Saturday, September 17, 2011

A footnote, emphasized

Within a story about unemployment that was picked up by yahoo news, a reference in a footnote was emphasized:

According to at least one analyst, Rob Valletta, an economist at the San Francisco Fed--who, as it happens, is acknowledged in the footnotes of Rothstein's paper -- the latter effect outweighs the former, as The Lookout reported earlier this year. Valetta argues that more jobs are created via the economic gains of disbursing jobless benefits than are lost by the way that the benefits may prolong the time that jobless Americans are not employed. And Valletta was assuming that the impact on personal behavior was around twice as large as Rothstein's study found.

The Rothstein paper is posted at the Brookings website, and the abstract is as follows:

Nearly two years after the official end of the "Great Recession," the labor market remains historically weak. Many commentators have attributed the ongoing weakness in part to supply-side effects driven by dramatic expansions of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit durations, to as many as 99 weeks. This paper investigates the effect of these UI extensions on job search and reemployment. I use the longitudinal structure of the Current Population Survey to construct unemployment exit hazards that vary across states, over time, and between individuals with differing unemployment durations. I then use these hazards to explore a variety of comparisons intended to distinguish the effects of UI extensions from other determinants of employment outcomes.

The various specifications yield quite similar results. UI extensions had significant but small negative effects on the probability that the eligible unemployed would exit unemployment, concentrated among the long-term unemployed. The estimates imply that UI benefit extensions raised the unemployment rate by only about 0.2–0.6 percent- age points, much less than is implied by previous analyses. Half or more of this effect is due to reduced labor force exit among the unemployed rather than to the changes in reemployment rates that are of greater policy concern; some analyses even suggest that UI extensions, by keeping displaced workers in the labor market, may have increased the share who were later reemployed.

Strictly speaking, there are references, not footnotes, in the Rothstein paper.

**In the world of academia, it's a red letter day when one scholar actually acknowledges work of a previous worker. In the world of patents, failure to acknowledge prior art is a strict liability offense.

Of the academic world, see previous IPBiz posts

"Trolls on top?" or how not to cite relevant work?

Patent law academics make troll studies a growth industry
which includes the text

The convenience of not remembering history when discussing patent reform, noting the irony that many patent reformers, who criticize the USPTO for not finding prior art, tend to ignore prior art themselves. [Recall Emerson: the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.]


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