chicago) explains.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 18, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

June 17, 2008

How High Can Law School Tuition Go?

Jeff Sovern (St. John´s) comments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 17, 2008 in Legal Profession | Permalink | TrackBack

June 16, 2008

On the Ideological Character of the Discipline of Economics

An interesting discussion here; an excerpt:

Here is what economist Edward Glaeser had to say in a recent paper about researcher incentives and empirical methods:

Economists are quick to assume opportunistic behavior in almost every walk of life other than our own. Our empirical methods are based on assumptions of human behavior that would not pass muster in any of our models. The solution to this problem is not to expect a mass renunciation of data mining, selective data cleaning or opportunistic methodology selection, but rather to follow Leamer’s lead in designing and using techniques that anticipate the behavior of optimizing researchers.

Indeed, Krueger and Card have written a paper that provides strong evidence that “specification searching and publication bias” have led to an overrepresentation of studies that find that the minimum wage has a statistically significant disemployment effect. The ideological character of much of the economics profession in the United States suggests that there are rewards for producing scholarship that confirms the idea that the minimum wage causes unemployment, and punishment for scholarship that finds otherwise.

David Card, a highly regarded economist at Berkeley (among other honors, he won the John Bates Clark Prize, a prestigious award given every two years to the most outstanding economist under 40), has produced many of the best studies taking issue with the old conventional wisdom about the minimum wage. But he stopped studying this subject, to a large degree because the reception his research got was so hostile in some quarters of the economics profession. He said:

I’ve subsequently stayed away from the minimum wage literature for a number of reasons. First, it cost me a lot of friends. People that I had known for many years, for instance, some of the ones I met at my first job at the University of Chicago, became very angry or disappointed. They thought that in publishing our work we were being traitors to the cause of economics as a whole.

“Traitors to the cause of economics as a whole”! Those are strong words, especially coming from someone who seems, on the basis of interviews at least, to be a fairly mild-mannered, non-drama-queen kind of guy. And if someone who’s a tenured full professor and one of the leading lights in his field took so much heat that he abandoned this line of research, what do you think the chances are that aspiring Ph.D.s and ambitious young assistant professors are going to touch this issue with a ten-foot pole?

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 16, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

June 15, 2008

Graetz from Yale to Columbia

Michael Graetz, perhaps the leading senior figure in tax law in the U.S., at Yale Law School has accepted a senior offer from Columbia Law School.  This is a particular blow to YLS because they have also lost Anne Alstott, in tax law, to Harvard this past year. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 15, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | TrackBack

June 13, 2008

Judge Kozinski's Office Reading?

Not good, it seems!

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 13, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

June 12, 2008

The Federal Appellate Clerkship Blogs...

...are already gearing up for the 2009 hiring season!

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 12, 2008 in Professional Advice, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink | TrackBack

June 11, 2008

Lots of New Law Schools in the Works (esp. in the Northeast of all places!)

The NLJ reports.

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 11, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack

June 10, 2008

Stuntz Writes About His Confrontation With Illness and Pain

William Stuntz, the distinguished and influential scholar of criminal procedure at Harvard Law School, blogs about his experiences with chronic pain and now cancer.  What he has to say is illuminating and moving. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on June 10, 2008 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | TrackBack