Monday, February 6, 2012

Andrei Shleifer Speaks at George Mason University!

Andrei Shleifer, the world's top economist by citation, spoke at George Mason University.  He presented the paper, "Education and the Quality of Institutions."  It was attended by many economists and graduate students from the University and the Mercatus Center.

Here is the abstract:

"Generally speaking, better educated countries have better institutions, an empirical regularity that holds in both dictatorships and democracies. We suggest that a possible reason for this fact is that educated people are more likely to complain about misconduct by government officials, so that, even when each complaint is unlikely to succeed, more frequent complaints encourage better behavior from officials. Newly assembled individual-level survey data from the World Justice Project show that, within countries, better educated people are more likely to report official misconduct. The results are confirmed using other survey data on reporting crime and corruption. Citizen complaints might thus be an operative mechanism of institutional improvement, one that explains the link between human capital and the quality of government."

It was the first time that I've ever seen a single paper formally presented, and this was a very good one to see first.  It was very interesting and the model was simple enough for me to follow.  I think that I understand the way that models fit into economic papers much bettter now after seeing one presented.  For more economic events, at George Mason University or at other regional institutions, visit the Speakers Calendar.

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