Category Archives: economics

[Conference Report] Experiments in Social Networks

Fortunately, I went to two conferences in the past month, one specialized academic conference on Complex Network held by University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and the second one was organized by my dear UseR friends and I, which was the 4th China-R Conference (Shanghai) in East China Normal University.

It was really my honor to participate in these two conferences and deliver presentations to the audience. My talk was focused on experiments in social networks, and some consequent analysis in R. As the conferences were in China, I talked in Chinese throughout. Social network is a hot topic nowadays, but experimental methods are still at the beginning stage. With social learning models, we found out a good way to test the network effects with randomized experiments.

It was also my great pleasure to meet famous scholars worldwide. In the complex network conference, a lot people from physics and computer science brought my with fresh knowledge and inspirations. In the R conference, we invited so many experienced useR and exchanged our experience of using R. It is always good to feel that many people are enjoying the convenience of R and are happy to play with data in numerous fields.

At last, here are the slides I used to assist my presentation. Sorry but they are in Chinese...



Last one in UPF

Yesterday I went to one conference, which may be the last one for me in UPF:

CREI-CEPR Conference on Institutions and International Capital Flows

As the usual CREI-CEPR style, it was pretty macro. I went for the first two in the first day:

Financial Regulation, Financial Globalization and the Synchronization of Economic Activity


The Flight Home Effect: Evidence from the Syndicated Loan Market During Financial Crises

Macro, finance and econometrics... this combination defines my feeling - could not really understand many things. Yes, in some sense these topics are interesting, and financial crisis is worth paying attention to, but to what extend are those researches replicable...

Oh, one point I should mention here. The second one mentioned the "flight home effect", which was a new term to me. As operators of modern financial system, and one industry, the banks always attract special focus...It was nice to know their operations and some associated phenomena 🙂

Getting Close to China!

I don't know why, but recent days I have seen so many papers on China - both from the historical and modern perspectives. Today I was so lucky to enjoy Noam Yuchtman's presentation on two of his papers:

“Teaching to the Tests: An Economic Analysis of Educational Institutions in Late Imperial and Republican China”

“Intergenerational Mobility and Institutional Change in 20th Century China” (with Yuyu Chen and Suresh Naidu)

Both of them are revelant to education, but from differnet angles. The first one focus on the historical sharp change in the education system (the abolishment of the traditional system, 科举制度), and the establishment of modern studies on polyscience in China. He uses the individual level data of employees from the Tianjin- Pukou railway company and checks the difference in wages and departments among people with different educatoin backgrounds. The second one exams the intergenerational mobility regarding the insituitional change during the 1949 (the establishment of the People's republic of China) to the 1978 (the reform). That is really interesting...

The Jinpu Railway actually passes Jinan, haha! However, it is a shame that the old Jinan railway station was deconstructed in 1992! I have never seen the real building in my life!!! Here is just a photo as a momory.

A few days ago I also read an article related to Chinese people, and it is a doctoral thesis of Xiaohuan Lan:

Permanent Visas and Temporary Jobs: Evidence from Postdoctoral Participation of Foreign PhDs in the U.S. (2009)

The Prevalence of Low-Paid Postdoctoral Positions: The Impact of Foreign PhDs on the Wage of Natives. (2010)

Visa Policies and Research Productivity of Postdocs in the U.S. (2011)

The brief introduction from the  author is available in Chinese on his blog. As you can read from the title, it is about the Green Card and the post-doc market. In the labor market it is always interesting to see the impact of policy changes.

OK.... Overall, it is always nice to enjoy great papers answering interesting questions. Acutally I'm also writing a paper on China now. It is about an innovatoin in the financial system in the ancient China. Hopefully I can get some intersting results! Although most time I care about social network, or theories, it is also great to have the chance to do a research on CHINA! With so many great historical records, I don't really understand why there are comparably only a few papers...hence, no matter how little my contribution is, I would like a try!