Weekly Top 5 Papers – November 5, 2018

1. 18 topics badly explained by many Finance Professors by Pablo Fernandez (University of Navarra – IESE Business School)

2. A Brief Introduction to the Basics of Game Theory by Matthew O. Jackson ( Stanford University – Department of Economics)

3. Who Fields the Best Team?: A (Better) Measure of the Top Ten U.S. Law Schools by Faculty Impact by J.B. Heaton (J.B. Heaton, P.C.)

While spending some time this summer and fall in residence at the University of Chicago Law School, I was introduced by Professor Brian Leiter to the interesting problem of ranking faculties by academic distinction as an alternative to the U.S. News and World Report rankings that dominate the field. As both a practicing lawyer and a writer in law and finance, I was struck by a strange fact: the existing academic-distinction rankings did not reward balance in the faculty. Rather, a school like Chicago with two of the best legal philosophers and a very often-cited “jack of all trades” legal writer, Eric Posner, could rank highly even if they were missing ranked specialists in most fields.
I wanted to analyze which law schools fielded the best “teams,” that is, who had a ranked scholar in the most disciplines. The idea was that a “team” – that is, a Law School – with four great constitutional law scholars but no one of top rank in, say, contracts or evidence or criminal law ought to be viewed differently than a school that had high-ranking scholars across more fields. On this measure, NYU came out clearly on top, then Harvard and Columbia, and then Yale and Stanford. But there were surprises that might matter to students and deans.
This, of course, is just one way to evaluate a school’s faculty, but it is appealing both for students wondering where to to law school – Chicago looks great on legal philosophy and law and social science, but not good on corporate, securities, evidence, and civil procedure; while NYU looks strong across the board – but also deans and faculties looking to improve their teams. Kind of like Moneyball, the Michael Lewis bestseller and Brad Pitt film about statistics in baseball, there are some faculties out there that are stronger than old ideas about law school prestige would indicate. With higher education becoming more and more competitive – business and law schools being two very obvious examples – finding better ways to rank and measure schools is a problem of interest to students and administrators alike. – J.B. Heaton

4. Reducing Child Mortality and Malnutrition: Cross-Country Evidence on the Role of Growth and Social Indicators. by Gaurav Agrawal (Government of India)

5. Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications by Clifford S. Asness (AQR Capital Management, LLC) and Aaron Brown (New York University (NYU) – Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)

Leave a Reply