Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've started to ruminate on whistle-blowers. I think it would be interesting to study them, though I am not sure how. What is it about a very small segment of the population that causes them to speak up when it is so obviously against their interests in every dimension?

I'm curious in part because one reason I don't work in industry is because I am afraid I would be one, and yet I still don't understand the impulse. (I suppose I am a whistle-blower of sorts already: every semester here I catch a few cheaters/plagarists AND report them, paperwork and angry emails and unsupportive admin be damned.)

Plus ca change...

You could be talking about the auditors circa 2002....

I started a new paper today on the effect of oligopoly market structure on reputation-based industries. In other words, the auditors and the credit raters. I'm not looking forward to doing the analysis (I had sort of hoped to move away from doing straight-up micro theory, since I'm just not trained well enough to do it efficiently) and had fantasized about finding a co-author to do all the work, but this morning on my walk to work I decided it might not be all that hard, and it is a paper that just needs to be written. Tonight's Rachel Maddow is, I guess, a sign from the powers that be that I should follow through.