This week: Game theory matches students with schools, blockbuster jobs report, economist salaries and economist political leanings

  1. New York Schools use Game Theory to match students. ” In 2003, New York City changed its method for matching eighth graders to high schools with a system, called a deferred acceptance algorithm, that was designed by a team of professors, including one who later won a Nobel prize in economic science. The key feature was mutuality: Students submit a list of preferred schools in order, and schools prepare an ordered list of students whom they want or who meet their standards. After rounds of computer matching, schools and students are paired so that students get their highest-ranked school that also wants them. Here, in simplified form, is how it works. In this example, each school can take three students, although it can list more, and each student can list up to three choices.”
  2. New positive jobs report. According the the Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November, the strongest month of hiring since January 2012, while the unemployment rate held at 5.8%, the Labor Departmentsaid Friday. The stronger-than-expected hiring figure puts the economy on track to post the strongest year of job creation in 15 years.”
  3. Why are economists paid so much relative to other social scientists: “Economists are  scarce relative to demand. They have many lucrative outside options. The most important of these are the consulting and financial industries. But why do economists have the option to go work in consulting and finance? The answer is simple: They have the technical skills to do so.”
  4. A new article on economists’ political viewpoints: “We first found that an economist’s research area is correlated with his or her political leanings. For example, macroeconomists and financial economists are more right-leaning on average while labor economists tend to be left-leaning. Economists at business schools, no matter their specialty, lean conservative. Apparently, there is “political sorting” in the academic labor market.”

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