I think all good economics papers can be motivated with a cartoon.  Well, never mind the good papers, but I think maybe mine can.

Look before you leap

Trust building or trust measuring?

Nerdy explanation: This illustrates that (anonymous) contributions can be measures of a group’s preferences. In other words, “trust-building” exercises can actually be “trust-measuring” exercises. Although I admit that the backwards catch is not entirely anonymous in the sense of Hugh-Jones and Reinstein (2011, JEBO, forthcoming), it illustrates the point.

Hippie or Elephant

The Rational Informed Altruist in the Supermarket

What should a consumer do if she cares about poor farmers, but carefully considers the best way to use her money to help herself and others? This motivates Reinstein and Song (2011, JEMS, forthcoming). Sorry it is not funny.

Prediction does not equal influence

Motivation for Reinstein and Snyder (2005, JIndEc). If my daughter’s tastes correlates to a film’s success this doesn’t necessarily mean she is influential. The same applies to the famous American movie reviewer Gene Shalit.


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