Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kudos to Pak Hadi

As many of you have heard, one of the Indonesian finest economists, Hadi Soesastro was awarded a doctor honoris causa degree in economics from the Australian National University.

I took Economics and Technology course from Pak Hadi sometime in 1993. I recall we had class often in CSIS (Tanah Abang) as Depok is too far. Then we became friends in seminars and conferences after I came back from US in 2004. We were also active in the Indonesian Economists Association (ISEI). Along these times, I keep learning a lot from Pak Hadi. I admire his vast knowledge as well as his international reputation.

Congratulations, Pak Hadi. It's long overdue.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Proud of students

These last weeks have been full of examining students' thesis defense. I'm impressed, especially by the senior college students (S1 Level, as opposed to the master's and PhD programs -- not that the latter two are lousy; they're great too, but not as impressive). Some of them write very well (some in proficient English, though not required). I'm also proud that many of them have left the "must have a regression or two no matter what"-paradigm. Instead, they demonstrate a lucid understanding of basic principles of economics. Yes, I have a very big hope on our S1 graduates. Keep up the good work, young fellas!

Sentence for the knive

The Economist this week runs a series of article reassessing the use of macroeconomics. In one of them, it says financial economics might be blamed for the recent crisis. That is akin to blaming a knive for a murder downtown.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Better proxy for human capital variable

Got problem in choosing good proxy for human capital in your estimating regression? Try school intensity (Duflo 2001, Comola and de Mello 2009 -- thanks for the paper, guys). It is the share of population born after 1963 multiplied by the number of schools built per children under SD Inpres program during 1973-78. The rationale is simple: the cohort of individuals born in districts that benefited from the program was more likely to stay longer at school and to earn more once joining the labor force.