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The Interdependent Ivory Tower

August 7, 2021

The interdependent value model first introduced by Milgrom and Weber in 1982 (and Nobel-prize-winning as of 2020!) represents the concept that (1) key information to one person, Alice, may be held by another person, Bob, and as a result, (2) Alice may not be able to determine what she wants or thus how to make choices. I believe that most major stages of the academic process are highly interdependent.

For example, on the job market, as an applicant, Alice has information about her own preferences of schools, but she lacks information about the interviewees of each school, or the schools' future hiring plans, which may make a school more or less attractive to her. Many of the key stages in academia are about understanding the process, making contacts, and extracting the information that other people have in order to best figure out what the outcomes are worth to you, and which actions will tend to which outcomes, despite the interdependence on others' private information (and actions)!

I'm starting this blog as a commitment mechanism to talk about some of these topics in academia that I've either been asked about, or that I believe don't have enough awareness and visibility, such as:

and much more. Feel free to suggest topics, as well as contributions and collaborations.

For more information on the interdependent model, check out slides from various talks at this past year's SIGecom Winter Meeting on the topic, or a great talk by Michal Feldman.

Also, a huge thank you to Daniel Gordon for your multiple video calls, and help installing and fixing Jekyll for my ambition in making this blog, and then help again after I abandoned Jekyll to make this blog by html and needed to fix git... advice to everyone: grad school friends are invaluable.

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