Saturday, December 28, 2013

your doctoral thesis in a sentence!

Here's a great website where people describe their dissertations in a single sentence.

This is what mine would have been:

"Modeling the Fed as a bureaucracy subject to systematic political influence increases the accuracy of macroeconomic forecasts"

Not too many LOLs there, but that's the pithy essence. Please share your one sentence thesis in the comments!

Mungo??




21 comments:

Claudia said...

Once a scaredy-cat, always a scaredy cat-and it shows.

Longer version: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/55677

Norman said...

"We know less about cross-country economic growth than we think we do, but we can still learn something from existing data by using fewer assumptions and/or better techniques."

Not as pithy as yours, but we've known that about my writing for some time.

JorgXMcKie said...

Is it possible to predict who will emerge as leaders in a small, naive group with the ability to spend millions?

Lauren said...

If you want to increase antenatal care uptake in a developing country, improving infrastructure is much more important than building more clinics. Longer version: http://goo.gl/ss4kza

Anonymous said...

I looked at what's on the site. Of the ones I read, the one's posted here are the most interesting.
(wonder if the twitter traffic affected the quality)
@Angus I REALLY want to read yours. Please post link or send to or tell me how else I might get it.
If unwilling, how about the bibliography?

o.k. tnx,

stupidblogger@pettyvices.com said...

Hmm, It stripped my email:
stupidblogger@pettyvices.com
Let's try again.
Asking for your thesis (please :)

Anonymous said...

Your documentation of legacy wrappers suck real bad and I know a trick that will make them only sort of suck and will illustrate some kinds of security flaws.

Dr. Tufte said...

Is the response of the real economy to nominal monetary shocks asymmetric across the business cycle?

Ben Reinhardt said...

Making a tractor beam for spaceships is hard, but possible!

J Scheppers said...

My dream distertation in one sentence. I know, I am doing it backwards.

People already pay for congestion with their own time. It is only when we find large scale efficient euvoluntary transactions that arbitrage the differences in value of time, do we get quality solutions to congestion.

windwheel said...

Truly beautiful.
I recall a great Indian born Israeli Academic telling a group of us youngsters that the 'sabra' directness and plain speaking of the newly formed country of Israel (which suffered worse 'Socialist austerity' than Jordan till about '67) militated for precisely this sort of honesty even in the ranks of the military!
I come from India- a country where Student Politics, like the Trade Union movement, was thoroughly criminalized by our noble Secular, Socialist, Gandhian leaders.
By law, a PhD holder gains preferential treatment- equal to a mid level Mafioso- in Jail.
Thus a typical Pol Sci dissertation would read- 'I've killed 5 people and convened 22 gang-rapes; also the British were really bad coz they were Racist and Gramsci said that was totally uncool and Karl Polanyi agreed and anyway, okay, I didn't really kill 5 people and all the gangrapes featured only me doing disgusting things to myself; but still, please, please, could you just give me a PhD already coz Mummy will beat me if I don't get one seeing as all the neighborhood kids got one and, anyway, how am I supposed to explain my collection of stool samples if I'm not like a Doctor of something or other?'
Credentialism and Careerism in the Academy arise not from some Tardean law but precisely the sort of incentive compatibility problems you have previously highlighted.
Also, your summary of your thesis rather piques one's interest than fulfills the criteria of the website.
Churchill insisted that all his Mandarins' memos to him be prefaced by a one line summary of this sort. In your case, he would have read more.

Sadly, speaking of my own country, Indian Higher Education is reforming itself. All PhD theses, save those in Vernacular literature, have to be translated into English and computer checked for plagiarism.
America too could insist on the same thing.
Ha ha, jus' kiddin'.

Mungowitz said...

Mine: Corporations and Labor Unions make contributions to fence-sitters on the "right" committees, but campaign contributions have much less impact on policy than you might think from reading the NYTimes.

windwheel said...

@Mungowitz, I can scarcely believe my eyes at your highly insulting reference to a fact which I revealed to you in CONFIDENCE! As I explained, in my lengthy Email to you, my grandfather was a Trade Union leader and it was entirely in token of his services to the cause of International Labor that Tony Blair stripped himself of his merkin in order to furnish me with the hair of my false moustache.
Shame on you, Munger.
I didn't understand the rest of your comment- probably coz it had to do with Econ or Math or some such esoteric shit.
Expect a Subpoena within 5 working days.

Angus said...


Here are links to 3 published papers from my thesis:

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/G/Kevin.B.Grier-1/pbcsej87.pdf

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/G/Kevin.B.Grier-1/ajps89.pdf

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/G/Kevin.B.Grier-1/JME1991.pdf

Here's a later paper with a good statement of the idea:

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/G/Kevin.B.Grier-1/jle98_caporale.pdf

windwheel said...

Looked at the first 2. Good as far as it goes. What is missing is forensic Econometrics- looking at perverse incentives arising from the ability to generate volatility artefacts.
The theme is an old one. Balzac knew it. Oscar Wilde mentioned it. Keynes was just catching on.
Still, nice to know there are some boy scouts left.

Albert Barkley said...

So what does Dissertation Writing Services UK says we check their sentence i.e
"A hypothetical, impractical type of computer can be made slightly less impractical."

Natalie said...

People in groups are rarely able to accurately reconstruct their group interactions and instead position themselves as idealized other selves.

Kitty_T said...

Mine: A lot of fantastical imagery in medieval romance is actually normal everyday stuff, but the men who write romances (and academic commentary on them) don't realize this because they don't do housework.

My husband's: People observe that everything is going to hell in a handbasket, always, but most of all when things are actually improving in objective terms.

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Diane Clark said...

My dissertation in one sentecne would be something like "Family-centered PBS is an effective approach for Korean families with children who have developmental disabilities"