Update: Here is a working link for video streaming:
Vox – the internet publisher of columns written by professional economists – will be covering next week’s event. Richard Baldwin, Editor-in-Chief of VoxEU.org, explains.
The democratisation of economic research takes a new step next week as the Nobel Symposia webcast important seminars on development and climate. ….
In the not-too-distant past, the inner circle of economists was difficult to break into if you weren’t ‘born’ into to it from graduate school. The problems was that journals took (and still take) years to publish work, so staying up on the latest and greatest meant going to conferences and hearing the inner-circle scholars talk about their ongoing work. Reading the inner-circle discussion papers was good, but even these were delayed. Worse yet, convincing anyone that you were capable of producing inner-circle research was nigh-on impossible. No one would read your research unless you presented it in person, and few outside the charmed circle got such invites. The other way was to put your work in one of the big discussion paper series organisations (NBER and CEPR) but that was even more exclusive.
Fortunately, technology is changing this. …. Next week [September 5-8], we’ll see a new step in the direction of openness – the webcasting of three very interesting events, including a Nobel Symposium. ….
The list of speakers, discussants and panellists is mind-boggling, and includes: Acemoglu, Aghion, Banerjee, Barro, Burgess, Duflo, Goldin, Helpman, Karlan, Kremer, Krusell, Lucas, Mullainathan, Persson, Romer, Shleifer, Stokey, Tabellini, Van Reenen, and Vives.
This is definitely the sort of inner-circle gathering you would not have been invited to. Come to think of it, you haven’t been, but despite that you can watch and even contribute questions. This is a great opportunity for young scholars to get ideas and insights. Just tune into http://www-2.iies.su.se/Nobel2012/page_climate_tbd_java.html (it’ll be working as soon as the conference starts.
Vox will follow up with an ad hoc series of columns written by the speakers and some audio interviews (Vox Talks).
Richard Baldwin, “Technology, academic debate and the inner circle“, Vox, 29 August 2012.
Professor Baldwin overstates the significance of this event when he describes it as a step in the “democratisation of economic research”. Webcasting can help young scholars break into the inner circle of economists, but mainly as passive observers. The invited Stockholm participants are not inexperienced; they are members of the inner circle of economists. It is more accurate to describe the event as a modest step in the diffusion of economic research. The revolutionary change was making working papers widely accessible on the internet, through free-access sites like SSRN.
Vox provides a useful service by publishing online columns that summarize NBER and CEPR working papers. Vox now allows readers to access full discussion papers summarized in Vox columns, and NBER allows free downloads of papers that are older than three years. Full access to NBER and CEPR will come only when they remove their paywalls.
I am pleased that Vox will be following up the Stockholm conferences, and look forward to accessing the promised columns and audio interviews.
Richard Baldwin is Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute (Geneva) and the Policy Director of CEPR.
The CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research) is a European network of economists. It was founded in 1983 and is based in London.
The NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) was founded in 1920. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts with branch offices in Palo Alto (California) and New York City.
SSRN (Social Science Research Network) is an open access website that began operations in 1994.