Joshua Gans on Digitopoly extends the discussion of open science and academic publications. He shows an example when his quick reaction in blog has resulted in a formal academic paper. This is a good illustration that ideas play superior role in academic research and data retrieving and processing becomes a routine.
There are couple more examples one can find in this blog (and its predecessor – Inflation in the USA). The first case is related to labor force dependence on real GDP. I have a series of post during several months which reported the evolution of this idea from zero to a complete academic paper published in the Journal of Applied Economic Sciences (ranked in Scopus and RePEc). Briefly, we have shown that the rate of participation in labor force depends (Rsq ~0.8 to 0.9) only on real GDP per capita, G, in developed countries. Standard econometric tools demonstrated the presence of cointegration between these two variables. As a benefit, we found that labor force productivity is also a unique function of G. Since 2006, all models were validated by new data. Each turn to the final model and its validation was carefully documented. All new results have been firstly posted in the blog.
Lately (inspired by Paul Krugman), we found a new way to represent famous Okun’s law (unemployment rate vs. real GDP) and its counterpart – the link between the rate of employment and real GDP per capita. We meticulously reported all quantitative results before published them in two working papers [1,2]. The latter is ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal but some new findings need to be includes. Specifically, we found and reported in this blog that the GDP deflator in developed countries has been spoiled by definitional revisions. Quantitatively, this means that one has an artificial break in the relevant time series for real GDP. Not surprisingly, the estimated Okun’s law versions for developed countries have artificial “structural” breaks in the very same years. Instructively, these breaks in the estimated Okun’s laws and in the links between real GDP and the rate of employment for developed economies had been obtained before (June 2011)we found the breaks in the GDP time series (October 2011). This may serve as a strong justification of our models for unemployment and employment. This part was reported in this blog and needs to be carefully described in the already prepared papers. Funny, but Lane Kenworthy did not dig into this artificial break problem when represented his graph of increasing income inequality. One should be very carefull with data and blogosphere can help much. One needs just to formulate a proper request.
All in all, this blog was launched in order to report on important phases of our scientific research. After several years, I am sure that it fulfills its purpose and demonstrates the importance of quick reaction to new ideas caught in the blogosphere.