Arnold Kling  

I Don't Heart Cass Sunstein

I Heart Steven Pinker... One Manifesto, Two Responses...

But I agree with what he writes here.

The general point is much broader. Baseball involves a lot of money; people have strong incentives to make the right decisions. But even experienced people make systematic errors--and it took a Billy Beane to show a better way. In academia, institutions could do a lot better if they relied on simple performance measures for hiring. We can all think of departments that fail because they do not take this advice. The same is almost certainly true in journalism: A magazine that played more Moneyball would hire better writers and deliver a better product.

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CATEGORIES: Business Economics

COMMENTS (3 to date)
Giovanni writes:

What performance measurements would those be?

I can see purely computational hiring logic working for baseball and even for student admissions. But for many other fields, no one has been able to build an objective ranking system that works. What "simple performance measures" would you use?

John Salmon writes:

You can tell Sunstein's a big baseball fan-"Does he throw fast?"

Next he'll be asking if the referees argue with the coaches a lot, and how many points there are per home run.

RogerM writes:

“People’s overconfidence in their ability to read someone in a half-an-hour interview is quite astounding,” said Michael A. Bishop, an associate professor of philosophy at Northern Illinois University who studies the social implications of these models."

This is from an article in NYT, "Maybe we should leave that up to the computer" by DOUGLAS HEINGARTNER, July 18, 2006, about how much better statistical models perform at a variety of managerial tasks than do managers.

Maybe universities should humble themselves a tad and come up with similar models?

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