Economists found something surprising and you won't believe what happened next

Luigi Butera and John List have examined how cooperation is impacted on by uncertainty -- and not just any uncertainty but Knightian uncertainty where outcomes cannot easily be described by a probability distribution. They examine a situation where experimental subjects are contributing to a public good whose returns are uncertain and where individuals may or …

Et tu SSRN?

SSRN -- the social science paper repository -- is being acquired by Elsevier. SSRN has always been a for-profit entity and so it shouldn't be a surprise that this has happened. Put simply, there is a commercial rationale to this especially given that it is hard for smaller scale entities -- and SSRN despite its …

The Gates Foundation’s open access move ignores a better way to open knowledge

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation went far further than any other organization in mandating open access. From January of next year, all research funded by the Foundation will have to be made available and free online -- including appropriate metadata to make the research searchable. While others, such as the Wellcome Trust …

Prizes for Teams?

The Nobel prize for physics this year was controversial. It wasn't controversial because of the idea 'wot won it' but the number of people who contributed to that idea. However, the Nobel prize has a rule that there can be at most three recipients in a given year. (That doesn't apply to Peace but it …