nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒08‒12
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Estimating the Armington Elasticity: The Importance of Data Choice and Publication Bias By Bajzik, Jozef; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Schwarz, Jiri
  2. Students are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching By Feld, Jan; Salamanca, Nicolas; Zolitz, Ulf

  1. By: Bajzik, Jozef; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Schwarz, Jiri
    Abstract: A key parameter in international economics is the elasticity of substitution between domestic and foreign goods, also called the Armington elasticity. Yet estimates vary widely. We collect 3,524 reported estimates of the elasticity, construct 34 variables that reflect the context in which researchers obtain their estimates, and examine what drives the heterogeneity in the results. To account for inherent model uncertainty, we employ Bayesian and frequentist model averaging. We present the first application of newly developed non-linear techniques to correct for publication bias. Our main results are threefold. First, there is publication bias against small and statistically insignificant elasticities. Second, differences in results are best explained by differences in data: aggregation, frequency, size, and dimension. Third, the mean elasticity implied by the literature after correcting for both publication bias and potential misspecifications is 3.
    Keywords: Armington; trade elasticity; meta-analysis; publication bias; Bayesian model averaging
    JEL: C83 D12 F14
    Date: 2019–07–12
  2. By: Feld, Jan; Salamanca, Nicolas; Zolitz, Ulf
    Abstract: In a previous paper, we have shown that academic rank is largely unrelated to tutorial teaching effectiveness. In this paper, we further explore the effectiveness of the lowest-ranked instructors: students. We confirm that students are almost as effective as senior instructors, and we produce results informative on the effects of expanding the use of student instructors. We conclude that hiring moderately more student instructors would not harm students, but exclusively using them will likely negatively affect student utcomes. Given how inexpensive student instructors are, however, such a policy might still be worth it.
    Keywords: Student instructors, University, Teacher performance, Tertiary education,
    Date: 2019

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