2 Nov 2010

Two home runs!

This doesn't happen too often, and I don't expect it to happen again. (The Giants even had to wait 50 years.)

I started work on Save the Poor in 2003, and the first draft of An Auction Market for Journal Articles in 2004 (Here's a post discussing it at Marginal Revolution.) Submissions to journals started a few years later. They were accepted in 2010 and 2009, respectively, and published in the same issue of Public Choice by coincidence. Oh happy day!

Just don't say that academics move too fast!

Both articles are currently online and FREE to download (open access, woo hoo!)

Save the poor, shoot some bankers
Abstract: Bilateral or multilateral organizations control about 90% of official overseas development assistance (ODA), much of which is wasted. This note traces aid failure to the daisy chain of principal-agent-beneficiary relationships linking rich donors to aid bureaucrats to poor recipients. Waste results when aid middlemen (un)intentionally misdirect ODA. Waste can be reduced by clarifying domestic goals for ODA, using fewer middlemen with greater intrinsic motivation, empowering recipients, and/or replacing bureaucracy with markets.

An auction market for journal articles (with Jens Prufer)
Abstract: We recommend that an auction market replace the current system for submitting academic papers and show a strict Pareto-improvement in equilibrium. Besides the benefit of speed, this mechanism increases the average quality of articles and journals and rewards editors and referees for their effort. The "academic dollar" proceeds from papers sold at auction go to authors, editors and referees of cited articles. Nonpecuniary income indicates the academic impact of an article — facilitating decisions on tenure and promotion. This auction market does not require more work of editors.


  1. Congrats, David... Long gestation periods aside, good to see your publishing abilities haven't been too adversely affected by your blogging activities!

    Purely out of interest - and I have yet to read your paper - do you think a journal auction market might increase your chances of another double?

  2. @stickman -- that Q is not directly addressed in the paper, but it could be the result of a REAL market that we describe in the paper.


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